being a mom
5 Signs You’re at the Bottom of Your Own List of Priorities
My running list of things I have to do on a daily basis is the length of a CVS receipt. I feel like I’m constantly busy, but don’t ever get everything done! Because of this, I’m generally pretty terrible at self-care. I love it in theory, and try to do a little something for myself at least once a week. But moms, you feel me on this: on our list of priorities, ours are WAY down at the bottom. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. You’re so busy caring and doing for everyone, that you inevitably end up putting yourself last. Maybe you don’t even realize you’re doing it! In case you needed them, here are some signs that you aren’t a priority for you. Let’s fix that.
Putting yourself last is sort of what moms do, isn’t it? But it can take its toll, and quickly. One sign that you’ve been putting yourself at the bottom of the list: your health is beginning to suffer.
It never fails: your kid brings home the plague and kindly passes it around to the whole family. And you go into sick mode: nursing your kids, your partner, your kids again. Then finally, FINALLY, once everyone else is healthy, you get it. But what was a one or two day cold for everyone else ends up knocking you on your ass for over a week. You’re tired, you’re stressed out, and your immune system like, BYE BITCH. I know it’s hard, but you need the same amount of time to recuperate after an illness as everyone else! If you can, enlist your partner, friends, and family to hold down the fort while you hunker down in bed at the first sign of illness. It’s that, or be sick for like a month.
2. Your kids’ clothes all fit and match the season, but you’re wearing seven year old leggings.
Treat yo’self! Is there any worse guilt than when a mom spends money on herself? Like, we drop major coin on our kids, our home, everyone and everything else. But when it comes to spending money on ourselves, that wallet snaps shut so fast. You certainly don’t have to go out and blow your savings on a shopping spree and call it self-care. But don’t feel guilty for buying new clothes you need, or that amazing lipstick that you don’t need but really want. You deserve nice things, too.
3. You have a stack of unread books on your nightstand, but all of your work emails have been answered.
You can leave the office, but that doesn’t mean that the office leaves you. It’s SO hard to pull yourself away from your job, I know. I work from home, so it feels like I am working every hour of the day. But while you could spend your few alone hours at night catching up on work you could do the next day, you could ALSO spend it drinking wine and watching Netflix. I’m not suggesting you do this every night, but maybe set aside one or two where you pledge to stop putting yourself last.
4. You know you’re putting yourself last when your calendar reads like a who’s who of elementary school It Kids.
THIS IS MY THING. Oh my god. My entire summer is scheduled out for my oldest’s dance shit. And play dates. And birthday parties! Your social calendar should not have more entries for your kids than for yourself. If you can’t remember the last time you went out with your girlfriends, or had a date night, you’re putting yourself last. Say no to something for the kids, and use that time to do something for you, instead.
5. You’re running on fumes. And dreaming about running away.
Is this easy? Fuck no. It’s not supposed to be easy. But should your day-to-day life fill you with complete dread? It shouldn’t. But for a lot of us, this is what it feels like. Just a non-stop stream of DO THIS HELP ME FIX THIS BE THERE. When you give all of yourself away, there’s nothing left for you. And YOU need you, too. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed, life is overwhelming and stressful! But when you take the time to fill your own cup, whatever that may look like to you, you will feel refreshed. Strong. Ready to conquer the world! Cars can’t run if their gas tanks are empty. If you put yourself last, it’s like letting every single car that pulls up to the gas station cut ahead of you in line while you idle in place. Eventually, the fumes are going to burn off, and the engine is going to shut down. Sometimes you need to stop and fill up your own tank.
Stop putting yourself last, and start making yourself a priority. Your kids will be fine, your partner will live, and you will be a better version of yourself. It’s for the good of the family, really.
(Image: iStock / KatarzynaBialasiewicz)