by Gladys Diaz
The other day, I was watching one of my favorite TV shows with my family and they were featuring a mother in her 40s who was almost 200 pounds overweight. She was beside herself with sadness and self-loathing because she said she had given up her dreams and could not believe how much she had let herself go after having been an athlete and gymnast in her youth.
Her reason for having gotten to this point?
Being a mom.
She shared how she had gotten pregnant in college and thrown herself into being “the perfect mom” and pastor’s wife. She described how she had put so much focus on being there for her kids that she’s lost herself and forgotten who she was.
I’d like to say this is an isolated incident, but it’s not.
One of the most common fears women share with us is that they are afraid of losing themselves in a relationship.
I work with women all over the world who are trying to prove that they are Superwoman or Supermom, doing everything, working themselves to the point of exhaustion, and ignoring their own needs so that they can please and impress others.
And this isn’t an issue that only affects mothers and wives. I also see women who are single and are throwing themselves into and losing themselves in their careers, giving all of themselves, their time and attention to their bosses and companies and leaving very little time or attention for having fun, dating, and just taking care of themselves.
Unfortunately, all of these women have forgotten that the MOST important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself!
If you don’t take the time to care for yourself by making time to relax, laugh, play, nurture your mind, body, and spirit, you literally have nothing left to give – to yourself or anyone else!
Giving to the point of feeling depleted, mentally and physically exhausted –and many times resentful, because you feel you’re giving, giving, and giving without getting very much in return – not only leaves you unable to have the energy, patience, and enthusiasm to date or create a loving relationship, but also teaches people how to treat you. So it’s unfair to resent the boss who keeps adding things on your plate with no recognition or additional compensation, the PTA President who knows she can call you the night before to do a task that would take anyone else weeks, or your husband who is not helping you around the house or with the kids.
When you don’t take time to make time for yourself, don’t expect others to go out of their way to do that for you, either!
It’s essential that you do something for yourself daily. Whether it’s read a book, talk on the phone with a girlfriend, take that class you’ve been saying you want to take forever, or just sit and do nothing (one of my favorites!).
When you make your needs, dreams, and self-care a priority, you are letting yourself – and the rest of the world know – that you value yourself, believe in your dreams, and know that there isn’t a need to “sacrifice” what you love and makes you happy in order to be a great woman, partner, or mother.
You’ll also find that when you make yourself a priority, all of those people who you love and are trying to make happy will rally around you, be your biggest supporters, and help make sure you have time for yourself and to make your dreams come true!
As we were watching the show, my older son said, “Wow… She had to give up her dreams so she could take care of her kids? “
I responded, “No, she didn’t have to give up her dreams. She chose to. We get to create our lives and make our dreams come true. A woman can be a great mother, have a happy relationship, and still follow her dreams.”
“Oh, yeah, Mama. Like how you take care of us and you’re also helping your clients and building your dreams for Heart’s Desire!”
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