Jacqui Bester
3 minute read
16 Nov 2019
5:54 am

Why mothers should put their mental health first

Jacqui Bester

Nobody ever said that being a mother would be easy... In fact, if we each think back to our baby showers. I'm almost positive that some mothers had a little twinkle in their eye. They knew what was coming.

Picture: iStock

Now, this is not one of those posts where I go on to say that it’s all bad, so just take a breath. Hear me out…

You see, before becoming a mother, it’s a lot easier to split ourselves between husband, work, and friends. But once that little bundle (or bundles) of joy arrive, there is little we can do to keep anything scheduled really. Our lives have changed dramatically… And what makes it worse is that it’s not a slow change but an overnight one.

We are so busy being obsessed with our precious child/children (don’t lie, we’re all a bit obsessed). That we don’t notice our lives passing us by. We’re in a new phase, a beautiful and most rewarding phase and we cannot see the changes that have taken place.

But if we take a step back and re-evaluate ourselves, there are some of us who would realize that we have lost a measure of who we are (or, at least, once were). We take on the roles of mother, wife, friend, career woman, the homemaker and so on, with new gusto… And, for some of us, the day comes when we wake up and think: “heck, who am I?” Our dreams and aspirations might have fallen to the way-side. And we struggle to remember who we once set out to become…

Again, I’m not saying motherhood is all dark and gloomy. I am saying that it’s such a busy time in our lives (we are so busy putting everyone else ahead of ourselves because that’s what we moms do… and yes it is rewarding), that we are essentially putting ourselves on the back burner.

Now, this can come in many different shapes and forms. Some of us might stop socializing, we might turn down a new job offer, or never wear makeup again, etc, etc… I think if we all look deeper we will find a few things that we’ve set aside in the name of being better wives or moms. However, does it make us a better mother, partner, friend?
Does it?

Everything around us is essentially taking a piece of us… except US! Why on earth do we do this to ourselves? Maybe if we focused on ourselves, just every now and again, we wouldn’t end up dealing with frustration, resentment, depression, loneliness and so on. There is a LOAD that needs to be dealt with each day, it’s true… But If we have the time to do everything else, then maybe, just maybe, we can find the time for ourselves.

I had a hard conversation with myself about this a little while ago (yes, I do talk to myself). And I think it’s high time that we mothers pay attention to ourselves. Not because we are more important than our husbands or children, but because by paying attention to ourselves we will be BETTER wives, mothers, friends, and professionals.

Because, in the end, we will feel fulfilled in the deepest sense. If we are happy and at peace with who we are, we are better able to fulfill our beautiful roles. By the way, we don’t have to be mothers to do this, we women, in general, need to take a deeper look at what we have lost sight of.

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