Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's All About Me?!

This is a subject I've been thinking about for about a week now and I felt the need to write about it. Last weeks topic at Weight Watchers was about making yourself a priority during your weight loss journey. Our leader asked us how we accomplish this and how we are able to give ourselves permission to carve out the time to attend meetings and spend the money on the program. I suppose that there are some people out there who think that it's absurd not to do things like that for yourself, but I think most women struggle with this at some point in their lives. Men may as well, but I can only speak from my perspective.

Women, especially mothers, are sort of trained (or perhaps even born) with the desire to take care of everyone else in our lives and put our own needs aside. I've been in this position myself for much of my life. At the end of our meeting I thought every woman in the room was feeling the way I do about this subject, but our leader went around the room asking us all to say "It's all about me!" The idea, of course, was to sort of empower us to make ourselves a priority in our own lives. She even used the analogy of putting on the oxygen mask on a plane before assisting others. But to my shock (and I believe hers as well) two women refused to say it. Instead they said their family was first.

Then this evening another friend posted a quote from a woman who was commenting on the idea of the "hot mom" trend going on right now and how women need to give their children role models and not supermodels. That from conception they needed to put the needs of their child ahead of their desire to look good. Now, I know my friend was posting it as sort of food for thought...and it did get me thinking.

My children mean more to me than anything else on this planet. I would do anything to make their live as wonderful as possible. If I have extra money, it gets spent on something for them before something for myself every time. When they were babies and toddlers their needs were all I thought about and I let myself go as a result. I felt guilty even considering doing things for myself and I neglected my health, my appearance and my own interests and needs.

I'm not sure if it's the fact that because I now share custody of them with my ex-husband and so I have more free time than some parents or what, but the reality that one day they will not need me to the extent they do now has hit home. Between that and the way I felt with all of the extra weight has really made me question to what extent our neglect of ourselves is impacting our children. The saying "if mama ain't happy..." really is true! If you wake up feeling miserable, fat and frumpy are you the best mother you can be for your children? There is a line between being a supermodel and just feeling good about ourselves.

When I was overweight I was not as good of a mother as I am now. I couldn't play with them the way I can now, I could read to them without feeling out of breath and I was always so worn out on field trips. I had no confidence so I didn't like to volunteer to help with things at school or take them to activities. I don't have any of those issues now. By taking the time each week for myself to attend these meetings and lose the weight I have improved my life and the lives of my kids.

As for the "hot mom" trend....well that's sort of subjective. I do know that there are women who focus so much on their own lives and appearance that they neglect their children or rely on someone else to raise them. This isn't good for the kids. But "hot" is different for everyone. If you are a mom and you feel like you look good then you can be the "hot mom". It doesn't mean you have to get manicures and wear tons of makeup. You get to decide where you feel good, but the point is, you have to feel good! Mothers do the hardest job in the world, don't you think you owe yourself an hour or two a week to do things that are just for you and make you feel good? Don't you deserve a bit of the money for healthy food and maybe some new clothes that make you feel sexy?

You are the only person who can control your happiness and if you are happy then those in your life will be happier as well. No one else is going to do this for you. It really is ALL ABOUT YOU!

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