If there’s anything that I have learned from the year I had in 2016, it’s the importance of having something, anything really, as a mother that’s your own. I cannot tell you how much I love and adore my children. They are my heart, walking around outside of my body and I love being their mother. That doesn’t mean though that I haven’t, at times, felt a little lost. What I’m talking about is that feeling of “who am I other than a mother”. Before I started my blog and really threw myself into writing my thoughts out onto paper, I felt like my life was pointless. It was this repetitive cycle – Feed children, clean children, wipe children’s butts, pick up toys, wash clothes, feed children, get children to sleep, encourage children’s brains to flourish by play and reading aloud – on and on and on it went. Everything I did was for my children; I came in last place all of the time. If I wasn’t caring for my kids, I was taking care of my husband’s needs as well as caring for my aging beagle. I fell deeper and deeper into this kind of lost and lonely feeling the longer I was a mother.
That all changed when I decided to start a blog. At first, it started as a way to flex my creative muscles and while I am not crafty, I have come to realize that I am creative. For me, writing is my art and without it, a little part of my sense of self fades away.
In 2017 I’m challenging you to find something that brings you joy. It must be yours and yours alone, it cannot be part of your daily duties as a mother. Sure if you like collecting cloth diapers, by all means, buy all of the diapers! Why? Because it’s your thing and it brings you joy. This doesn’t have to be something grand like starting a blog or going on TV; it can be simple. Do you like reading books? Carve out time daily to sit down and read a book. Make an appointment to care for yourself and build into you. A happy mother is one who also cares for herself and I believe that a critical part of caring for yourself is building into your own interests.
We’ll be exploring this idea, building into you, throughout 2017. In the meantime, take some time to brainstorm ideas of activities that make you truly happy. Share with them with me in the comments below. Let’s make twenty-seventeen the year of me, you deserve to be cared for too.
Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.