Putting yourself at the top of your priorities list for the New Year may sound selfish. After all, as mothers and wives, we all have that tendency to set our New Year’s resolutions based on our family’s needs, and especially on our children’s needs. But we also know that when things aren’t working for us, our whole household suffers. So here’s the Why and How of putting your needs first in 2013.
WHY YOUR NEEDS MATTER
Many of us have been raised to think that being a good wife means being the person in charge of keeping the peace at home. We may even feel fully responsible for the happiness and success of our marriage or partnership. But that is a losing proposition! Relationships that work strike a balance and share responsibilities 50/50.
When we become mothers, it’s all too easy to lose ourselves as we struggle to become the perfect mom, even though we know that notion is a myth. It can get so bad that we don’t remember who we are, anymore. And let’s not even talk about self-care…but I bet that some of us moms can’t remember the last time we had a pedicure (that wasn’t done at home!), went clothes shopping for ourselves or had a long lunch with a friend—without kids in tow. Whatever your story is, if you’re trying to be the perfect wife or mother, you’ll sooner or later become tired, bored and unhappy.
Read Related: Preserving Your Identity While Being a Mom
No matter how many times you have heard this before, it’s still true. Happiness starts in your heart and in order to be happy, you need to give yourself the opportunity to find and pursue the personal dreams that will make you feel satisfied as a woman, first. You’ll be a better wife and mother as a result.
PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST
You’ve probably told yourself in the past that you can’t get sick—that the household would fall apart if you’re out of commission for even just a day or two. So if you’re that important to your spouse and children, doesn’t it mean you should take care of your emotional health, too? You are the most important piece of the family puzzle. Your children and spouse need you, so the priority of your life should be to be healthy and happy. For achieving that important goal, you’ll to do the following:
- Set personal goals, totally independent from your family. Grow your professional career. Master a hobby that you really enjoy. Learn something new that will bring you pride and self-satisfaction.
- Schedule time for yourself, for doing things that you like and make you feel special.
- Plan your future as an individual. Picture yourself in 10 years. Where do you want to be? What do you want to be doing then? Your kids will grow up, become independent and will be pursuing their own dreams. Where will that leave you?
Once you’ve done these things, you’re ready to start thinking about everyone else at home. Now it’s time to set goals for your kids’ education, your husband´s dream career, that kitchen you want to renovate, and your family´s needs in general.
I know it’s hard to do, especially if you’re used to living to take care of others. But never forget that in order to give your best to your loved ones, you have to be at your best—and the way to get there is to put yourself first. That old expression, Happy wife, happy life is still around for a reason!