A Mother´s Day Message

| May 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

As I am eagerly awaiting my first Mother´s Day as a mother, I am reflecting on what it means to be a mother. So many things I only now understand: like the greatest happiness is when your child is happy and healthy; or when your child is in pain, all you want is to be right there to help and protect. These dynamics are ingrained instinctively in the very essence of being a mother. So it is only natural that mothers sacrifice themselves, their lives, bodies and well being for the greater good of their kids and their families.

While this is the logical development of motherly love, it is worth emphasizing that self-care is crucial so that mothers can continuously perform in this role. If they use up their resources and aren´t replenishing them, eventually there won´t be anything left to give. The loss to children and family is much greater than having to hear an occasional “no” from mom.

Saying “no” is often a real challenge for moms. I can only imagine that it stems from the early days of being a mother, when the survival of the child is so dependent on mother giving of herself completely. Later, when the kids become more independent, the mother often has not switched gears and keeps on giving without limits, never asking what she might need herself. It’s possible that most moms can´t remember the person they were before children. The habit to serve others has taken control, and hasn’t been questioned nor adjusted in a considerable length of time.

This Mother´s Day, I invite mothers to take the opportunity to practice some boundaries, some gently “noes” and give yourself some time and space to reacquaint with the person you once were and remember the things you enjoyed. Do something atypical for you, something that might surprise your family (because they did not know that part about you). It can all happen with love and mutual support and does not need to appear threatening to your loved ones. Apply humor but stay firm. It is important for moms to do it for themselves and not ask others for understanding or support. Just do it! Of course, I am talking about things (activities and gifts) that would not harm or damage relationships with the loved ones or yourself.

I am sorry to say that as a child I would cry and protest when my Mom was showing boundaries. Even beyond an age of total dependence, Mom was there for us constantly. I did not want to give up convenience and perks. Unfortunately my mother gave in quickly. Not only was I given power beyond my age, but also did I not have a role model for self care, and had to learn it later in life. Today, at times, it still is a real challenge.

Treat yourself well for your children´s sake. Consider a spa day, some meditation, gifting yourself flowers, incense or new sports shoes. Whatever it may be, gift yourself this Mother’s Day. And while we are celebrating moms everywhere – go out of your way and make another mom feel good. Too often we share the wrong message with other women, other mothers. Competition, envy and not rooting for each other has been way too common among us. There is no need or use for that. We are all better off if we help each other, support each other and are kind to each other. And, now, I wish you a happy Mother’s Day!

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit www.starrcoaching.com and follow her blog at www.HealthwithTaste.blogspot.com; and a new social media offering is www.facebook.com/StarrCoaching

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