Do you know what the number one “thing” is that your children want most? You probably answered this by saying something like the latest toy or phone or tablet or something to do with electronics. At their core, none of this matters to your children. What they want most is for you to be healthy, happy and here.
Women get lost in the cycle of not taking care of themselves because they are running after their kids, taking them here and there for this and that; doing all of the household activities; being it all to everyone because they think that is what makes everyone else happy. And, of course, there is no time for women to take care of themselves so they don’t. Everyone else is happy so that is all that matters. Right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
The number one thing your kids want and your spouse for that matter (unless he/she is a narcissist) is for you to be healthy, happy and here. I know that was true for me. My mom suffered a massive heart attack when I was 19. I was no longer a kid but I was my mom’s kid. What mattered to me most from that point on for the next 20 years was that my mom was healthy, happy and still here.
When you aren’t taking care of yourself and you let yourself get run down and sick, your children believe it is all their fault. I know I felt this way. This is an enormous burden to place on your kids. I felt it was my responsibility for my mom to get well. It became my mission in life.
When kids see their mom go through something like this it changes them. The world feels less safe. It takes away their freedom to engage fully in their own lives because there is this constant worry about the wellbeing of their mom.
If you do get sick and you don’t take care of yourself, your children believe they don’t matter enough for you to take care of yourself and get well. I know I felt this way. My mom didn’t take care of herself before her heart attack and she didn’t take care of herself after it. I felt that if I mattered more, my mom would have taken care of herself. If I mattered more, she would want to be here.
Taking care of yourself is one of the easiest ways to make your kids feel safe, worthy and happy. Isn’t that why you are doing everything that you are doing in the first place? I bet you never thought of it that way.
Take care of yourself today and every day and make your kids (and spouse) happy. It is a win-win for everybody.