This is what I see on television: There is a stay at home mom. She’s unhealthy, always looks sloppy, an emotional wreck. She says that she’s let herself go. She says she hasn’t thought about herself forever. Supposedly, she is giving all her time and energy to her children. But then the answer is to lead some self-fulfilling path: pursue a career, buy expensive clothes, leave her children and do something for herself instead.
It makes me so frustrated every time I see it.
Since when was selfishness the answer? Since when did moms need to put themselves first? That isn’t being a mom. That isn’t what motherhood is all about.
Yes, you need to shower and get ready every day. Yes, you need to exercise and eat right. Yes, you have to take care of yourself mentally, spiritually, socially, and physically. But you do that to be a better wife and mother, not because you have to put yourself first in life.
Mothers can give of themselves fully and completely, and I think it’s a rather awesome thing to do. It’s something I know I need to do more–focus more on my child, more on my husband. Listen better to them. Give them my full attention, instead of being half-distracted by games, internet, or television.
You really need to spend only a little time on yourself–get ready, exercise, pray, read scriptures, read a few pages of a book, call a friend. That maybe takes two to four hours? Then you have somewhere around 12 hours that you can give to others, serving and being with your children and your husband. 12+ hours to enjoy the moments of a baby giggling, cuddling with your husband, playing all together, being a family.
Yes, we need time to ourselves. But we don’t need to be selfish. We need one or two hobbies, not a career (unless some financial or other necessity dictates otherwise). We need to turn off the things that give pleasure–television, surfing the internet, etc.–because those aren’t helping us or our children. We shouldn’t be pleasure seekers, but seek to grow and serve instead.
It isn’t bad to give the vast majority of your time to your children. It isn’t bad to be selfless. It isn’t bad to put others first.