It is true; we all have the same 24 hours in a day. The working mom with six kids receives the same amount of time as the stay-at-home mom with two kids. However, the big difference between each of us is how we use those 24 hours — and, equally as important, the difference between how each of us values our time and ourselves.
It saddens me beyond belief when I am speaking with someone and they compliment me on my state of health and fitness. Then, when I graciously thank them, the next words out of their mouth are something like, “Oh, I wish I had time to exercise.”
Well, here is a news flash: you do! In order to do so, you have to change your way of thinking.
Let us turn our attention to working moms. Let’s face it: they take care of us as well as anyone else. (Do not worry, if you are male and reading this, it applies to you, too.)
Right now, most working moms put themselves last. This means they take care of everyone else, and if time permits they take care of themselves. If time does not permit, they do not take care of themselves at all. I know this, because my wife is a partner in a law firm, works more than full-time, yet still has three beautiful children to care for, (OK, I’m a little biased) — and another child, which is me.
As a matter of fact, here is a list in order of whom and what most working and stay-at-home moms take care of:
- Kids’ School
There is so much wrong with the order of this list, but perhaps the biggest injustice is how our kids view it.
Face it, kids are smart. When they see this, they do not see it as “mommy taking care of everyone.” The kids see it for what it is: “mommy not valuing herself.” Therefore, subconsciously, we are teaching our children how to be victims — the exact opposite of what we should be teaching them. We need to be teaching our children how to be leaders, and true leaders value themselves. They understand they cannot take care of everyone effectively unless they put themselves first.
First Things First
In order to change our actions, we first need to change our way of thinking. First step, throw away the list above and change the priority of whom you put first. Start taking care of yourself first — today.
Yep, you heard me. The reason my wife is able to get so much done and enjoy her life is because she puts herself first.
This does not mean she loves our children any less than the working mom who constantly puts herself last. It means that she knows if she is not healthy and happy spiritually, physically and mentally, she will not be able to handle and take care of the people and tasks she loves and cares about.
It’s Time to Take Control
It is important to understand a “life-line” system is to be used for making sure you are the center of your universe, and that you are taking care of yourself first. This way, you learn how to get the most out of your 24 hours each day. When you do this, you learn how to take care of the essential things first and realize that other things can wait.
Everyone and everything is important, but depending on what is happening in your life, your “life-line” lengths will alter. Just because one is further away at any given time does not mean you love that person or care about that task any less. It simply means it does not require as much attention at this particular point in time.
Our girls see mommy and daddy taking care of “ourselves,” and they know how important it is to live a happy and well-balanced life. They understand that when it is time for mommy to work out or daddy to cook a healthy meal (yes, I do cook occasionally — omelets are my specialty), that we are not ignoring them, but rather taking care of “ourselves” so we can take better care of them. Plus, it is our parental obligation and yours if you have children to feed them well. We can do this through leading by example.
Try putting yourself in the center of your life so everyone and everything else around you will begin to flourish and benefit like never before.