My mother has been giving me this wise advice for decades. For many years I would smile and nod. You know the nod that respects the person giving the advice, but also concedes that they cannot fully understand the complexities of the situation. How could she? She raised five kids, was married to a paralyzed man, had to work outside the home, and never had a moment to herself. How could I have been so narrow-minded to think she couldn’t possibly understand when in fact, she comprehended the depth and necessity of those four words with the wisdom of one who had gone there herself.
With age comes wisdom.
So how can you be good to yourself and, be a great wife and mommy too? Boundaries. I didn’t have any back in the day, and I shudder at the sheer amount of commitments I had in addition to wife, and mother of five little ones. My husband was a junior pilot, so absent much of the month. This left me to be both mom and dad oftentimes. I was not good to myself at all. If I could do it, I did. This made me a less than patient, loving mom, or wife. Our communication as spouses was not particularly productive, so I was unable to voice my frustrations, nor communicate effectively on what help I needed from him. I wanted him to just know and do it without me asking. I am grateful I finally learned to just ask with respect and patience, and he has always been happy to comply. Men need direction. How we ask, and when we ask, is important. They do not see things at home especially the way do, it is a waste of time to get angry at them for this. Ask for help from your beloved in a way that motivates him to want to help you.
Here are some habits I’ve formed, that might benefit your life too.
Be intentional about getting a little you time each day. Don’t just wish it, plan it. Decide what best regenerates and invigorates you. A bath, a walk, a nap, prayer time alone. Be specific and then put things and people in place to help you be successful in achieving it.
Set healthy boundaries. That might mean earlier bedtimes for the kids, and for you. It might mean saying “no” to something really good for now. It should mean not putting so many expectations on yourself. Talk and pray with your spouse, asking him to help you succeed. Work as a team.
“Happy wife, happy life” as the saying goes. But I would like to add a few lines:
Happy wife, valued mom. Fulfilling life, sweet calm. Blessed home, love’s dome.
So, I say from one old mom to you, “Be good to yourself.” The repercussions of this small gesture on your marriage and children, have benefits far beyond your own peace of mind.