Prior to motherhood, I had no obligation but to my marriage and myself. I did anything I wanted, anytime I chose. It was easy for me to take weekend trips with my girlfriends or buy that cute pair of shoes I had been eyeing. But everything changed when this little person entered my world.
Conversations with friends somehow always circled back to “mom guilt.” Whether I bumped into a mother of four, was seeking wisdom from a woman who had been parenting for 16 years or had a chance to visit with a brand-new mom, the sentiment was the same; we all had 10 reasons why we couldn’t prioritize ourselves. The beautiful bond of motherhood didn’t seem to be stringing us together — rather the shared feeling of guilt we all carried was linking us.
But contrary to the real-life conversations I was having, I continued to scroll past influencers online raving about “self-care.” The internet made it seem simple; “Just do it!” was the motto. But how? Where was I supposed to begin?
It sounds cliché but I knew I wasn’t alone, so I started nice and slow; asking a close friend over for coffee while the kids played or napped was an easy first step. It didn’t happen overnight, but this turned into morning walks with the littles, then drinks after work, a Saturday morning workout and even shopping day trips to Dallas. Every single time plans were made, someone had to be convinced that it was worth it. Sometimes, it was me asking for reassurance from a friend that my daughter would be okay if I wasn’t there to put her to bed. Other times, it was a friend who needed me to reiterate she was a good mom for taking time to make her body stronger or she was justified in buying herself a much-needed new pair of sneakers.
It’s easy for me to sit here and say ‘Just do it, but actually doing it can be daunting. We can all agree that unless you start, there won’t be any opportunity for self-improvement. I was blessed early on in my motherhood journey when I found myself again; much of that was due to encouragement from strong women in my life. Couple that with finding Waco Moms shortly after having my daughter, and I was in a good spot.
Waco Moms opened a door — and it felt easy; every event they hosted I was surrounded by other women who were in the same boat. Waco Moms created a space to gather for a simple cup of coffee, hosted group fitness classes and encouraged me spend a fancy evening with girlfriends. What I found was a community amongst women where the relationships were real and genuine and they helped ease that mom guilt. They allowed us moms to enjoy our time to ourselves which every mom needs.
Last month, Waco Moms hosted their annual Mom’s Night Out. Regardless of the anxieties, fears and, of course, the guilt, over 150 moms put themselves first for an evening of fun. Is there anything better than a night of shopping, dancing your heart out or taking funny photo booth pictures? Two-and-a-half hours of not taking care of our kids and we all left better for it!
Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint; that’s how the saying goes, right? Here’s your reminder to not give so much to the people you love that you don’t have any energy to love yourself. Find your community that will encourage and support you. And be a little selfish. After all, you deserve it.