The month that I became a mom was hard, wonderful, and everything in between. I couldn’t believe how much I could love someone or how I would do anything to protect and love them. I also couldn’t believe how tired I could be after a few weeks of broken sleep, and how much I needed to learn about being a parent.
As I stepped into motherhood, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much my mom had given me. I felt like for the first time I really understood how much my own mother loved me, cared for me, and sacrificed for me over the years.
I couldn’t find the words to describe what I was feeling, but I knew I wanted to show her how much I appreciated her. So late one night I drove to the store and bought one dozen red roses, drove to my mom’s house and knocked on the door.
She opened the door, surprised to find me there on the doorstep holding a bouquet. As I handed it to her, I tried to express how thankful I was for her, but I couldn’t hold back the tears. She hugged me, silently saying “I understand”.
Moms are generous, selfless, giving, understanding, and caring. No matter what your circumstance- working full-time, part-time, working at home exclusively, or juggling everything, you care about your children more than anyone and have pushed generosity to a new level in your life.
Hand-in-hand with generosity is knowing your own heart. Something I’ve learned since becoming a mom is how to ask for help, and how to take care of myself. As you give to everyone else in your life, know that it’s okay to give to yourself too.
In fact, I would say that in order to become really generous we need to learn how to take care of our own hearts. When you learn to take care of yourself, then you can actually give more fully to others. You need to feed your body, get enough sleep, stay healthy, have friends, and develop one of your interests or passions. Making these things a priority isn’t being selfish.
When I’m taking care of myself, I have the most to give other people. I can be more patient with my kids and spouse.
Make space in your day or week to go for a walk, read a book, or have coffee with a friend; make space for something that will energize you and help you feel rested and happy. The people around you will be happier as a result.
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that this is key: when we know our own hearts, we can give even more generously to the people in our lives.
How are you making room for self-care so you can continue to be generous to others?