Milk Free Mama Challenge!
A large part of being a mother is about self-sacrifice. From the minute a mother finds out she is pregnant, she already begins to make sacrifices for her baby by cutting out alcohol, eating only pasteurized cheeses, steering clear of too much mercury and deli meats, as well as making monetary adjustments to allow for money to be spent on diapers, etc. Sleep is disrupted during pregnancy and from what it seems, it rarely ever returns, even when your child begins to sleep through the night. Many moms stay up way into the night thinking about the well-being of their child, making grocery lists, worrying about upcoming tests or bullies or where their child is at that exact moment (away at college, etc.).
Once the baby is born, moms continue to sacrifice their time and energy and often their own well-being for the sake of their child/children. Mom’s don’t get sick days. Mom’s eat last. Mom’s fold laundry way into the late evening hours so that they can enjoy the waking moments with their child/children. Some moms stay home from work to be with their children, an unpaid, thankless job. These moms work more than 24 hours in a day (or so it feels) with very rare moments to themselves. They don’t get a day off from work.
Some moms go back to work. They sacrifice time spent with their child/children to make money for the family. Often times, they come home from work and still have to do household chores while scrambling to spend quality moments with their child/children. These moms also work more than 24 hours in a day (wow!).
Some moms choose to breastfeed, which comes with dietary limitations, hormonal fluctuations, and often the feeling that they can’t separate from their child/children. Breastfeeding comes with stigma and resistance. Some moms choose to bottle feed their infants. These moms have to constantly be prepared with bottles and formula when they leave the house and they are met with resistance too (“why aren’t you breastfeeding?”). Some moms choose to let their babies cry-it-out, often times crying right alongside their infants. Some moms choose to co-sleep with their babies, disrupting their own sleep patterns to keep their baby calm.
Moms with older kids are constantly trying to keep up, to be aware, to be alert, to shuttle their children to and from parties, sports, after-school activities, often leaving little or no time for themselves.
But it doesn’t start and stop with being a mom. Everyone makes sacrifices. Maybe you are caring for a sick or elderly parent and any free time you have is devoted to his/her care. Maybe you are a father at work, desperately longing to be home, but working long hours to support the family. Maybe you are a spouse caring for a sick husband or wife. Maybe you are a teacher putting your paycheck back into the classroom to buy materials for your students. Or maybe it’s something so small, like always eating where your wife wants to eat instead of where you want to go…The list goes on and on…
So here it is folks, the Milk Free Mama Challenge. If you fit into the self-sacrificing category in any way or shape, I challenge you to take back a moment for yourself – appreciate yourself, so that you can come to the table for your children, family, and so forth, as a happier individual. Find something you like to do and make a plan to do it. But follow through… Don’t just dream about it. I promise, the laundry can wait and so can your boss or your child or your spouse so that you can be happy. Make yourself a priority. Once you’ve made a plan, share it in the comments and update us with your progress…And share it with your friends too. The more happy people in the world, the happier we will all be…
Anyone that participates will be automatically entered to win a prize…But don’t just do it for the prize! Do it to be happy!
The Milk Free Mama Challenge originated when I realized that almost every waking hour of my day was spent caring for my children. I felt like I was a bit disassociated from the person I used to be and the person I wanted to be and that wasn’t working for me, my children, or my relationship with my spouse. I am continuing to breastfeed an infant with allergies, which means a complete overhaul of my diet and making the sacrifice to eat what works for him and not necessarily what I want to eat.
Having taught English on the High School level prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, I have always had a passion for writing. I know that my time to write is now limited since I have small children at home that require my attention at all hours of the day and night – no time for my great novel today. But I am forcing myself to take a small amount of time every few days to write this blog and that’s enough for me – for now…
So get ready, get set, take the Challenge and make yourself a priority NOW!
I look forward to hearing how everyone is taking back one sacrificed moment for themselves. It’s not selfish – it’s self appreciation!
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