Fighting the Epidemic of Burned-Out Moms

My friend’s teenage daughter and her friends have a weekend routine.

While Saturday night is friend night, Friday night is self-care night. When possible, they stay home to rest and decompress after a stressful week.

These girls are high school juniors, and given the demands of junior year, I like this habit they’ve adopted. I think it’s a good example of how the next generation values self-care.

The mothers raising them, on the other hand, are still playing catch-up. Unlike our children, we didn’t grow up hearing buzzwords like self-care, self-love, and self-compassion. To no surprise, it’s left us a little confused. While some moms eagerly embrace self-care, others roll their eyes and see it as vanity or self-indulgence.

Maybe it’s because we associate self-care with two opposing extremes. We feel like we must choose one:

  1. The spa day mentality (a constant mindset of “I’ll treat myself because I deserve it”), or
  2. The mommy martyrdom mentality (a mindset of “my kids are my world, and I can’t do anything for myself”)

Neither extreme is healthy because real health means moderation. Overdoing it in either direction can lead to self-worship or self-neglect, both of which hurt a mother and her family.

Am I saying it is wrong to visit a spa, and that motherhood does not require a lot of sacrifice? Absolutely not. Most of us enjoy a good massage and would sacrifice anything for the good of our family.

But after parenting for two decades, I’ve learned there must be a middle ground. There must be self-care that strengthens us – and expands our bandwidth – so we can thrive and handle life trials.

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4 Things that Can Ruin Your Motherhood

I felt like a good mom as I drove my daughter’s car to get blessed before her 16th birthday.

Having a new driver gave me anxiety, and this extra protection gave me a little peace.

The priest sprinkled her car with holy water and recited a Greek Orthodox prayer for vehicles. Afterward, we conversed a few minutes, and then we parted ways.

It was a tight squeeze inside the church parking lot, but I didn’t think much of it until I was backed up and heard a Bam! and felt a jolt that threw me forward.

Somehow, I’d missed the concrete column behind me – and just rammed my daughter’s car directly into it.

I called my husband in tears, so mad at myself and the damage I caused to her bumper. With her birthday a week away, the timing was terrible.

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