By Christine Murray, HRI Director

Being a mom means that you spend a lot of time, energy, and effort caring for others. Most moms I’ve met invest this time and energy not only into their children, but into others in their lives–including their spouses or partners, extended family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers–as well as into their careers and other areas in which they impact the community, such as through volunteering. All too often, moms put themselves at the bottom of the list of people to care about, if they make it on their own lists at all.

For our Healthy Relationships Initiative Mother’s Day series, we are encouraging moms to put self-care higher on their to-do lists. Practicing self-care isn’t selfish. Instead, it’s an essential part of being able to effectively carry out the demanding, yet rewarding, job of mothering.

Moms: Have you ever thought of what it would look like if you treated yourself the way you treat your kids? Being a mom to yourself means that you honor your own needs, emotions, and life goals in the same way that you honor your children’s.

Even as grown adults, we all need people looking out for us and taking care of us. Hopefully, you’ve got a support network of friends and family members who offer this to you (and taking time to nurture your friendships is an important way to practice self-care!). But, are you a member of your own support network? Do you make an effort to care for yourself and your needs? Your health and wellness are important, too!

Look at this picture of a fountain:

The water that flows from the top fills the larger tubs beneath it, until they also can overflow and spill out their water as well. What happens if the top of the fountain dries up? The rest of the fountain will eventually dry up as well.

Moms, you are like the very top of that fountain. The gifts (such as time, energy, and attention) that flow from you help to fill the lives of the people around you. You fill them up so they can grow and go on to help others. But, you’ve got to keep your part of the fountain flowing to keep the system going in a healthy and complete way.

As you celebrate Mother’s Day this month, take time to celebrate yourself and make a commitment to showing yourself some motherly love as well! Decide how you will nurture and care for yourself, just as you do for so many others around you.

Throughout this series, we’ll offer suggestions and tools to support busy moms in practicing self-care. Whether you’ve got 5 minutes or can plan extra time to recharge, we hope this series will inspire you–and give you permission to care for yourself, too!

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