Say Yes to Yourself, Mama. - by Jen Hatzung for MotherHustle
“It is very easy to lose yourself when you add the title “Mom” to your resume.”

I’ve made it a rule to avoid making bold statements, because usually they come back to bite me in the butt. You won’t ever hear me say “I will NEVER drive a minivan” because I know the exact opposite will happen. But, I’m about to make an exception to my rule.

If you are a mama and you do not take time for yourself you are hurting yourself and your family.

There. I said it.

Well, before I was a mama I knew it was important to do things that take care of me. This meant keeping our fridge stocked with healthy foods, making time to run and do hot yoga, a monthly pedicure, a massage every now and then, time with girlfriends and quality time with my husband.

Once I became a mama, some of these things fell off the radar. But many of them just had to be restructured.

I know that in order for me to keep our home running and everyone’s schedule going, I need to take time for me. I need to give myself the time and space to breathe and recharge.

This is where it becomes important for you to know and understand what brings you joy, what calms you down, what recharges your mama batteries.

If you hate pedicures, and would rather hike or go on a 40-mile bike ride, that is your self-care!

If you truly enjoying going into your studio to create, then you need to make time for that. That is your self-care.

It can be hard some days to do something for yourself. But here is what I know for certain:

When I make time for myself, I remember that I am someone outside of a mama.

I get to let my brain either turn off, or flex those muscles that are not part of my mom-brain.

Every single time I have made time to go on a long run, get a pedicure, or go to a coffee shop for a few hours to write or work on a project, when I get home my daughter sees me walk through the door, her face lights up and she yells, “MOMMY!”

The best feeling! And it is magnified because I just did something solely for me, and now I can see the excitement on my daughter’s face because she missed me.

As moms, I think we can feel like we get taken for granted or that no one in our home appreciates the simple things we do like keep toilet paper in the house, buy everyone’s favorite snacks, orchestrate a babysitter for all the adult events we have, etc.

So when you give yourself the opportunity to relax and put yourself first, you are telling not only yourself but also your children and spouse that you are worth being taken care of.

I think at after one too many meltdowns, every mom has that moment where she thinks: “I need to do something else.”  Maybe it is going back to full-time work, maybe it is part-time work, or maybe it is something as simple as joining an organization like MOPS {mothers of preschoolers} or Fit 4 Mom.

We so quickly forget the talents we have when we spend our days making mac & cheese, changing diapers and doing laundry. We forget how well we can manage a team, write an email marketing campaign, or plan an event.

It is very easy to lose yourself when you add the title “Mom” to your resume.

It is easy to forget that you have skills outside of our mom tool belt.

I had a back-and-forth battle about working when I had a newborn. When my daughter was about 18 months old, I realized it was necessary for me to go back to work part-time. While we could live off of one income, extra money each month would allow for us to have more fun and to put more in long-term savings.

But what was more important about me going back to work part-time was the feeling I would have knowing that this was just mine and just for me.

I was choosing to do this work. I was getting to use my skills and talents to help another business owner grow her business.

I was reminded that I was valuable. I was reminded that I do bring something to the table.

This is going to look different for every single woman, whether you are a mom or not.

Maybe you don’t need to go back to work for this reminder. But maybe you do need to say yes to the volunteer position at your church, or maybe you are ready to lead your MOPS group. Maybe you want to sign up to be an instructor with your Stroller Strides group. Maybe you need to say yes to going to a networking event, just to get yourself back out there and talking about anything but diapers.

Whatever it is, mama, maybe it’s just time to say YES!

MotherHustle panelist Jen Hatzung is a business strategist + podcaster (podcast currently on hiatus) who lives in Norfolk, VA with her naval officer husband, toddler and dachshund. She can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) while making lists and strategizing when she can fit in her next run. She currently co-leads her local MOPS group, has her own direct sales business selling lipstick, and does the preschool/naptime hustle helping small business owners with their online engagement. If there is any time left in the day she has her nose in a book or watching HGTV. Find her on Instagram.


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