"The greatest burden a child may bear is the unlived life of the parents." - Carl Jung
Read it again...
Now think of your child or children.
And think of yourself and your life...
I heard this on the Work In Progress podcast with Sophia Bush when she was speaking with Glennon Doyle. I replayed this part no less that 5 times. And then I wrote it down. Then I madly wrote up an Instagram post because I desperately wanted more people to hear this and process it! It was a very big "A-HA" moment for me! Since having children almost 16 years ago, my heart has been traveling around on my sleeve and all around the neighborhood in the form of my 3 daughters. Everything I do, I do with them in mind. They inspire me and teach me more about myself every day. HOWEVER, I also lost myself in them for many years and felt that I was doing the best job I could if I dedicated and sacrificed everything I did and everything I was for them.
I was wrong.
I was lost. I lost ME. The me that I am at my core. Hobbies and skills and crafts that I was really good at had been, for the most part, shelved to raise these girls. I had seen my mother and grandmother dedicate themselves and sacrifice everything for us and I just figured that was what you did to be a great parent. Because in my eyes, they were great!
And they are and were! But what I didn't realize is that they were doing the best with what they had and what they knew. But when you know better, you do better. And now, we know better.
Moms, we MUST live our lives. Let me re-emphasize that. We must LIVE our lives. We must pursue our passions and hobbies and not allow ourselves to become buried beneath the motherhood.
Let me put it another way. Our children's happiness depends on our genuine happiness with ourselves and our fulfillment as human beings! In order to be the best parent, we must LIVE our lives. Really live it! We cannot raise our children to become grown humans who will practice caring for themselves and treating themselves with love and kindness if we do not show it! We must live out the quality of life that we want to see our kids living. We cannot expect them to have self compassion just by telling them we love them and that they are great and wonderful, even though we don't actually practice that for ourselves. How will they know if they do not see it in action?
Brene Brown says that in order to truly love another person, we must truly love ourselves first. Yes, this includes our children! This is what the above quote by Jung illustrates in actions! Love is a verb. Living our lives is the action. It is love in action. When we can love ourselves enough that we take action and chose to live out our lives, our children reap the benefits greatly. We become the role model for a life well-lived. And THAT is our children's blueprint for their adult life. What picture are we painting for them to model their life after? What legacy are we laying down for them to build on and pass on? What history and story do we want to leave them with?
Now go live your best life - not just for your kids - but for yourself because you DESERVE it!