It can be really hard as a caregiver to untangle your needs from those of your family. Last week it was really on my heart to speak to all the moms out there who give everything for their family so I wrote an open letter to the self-sacrificing moms out there. Here’s the rest of the letter.

My Needs Are Supposed To Come Last, Right?

I can get really mad if I dwell on it, but if I’m honest, REALLY HONEST with myself I know that the person I’m really angry with is me. I’ve fed myself this bull that what I want will come eventually, when we have more money, when the kids are older, and when it’s finally “MY TURN.” It’s a lie and I know it. It’s not anyone else who puts my needs last; it’s me. I don’t feel worthy. There is a nagging voice that tugs at me whenever I dare to think about wanting something for myself and I listen. I give in.

My husband will just say, well why don’t you just go get whatever it is that you want. I tell him that he doesn’t understand how our finances work. I get his requests to purchase this item or that for himself and unless it’s something totally unreasonable I usually say yes. Why is that? I weigh my kids’ requests and I make informed decisions about if and when they should get something. Yet with myself the answer is always “NO” and I’m the one saying it.

Being a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) really has changed the way I view my worthiness in the grand scheme of things, but most of it is just motherhood that has slowly eroded the me that existed before children. Sometimes I don’t remember who that girl is.

The Quest To Untangle “ME” From “MOMMY”

Now for the truth I’ve been avoiding – I better remember and do it quick because that’s the person my husband fell in love with, and that’s the woman I want to show my kids as an example. If they were to take me as I am now and model it, they would say a mom doesn’t care all that much about herself. Now that I’m about to have my second daughter, I NEVER want my girls thinking that.

I’ve recently started going on “girls’ night” outings with other mom friends of mine. It’s only once a month, but it’s a baby step. It’s a night where I can go have conversations with other women like me who maybe need a reminder too that they are more than someone’s wife and mother. My husband supports me, even if the kids do refuse to go to bed on his watch. It’s worth it for those few hours of remembering the funny, smart, capable person I really am, not just the self-sacrificing mom the world sees.

So self-sacrificing mom, I get you. I am you. It’s my hope that one day you’ll throw caution to the wind and do what you want to do. Take a class, write a book, maybe visit someplace new. If we don’t start serving ourselves first once in awhile, those girls we used to be will forever be lost to the world and that would be an awful shame.