I’m about to say something pretty controversial.
When I gave birth to my first, I felt defeated. Beyond the physical and emotional labors of a very difficult pregnancy, a traumatic delivery, and depressing postpartum, I had become detached and uninspired. I lost my connection with myself and where I saw my life going. As a woman, I felt that I had so much potential and could take on anything, but at the same time, felt a deep pull to disappear into my child’s needs.
Don’t get me wrong – it is so important as moms, especially at first, to turn all that attention towards the children to help them adjust to those first few months exploring the world. And of course, I always plan to be there for my kids as they grow, learn, and thrive. But is it really that selfish and disappointing for me to feel like I need something more?
Before I had baby #2, I took my wild ideas and ran with them. Still in the throes of navigating new parenthood, and expecting another baby soon, I launched myself into first-time business ownership. Looking back, I’m sure anyone would say that it was insane how much responsibility and stress I took on all at once, especially with very little experience. No matter what anyone says or thinks, quitting my 9 to 5 job cooped up in a windowless 8 ft x 4 ft office to bet on myself was the best decision I ever made.
Why? I chose to fill up my own cup first. In doing so, I could actually give of myself more fully to everyone who needed me. I felt even more attached to my baby girl, ironically enough. AND I was able to enjoy every moment with so much more joy, satisfaction, and peace.
Moms, Fill Up Your Cup.
Moms across the globe can relate: the cup is empty more often than it is filled. Not only are we socially expected to contribute to the economy and our household finances, but also to take on the burden of fulfilling the family’s emotional and survival needs. There’s a term that’s finally come to the forefront of discussions like these that I’m obsessed with right now: emotional labor.
Moms work double-time. Sure, washing the dishes, doing laundry, and packing lunches on your own all saves money for the household and is *technically* free. You don’t punch in at the time clock or have set breaks. But is it really free for the mama?
Absolutely not. Women spend so much of their lives performing unpaid labor, purely out of the love they have for their families. It’s time to realize that unpaid labor *does* have a price, and you’re paying for it out of your cup.
If taking care of the kids, the house, the pets, the bills, other relatives, and your own basic needs are all emptying your cup – and I truly imagine it is – then you will soon have nothing left to give. If you’re here with me now, it’s likely you’re already running on empty.
Mama, fill up your cup. Find out what fills you up, gives you purpose outside the home, puts a smile on your face and makes you feel inspired. Then grasp onto it as hard as you can, choke it to death if you have to! Pour your soul into learning as much as you can, practicing those skills, and don’t be afraid to lose a little sleep over it if it helps you have happier dreams and a fuller life the next morning.
You don’t have to do this on your own either. It’s not all on you to be taking care of everyone and everything except yourself.
Ask for help, lean on your support system. If you don’t have a support system, start building one.
Want to defy society’s expectations of you as a mother and a woman? Do it! In fact, they’ll criticize you no matter what you do, so you might as well live your life on your terms.
Stay at home. Work full time. Work part-time. Use a daycare. Use a babysitter. Build a business where you can parent and work simultaneously. There are so many options, and all of them are valid. Just be *you* and the rest will follow.
Join the Full Cup Club
If you feel even the dimmest glimmer of hope reading this today, I urge you to join me. My name is Lyss, I’m a mom of two kids, a serial entrepreneur, ideator, creator, florist, wife, and a CrossFit enthusiast. I lust over milkshakes, I’m a soon-to-be author and an absolute mindset queen. Most of all, I’m motivated to be here today, preaching to you from my soap box, because I’m actively building a life for myself that fills up my cup to the point that it overflows to fill others’ cups. Let me share some with you!
For now, you’ll want to add yourself to The LYSST so you can keep getting inspired to fill your cup every day. I’ll be sending out updates about my upcoming podcast, which will publish 3 times a week on podcast platforms and YouTube. You can also follow me on IG at @lyss.morton for fun and inspiring mompreneur content.
Talk soon, moms!
XX – Lyss
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