Mom’s Happiness=Family’s Happiness

Self Sacrifice! It is the plight of a mother. Good mother’s give and give until they can give no more. Right? I was raised believing this. One of my favorite books growing up was The Giving Tree. It was so touching and reminded me so much of my mother. The tree that never stopped giving until she no longer had anything left for herself or the boy. Now, as a 35 year old mother of three highly energetic boys, I wonder. No doubt the tree loved the boy but did he ever learn anything from her gestures of giving and self-sacrifice. I think not. Raising healthy boys is not achieved by sacrificing your happiness to help them achieve theirs. Case in point: My mother was and is one of the most giving mothers I have ever met but she is also one of the most miserable. She has never learned to give to herself. She is not the only loser in this scenario but also her children. Not only does it sadden me to watch her suffer but now I too struggle with this challenge of taking care of myself. As a young adult I  had a difficult time adjusting to the “real” world without mom and then in turn continuing  the cycle with my own children (but they are young, there’s still hope).

What is this teaching my three young boys? It is teaching them that their happiness is more important than mommy’s. This isn’t so terrible when they are young but fast forward to the teenage years. I envision three boys assuming that mom’s job is to do their dishes, do their laundry, clean their bathrooms, clean their rooms while they lounge on the couch playing video games.

No. My role is to take care of myself which will in turn make my boys better prepared for the world. I will teach them to become self sufficient young men by challenging them in and out of our home.  Raising healthy boys means teaching them how to do their own laundry, wash the dishes, sew a button, balance a check book and change a tire.

So, instead of being left with only a stump and a silly old man as in The Giving Tree, I’m left with three self sufficient boys ready for the world and time to get that much needed manicure. Seriously, you should see my cuticles!

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