I’ve always believed that part of having a family was doing a lot of sacrificing. I had the belief that in order to be a good wife and mother I always needed to deny my needs, to put everyone else first. It’s no wonder this phrase jumped out at me:
“One of the greatest gifts you can give your partner is your own happiness”
I came upon this while reading ‘101 Things I wish I Knew When I Got Married‘ by Linda & Charlie Bloom. This wasn’t a new idea to me. I had heard that you need to take care of yourself or you’ll have nothing to give, but this wording (or the timing) was just what I needed to hear.
Through the years, I’ve definitely let a lot of what I wanted be set aside. I especially regret not taking care of my health as I was preparing for surgeries that would have been simpler if I hadn’t waited so long. I thought I was doing what was best for my family by not using the little money we had to see the doctor or charging it on a credit card. I thought I could just deal with the daily discomfort.
I beat myself up on the days that I was not feeling well and accomplishing what I felt needed to be done around the house or in taking care of the kids. Looking back, I can now see that there were ways we could of found for me to see the doctor. I wouldn’t of been in pain for so long and definitely less irritable with others. I’m sure my children and husband would rather have a happy wife and mother.
I also didn’t tell my husband what I needed as often as I should of. I silently resented that he didn’t help around the house or with the kids as much as I needed. I played the martyr always taking care of everything. It seems I wasted a lot of time and energy over the years. Having a family does take sacrifice, but there is an extreme and I was living it.
There is a need for balance between serving those you love and loving yourself. I believe the Lord can help you find that balance. Some days you may have something planned, but have to cancel because you have a child who needs you. On another day you may find someone else can help your child and what you had planned is really what you need.
One last line to ponder from the book: “Taking care of ourselves isn’t selfish; it’s the most generous and responsible thing we can do”
Whether you are just getting married or you’ve been married for 20 plus years, I highly recommend this insightful book.
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