For the longest time, the pinnacle of womanhood has been to completely lose herself. As soon as I became a mother, no one had to teach me mom-guilt or show me how to exhaust myself out trying to make everything work out seamlessly for my family.
One of the most life-changing things I’ve learnt from Jabez, as a father, is to value myself, my hopes and dreams, just as much as I value my family. He works so hard, yet makes time to play even harder! He knows what he needs to do and he gets it done. He makes time for each one of us without denying himself time for all the other things he loves to do. He’s shown me how to pace myself and offer my best instead of giving only what’s left of me. When we became new parents, I’d hear him say repeatedly, “I’m their dad, and we’ll be okay.” “This is both of our job, we’ll do it together.” “Don’t cancel your plans, I’ve got this.”
Soon enough, I noticed that I could make time for myself or the many other things that I love and the house never once came crashing down. Everything and everyone could wait for me. I’d sleep in while Jabez would cover morning routines with the kids. Each time I came back a more rested and happier mama. And there’s nothing more powerful than a rested mama! My husband, children, and their unquestionable trust in me; they enabled me to thrive.
I’ve now burned the memo that presents selflessness as the epitome of parenthood. Of course, each of us make sacrifices on the way, but as a mother, I’d rather be a model than a martyr. To model to our kids how to not burn out our own flame in the name of love, rather how to be fully alive. To trust the voice within us, our bodies and to stop and rest as many times as we want to. To honor those around us, but also who is within us. To value our dreams and pursue them passionately. To teach them how to be present but also know when to retreat.
So now my memo reads something on the lines of, “Mama, you can rest. And when you’re back, you will move mountains!” Happy Father’s Day to the man who made me an even better mother. Together, may we teach our kids how to fly.
“One day you’ll back and realize how hard it was, and just how well you did.” -Charlie Mackesy