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Putting Mom First: Making Ourselves a Priority Teaches Kids Respect

By HERWriter
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put mom first, make yourself a priority: kids learn respect Andy Dean Photography/PhotoSpin

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Happy wife, happy life.” While many women chuckle at this and men roll their eyes, it is very true — particularly when it comes to happy moms. No one wants a grumpy mommy, right? When mom’s happy, everyone else is too.

Moms have been taught that they should be happiest when their day-to-day accomplishments and exhaustion comes from doing all sorts of things with their kids. That these things are a badge of honor and moms should be proud of themselves.

But when mom’s stressed out and exhausted, it’s pretty safe to say the kids are too, and mom has very little left to offer her kids.

Gradually, moms are starting to learn that they can’t do all these things without taking care of themselves first — making sure we eat right, get enough sleep, etc. In the back of our minds, we moms know we need to take care of ourselves, but so often we don’t, thinking that taking care of our kids is so much more important. That we don’t really matter when our kids need so much from us.

But moms who make themselves a priority and take care of themselves demonstrate several things to their children — that mom is important and that taking care of yourself is important.

You’re showing them that you respect yourself and, hopefully, in turn, because of your example, they will reflect that respect back to you and apply the same respect to themselves.

Monkey See, Monkey Do: Children Learn Attitudes by Observing You

This is all about setting an example for our children. Children learn far more by observing than they ever do by mom's cajoling and yelling and explaining. Too frequently, they pick up on the bad things that we do — the comments we make when another driver cuts us off on the freeway, us muttering in annoyance and resentment as we toss another load of laundry in the washer or at having to pay the electric bill.

Your attitudes as a mom, those that you don’t necessarily think your children are paying attention to, are the ones that really shape your children’s attitudes towards you, themselves and others. These attitudes shape how they handle caring for their own homes, jobs and families.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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