By: Veronica Cisneros
Mrs. Cisneros, a wife, mother of three and Licensed Marriage and Family therapist, is the founder of Empowered & Unapologetic, a program to help women identify who they are outside of all the roles they play.
Let me just say it! Being a mom is hard! As moms, we exhaust ourselves trying to create the most amazing life for our families. We are constantly pulled in multiple directions, trying to fit every role: the superwoman, the wife, the maid, the caregiver. Let me ask you this! When was the last time you put yourself first? Can you remember? Neither could I. This used to be my life. I’m here to teach you how to identify who you are outside of the multiple roles you play while living empowered and unapologetically!
Story time. It’s 6:15 a.m. NO! We’re late! Very late! I jump out of bed, rushing to my kid’s rooms. They’re still asleep. Great! “Brooklyn, get up!” I rush downstairs to make breakfast and prep the kid’s lunches. To be honest, I’m totally still half asleep. I’m a mess. Looks like it’s breakfast to go! I run back upstairs to check on the kid’s. Brooklyn is still asleep! Ugh! I begin negotiating with her, trying to get her to get dressed quickly rather than debate. Did I mention I’m alone doing all this? I look over to my bedroom. Guess what I see? My husband is still sound asleep. I can feel anger beginning to replace the feeling of stress. Once again, I run through the checklist in my head. Kids dressed? Breakfast made? Lunches prepped? Check, check, check.
Finally, we are ready to leave. Guess who meets me downstairs? My husband! He’s showered and dressed with a coffee in hand. He even smells good! And then there’s me. My hair is still a mess. I don’t match. And you know what? I don’t even have a bra on! I was so preoccupied with “don’t forget this, don’t forget that” that I didn’t even get myself ready. I look over at my husband and say “it must be nice”. Must be nice to be all dressed. I haven’t even put my bra on and he looks like he just stepped out of a magazine cover!
I’m mad. I’m upset. I hate to admit it but I even harbored resentment. In the car, I say it. “Did you even think to help me?” My husband replied, “I would have helped if you would have asked.” What?! I’m fuming. My kids are witnessing me be a monster while they see my husband as the saint! I ran around all morning like a madwoman trying to help everyone else. At no point did I stop and think “Girl, put your bra on first!”
Like on a plane, if you’re traveling with your children, you put your mask on first. UMM why would I help myself first in an emergency before helping my kids?! When I first heard this while traveling, I was angry. I even wanted to file a complaint with the airline! However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized “what good would I be if I’m no help to them?”
Ladies, we are slaves to the checklist! I went so long thinking this was normal. I felt all alone with no one to help. I’m here to remind you that no woman should lose herself trying to make the perfect life. Perfect doesn’t exist! I remember feeling stressed and disconnected every single day. I hate to admit it, but I harbored resentment towards my family. I resented my husband for only having to worry about himself. I even resented my kids! I hate admitting that SO much.
So, how do we break this cycle? Follow these steps to live your life empowered and unapologetically!
1. Identify what it’s costing you to do everything by yourself.
It costs us time and ourselves. We even begin to have low self esteem. When I was younger, there was a time when my mom would go without eating because we didn’t have enough. I learned to put other people before myself. What would have changed if I was taught differently? What are you teaching your kids/husband? Remember, if you have everything on your plate, the others get to just take.
2. How does living this way and carrying that badge of honor of doing it all benefit you?
Think about how in control you feel when you’re checking off a checklist. Well girl, let me tell you a secret, it’s an illusion! By managing it all, it’s an unhealthy benefit. The illusion of control doesn’t last.
3. Ask for help
I remember speaking with a friend of mine. I asked him “Do you have any clue what we put ourselves through to make our family’s lives better?” He replied, “It’s not our fault that you didn’t make yourselves a priority”. As much as it shocked me at first, his statement is 100% true. We make an active choice every single day on whether to put ourselves first. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “If I don’t do it, who will?” However, when I think back, I would have rather been late and feel connected to my family. I would have rather my kids know I love them and understand that I didn’t see them as a burden versus yelling and picking fights with my husband.
My husband and I are equals. I used to make the decision to put myself last and then blame everyone else for it. Ever since I decided to put my bra on first and ask for help, I have better connections with not only my family but myself too! It’s okay to ask for help. I learned I don’t have to do EVERYTHING. My husband is capable of getting the kids ready and learning how to tame our younger daughter’s hair, if only I give him the chance. I kept him from helping me just to hold on to this sense of control. As I started to release more of the control, so much changed!
Let go of that cycle! I’m here to tell you that you CAN do it! And girl, put your bra on first!
Ready to put yourself first and live unapologetically?! Sign up for my free, live webinar! Join me on September 30th at 6:30 p.m. PST to learn three easy strategies to start the process of change. Sign up here: https://veronicacisneros.org/webinar/