I’d rather be a model than a martyr

Achieving each of the PartnHER Promises will require some work or effort on your part. They will require some honest self-reflection. This work will look different for each woman, but for me, PartnHER Promise #1, will start with a radical makeover. In fact, I hope to become a whole new woman. You see, I’m a martyr mom.

Don’t know what a martyr mom is? Let me explain. She’s the woman who –

  • has let her appearance go. (She’s very easy to spot)
  • has at least two lapsed gym memberships (purchased on January 2nd) that she will probably never use.
  • declines EVERY social invitation because she hasn’t had her hair done in months, possibly even years and she doesn’t have anything current to wear in her wardrobe.
  • has to decline every social invitation because her calendar is overbooked with child-friendly events.
  • finds excuses and shifts blame for the reasons why her career has stalled.
  • is afraid to take risks.
  • has a graveyard full of dead dreams.
  • feels like a shell of her former self and has no one to blame but herself.

All of her reasons for this behavior may seem valid or even noble. They weren’t noble at all. They were simply excuses rooted in fear and laziness.

  • “I’m putting my family’s needs before my own.”
  • “Hair/makeup/clothes are just shallow outward expressions. They don’t reflect the real me.”
  • “I’m not interested in climbing the corporate ladder or building my own business. I want to help my spouse or children build theirs.”

Sounds pretty unselfish, right? Some might even say altruistic until you dig deeper and realize those pious sounding words are down-right unsaintly. They don’t even make sense.

You see, I used to be extremely fit and very stylish. I also used to be very ambitious, driven and fearless. I took the very thing that should have been my greatest source of strength (my family) and turned it into my greatest hindrance. This is precisely why Martyr Mom Syndrome doesn’t make sense.

I’m going to turn the Martyr Mom Syndrome on its head and make my family my muse, not my misery. (Who’s with me?) Instead of being the Martyr Mom, I decided I would become the Model Mom. Not like the Cindy Crawford or Iman type model (I will gladly get out of bed for a little less than $10K). I will become the type of mother that can be a model of ambition, tenacity, hard work, never-giving-up-in-the-face-of-failure, beauty, and health. After all, those are things we want for our children. How else do we expect them to learn them if we don’t set the example??

This brings me to today and how I practically plan to live PartnHER Promise # 1. I’ve already started getting my career back on track, so my focus will be on personal attention. I will get back to the gym and focus on my appearance. Self-care is not just about how we look, but also about how we feel about ourselves. I dare you to love you enough to pamper yourself the way you pamper your family.

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