One night when my fourth baby was still not sleeping through the night I got irritable. I expressed my frustrations to my husband listing out all the things I HAD to do because I was a mom and had no choice.

Now let me pause and tell you about my husband for a second. My husband is more rational than emotional. Like 97% rational and 3% emotional. He is such a good husband and human. He balances out my 97% emotional and 3% rational.

That night he looked at me and said, “Brittany, stop playing the martyr.”

I was shocked and hurt and honestly pissed off. Here I was sacrificing myself for the family we created and he was calling me a martyr! After I cooled off I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. Was I a martyr? Were there things I was “sacrificing” that weren’t completely necessary? After taking an honest look at myself I discovered that Ben was in part right. There were things I was taking upon myself because I thought I had to in order to be a good mom. Things that if I was being honest would be fine without my “sacrifice”.

After this realization I stopped using the mom excuse as often. Sure I still use it because being a mom means putting other people first. But now when I can, I do something for myself. I let my husband pick up my slack or I let it go undone. No more martyr Brittany. I choose to stay at home and be my children’s care giver and I’ve also chosen to stop using excuses to put myself last.

This doesn’t mean that I am the first to sit down and eat dinner while my kids fend for themselves. What it does mean is that I make sure I also eat dinner at the table like everyone else. I deserve to live my life fully and not just watch my family live theirs.

The past two years of living my life fully has been amazing. I am no longer a martyr. When an opportunity to do something for myself comes up I take an honest look at my life and my situation and if I can pull it off I do it! I am happier and more willing to do things for my family because I trust that my needs will also get met. I have more of me to give because I am investing in myself.

A martyr is a person who is killed because of their beliefs. Don’t let motherhood be your martyrdom. Don’t forget who you are because you are a mom.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured. Live your life. I promise it’s better when you do.