Self Care Is NOT Selfish
Motherhood is everything. It’s fun, its beautiful, it’s laughter, tears, long nights, early mornings, running on little sleep, no sleep, pinching yourself when you get that solid 5 hours that one night, its exhausting, its worry, it’s expensive, did I say exhausting?
Motherhood is beautiful and motherhood is hard. Being a mother is the ultimate jack (jill?) of all trades kinda job. We are housekeepers, personal chefs, boo boo fixers, snack keepers, juice pourers, we supply entertainment, chauffeurs, the one person who can find that one toy that was in that one place that one time 3 weeks ago (this is true whether it’s your child or husband looking for something) . We do everything for our families. Constantly. We make sure everyone is taken care of, first and always. Our minds basically reprogram themselves once we become a mom. Our needs and wants are no longer as important as they once were, and we learn to run on just about empty – and we do it faithfully, day in and day out. But what about us ? Why do we feel so guilty when we take a moment for ourselves? Dads are allowed to. Why do we as mothers feel like the floor will fall out from beneath our family if we dare take a break for ourselves. When dad goes to the store – he literally has to grab car keys and say “I’m running out”. When a mom does it (it cant be just me), it’s as if we are just expected for the kids to come with us – or like we have to ask dad if it’s alright if we just run out and leave the kids home for a bit. Right?
I made a promise to myself to make it a point this year to make myself a priority again. Whether that means something as simple as reading a book in peace, blow drying my hair instead of plopping it on top of my head in a wet, just out of the shower no time to brush it bun, or using a new perfume, going to bed earlier, staying organized, waking up before the kids to get ready for the day, making time to get to the gym as often as I can, even something as little as a hot cup of tea once the kids are asleep … taking these small moments for myself at the end of a long day of momming have been making all the difference for my personal happiness lately.
I get asked a lot how I manage to stay organized with 2 little ones and i'll be the first to admit, there are days that I am so “off”, but I truly try to stay organized and on top of all of my “to-do’s” as much as I can. I use a planner, religiously! Like I actually feel like a part of me is missing if I don't have it with me. I write down EVERYTHING. I have never used my phone to keep me organized, except for my alarm clock!
If I had 5 tips I could give to moms struggling to find balance... they would be these: Be mindful and intentional. Don't make extra work for yourself. Be Intentional with your time. Pack school lunches at night to save yourself 15 minutes in the morning. Wake up 45 minutes earlier than the kids to shower in peace and set yourself up to tackle the day! Little things like that can lead to big changes. Write it down. Get yourself a good planner. The planners they make today are so much more than just a notepad with a calendar: labels, color coding, etc... Writing all of your important things and memos down is a huge game changer in the fight to stay organized in the midst of parenting. Also, journaling. I have always kept a notebook that I write down thoughts, my intentions, ideas, hopes... We can think thousands of thoughts a day, ideas that pop into our heads and we don't act on because they’re “just a thought”, but if we write them down and actually see them on paper in front of us – they become something real, something that’s out there in the universe... and maybe just maybe we are more likely to act on them. My 30/30 rule. 30 minutes during the day doing something for yourself and 30 minutes a day doing something for your home. Maybe that means cleaning out a drawer, a closet, buying some new decor to spruce up a small space in your house… just doing something that brings you joy for yourself, for your home and in turn for your family. Because when you have peace, happiness, balance– so will they.
Don't try to tackle too much at once. It is so easy to look around your house that needs to be organized, cleaned, whatever- and see 100 things you want to change about it... it is so easy to become overwhelmed... start with one thing and move to the next... tackle one thing at a time. Enjoy the moments. The good, the not so good, the exhausting, the messy, the quiet, the loud...take it all in and enjoy it. The seasons of motherhood change as quickly as the days go by. As cliche as it sounds, the laundry will always be there, the dishes... the to do list will still need checking off... but these little windows of time that we get to spend with our kids come and go all too fast and making sure I don't miss a smile, or a chance to play one more game of go fish are tasks that I don't mind adding to my never ending mom to do list.
Self care is a necessity as a woman, a mother, a human. It is not selfish. It is not something that should need to be asked permission for, not something that should lead to a guilty feeling. I’m a firm believer in the saying “YOU CAN'T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP” and I promise that taking these small steps every day will always have your cup overflowing…so go fill yours up!
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