As mothers, we boldly love our children. If there’s anything or anyone that gets close to harming them, the fierce mama bear comes out and we handle it. As wives, we boldly love our spouses. I’m the first one to say “There’s two things I don’t play about: my man and my kids.” I, like most women, put our loved ones first when it comes to care. We serve them their meals first. We prepare their favorite dishes. When we’re out shopping, we buy them little trinkets.
But what about us?
As much as I believe in being tireless in caring for my family, I also believe that we should be equally as fervent in taking care of ourselves and not putting our needs on the back burner. It seems once we’re no longer single, we no longer matter to ourselves and this is problematic. How can we take care of others when we aren’t even taken care of?
Be Intentional About Your Care
As moms, we’re familiar with the feeling of guilt. We feel it if we sleep a little later, go to bed a little earlier, make a dinner that not everyone loved, if we’re running late, if we yell–you get it. But here’s the thing, YOU MATTER. As my husband tells me when he’s fussing at me for not following my own advice (yes, I’m talking to myself here too), mother’s are the nucleus of the family. If we’re down because of sickness or stress, our families aren’t taken care of. And we feel awful because things aren’t taken care of AND because we’re sick, we can’t win right?
Set yourself as a priority. We plan and plan and plan. We have family planners, personal planners, business planners and nowhere in those planners are time slots filled with focuses time for self-care. We feel like we have to be these super moms and we don’t. We don’t have to be the only ones caring for our children. We don’t have to be the only ones cooking dinners. It takes a village to raise a child–and support a mother.
What IS Self-Care?
Self-care is the intentional act of taking care of yourself–doing it on purpose. So that means looking pretty on purpose. Eating healthy on purpose. Exercising on purpose. Failure to practice self-care will lead to physical and mental exhaustion. By paying attention to our own needs, we develop a stronger motivation to take care of others.
But I Don’t Have Time
Make it! Seriously. You don’t have to go on a 7-day Mediterranean cruise. Here are 7 simple things you can do today:
- Have a healthy meal. Don’t eat your kids scraps or stand up eating. Sit down and have that meal while you think good thoughts.
- Take a walk. Maybe not outside right now because it’s pretty chilly but do something that you enjoy for 30min and have it be physical.
- Take a long shower. Nice and hot. Don’t rush as you’re in there. Really just enjoy the heat and how it feels to just feel your muscles relax and destress.
- Do your nails. Or have them done. Sometimes it can be really hard to get into the nail shop to have them done but if not, do them yourself! I love how my nails look once they’re done.
- Get dressed in clothes that make you feel good. After having my youngest, I would squeeze into my pre-pregnancy jeans feeling like a sausage. THIS was not self-care! Put on something that makes you feel nice.
- Put on a little makeup. I’m not saying that you should do a full out lotus flower facial contour but some blush, mascara, and lipgloss make a world of difference. There’s nothing like looking pretty!
- Journal. Have the sacred space for you to be totally honest about what you’re thinking or feeling. The amount of solace that comes with an emotional dump is priceless.
I heard an analogy once that said to fill your own proverbial well so that you can fill others with your overflow. Be intentional about filling this well. Take care of yourself the way you would your child. You deserve to be taken care of it and you deserve to be good to yourself. So do it. Be bold about it.