Self-care…. It’s one of those phrases that’s been floating around the internet recently that everyone seems to be talking about. One of those things that you see magazine articles and blog posts about, and you start to think maybe you should be paying attention to it. Either that or its a passing thing that you can ignore.
Well here’s what I think. If you’re a mom you need to pay attention to self-care. People will tell you all sorts of reasons why, “you need to fill your cup first”, “it’s like on an airplane you’re supposed to put your mask on first”, “You’ll be a better mom.”
Here’s the long and short of it, as a mom you need self-care so you don’t totally lose your shit!
I’m the mom of 3 boys, one in college, one in high school, and one in elementary school, thankfully I’m beyond the infant and toddler years but the way mine are spaced out I managed to have one going into each phase as the older one was coming out of it. I homeschool so their education is on me, of course I feed them, taxi them, listen to their stories, and love them with all my heart.
I also clean up their messes, attempt to keep my pantry stocked to feed their 24/7 appetites, wash their stinky stinky boy laundry, all while trying to balance working from home, and being an awesome wife to my super hubby.
It’s a lot, this mom thing. Whether you work outside the home, stay at home with your kids, or work from home. Whether you have one kid or 9, it is a demanding job.
We can all agree that we love it, that our kids are our world, and although this is the toughest job on the planet it is by far the most rewarding. Sweet sticky kisses, boquets of dandelions, and teen agers that say “I love you Mom” in front of their friends are amazing, beautiful things.
However, the constant taking care of other people, making sure they are fed, clean, dressed, learning what they should, looking both ways when they cross the street, being kind to others…. Is exhausting.
Sometimes we look at our families, we’re tired, we’re hungry, we haven’t showered or peed alone in days, and we crack.
The losing of your shit can come on unexpectedly, a sort of “Straw that broke the camels back” effect, where that one last thing just does you in.
Or it can be something that you’ve felt for a long time. A slow build up to feeling like you’ve finally lost it.
You might yell, you might cry, you might think about quitting because your family just doesn’t understand how frustrated you are.
That my dear mommas is why you need to take care of yourselves.
Seriously, we want to be our best for our families, we want to be super mom, we want to remain calm and loving, and feel good about our roles in our home. We don’t feel good after we’ve completely lost it. We instinctivly know that when we reach our breaking point that it’s because we’ve spent our energy in places where it isn’t as important.
Spending energy on your self is important, taking the time to recharge your batteries, relax a little, and to know you’ve spent some time on yourself, not just everyone else can change your perspective on things in a big way.
You see, when you spend all you time taking care of others and not yourself, you can start to feel resentful. You can start to feel like someone should take care of you, that your family should realize what you need and give it to you. That frustration is what builds up, even though sometimes we don’t realize where it is coming from. So investing a little time and energy in self-care can make a huge difference.
- I don’t have the time – Here’s the deal, self care doesn’t have to be super time consuming, it doeskin mean having a day at the spa or a girls night out. It means taking 20 minutes during your babies nap having a cup of tea and reading a book. It means staying up an extra ½ an hour after the kids are in bed to have a bath and a glass of wine. It means letting your husband take care of dinner (even if he puts a frozen pizza in the oven) to take a walk and clear your mind. You have to find the time, carve a little bit out of your day and make it yours!
- But there are other things I have to do– No you don’t. See those dishes that you “have” to do while your baby sleeps will still be there after your 20 minutes of relaxation. The cleaning up you “should” be doing after the kids are in bed is secondary to your sanity. I’m not telling you to take a whole day off, I’m telling you to take 20-30 minutes for yourself. Anything else on your to-do list can wait, make yourself a priority!
- I feel guilty- Stop it. Just stop it. Mom guilt is a real thing, it comes from us thinking that our family needs to be our top priority all the time and that we are some how taking sometime away from them when we do anything else. Taking care of you is taking care of your family! You are an amazingly important part of your family, worth being cared for as much as your kids or husband. Let that guilt go. Tell yourself that you are caring for your family by caring for yourself!
- I don’t have the money– Self-care doesn’t need to be expensive. You don’t need to invest in special face masks or bubble bath. You don’t need to go anywhere or spend any money. A magazine and a cup of coffee, or a coat of polish on your toenails is virtually free. Just do something that makes you feel good, it doesn’t have to cost you a dime!!
Now you have no excuses! You know you need it, you can feel in your bones how good it would feel to take some time to yourself, so do it!
Invest in self-care, prioritize yourself for a little bit of time every day, and don’t lose your shit!