After four years of this Mom gig, I have decided that I will always feel like I am new on the job. Every day I learn new things, best practices and grow. Every time I think I have it all figured out, It is not long before I realize I am not even close!
I do, however, have an fairly decent ability to roll through the punches as they come and the ability to recognize areas for improvement in my “field” of work.
The most recent thing I have learned, and I think this probably took entirely too long, is the urgent, undeniable need for proper self care.
As a Mom, wife, friend, I am always focused on the care of others. And, as a mom of a medically complex kiddo, I have an extra set of needs, fears and concerns than most Moms. My feeling of responsibility for all of these needs often trumps my responsibility for my own needs.
And, that my friends, many will say is just part of “Motherhood”.
BUT, it cannot be used as an excuse to nullify the need for self care.
We can only be as good as our minds and bodies allow us. Our minds and bodies must be nurtured and cared for just like the minds and bodies of those around us. And, shocker, WE, the MOMS are responsible for nurturing not just those around us, but ourselves as well.
That said, these are some of the ideas, phrases, cop outs that need to get kicked to the curb:
– I don’t have time for (insert type of self care here, ie: exercise, meditation, a shower, eating breakfast, sleep, go to the doctor, etc).
– (Person XYZ), needs me to do, (1,2,3….99, 100) before I can do anything else!
– I have no problem saying, “No” to myself, but I cannot even think of saying it to anyone else!
What it is time to start doing in the name of Motherly Self Care:
– Ask for help when I feel overwhelmed.
– Learn to say, “NO” and identify appropriate situations where I need to do it.
– Create one healthy habit that has been lost in this transition into motherhood. Once fully implemented, create space for another healthy habit. And so on.
– Prioritize. Effectively. Efficiently. Fairly.
– Set expectations while being realistic and reasonable if they cannot be met.
– Find the areas where I have the most ability to make changes and do it. Recognize areas that I have little power to make changes and accept it.
– I WILL NOT feel GUILTY by working on self care! I. WILL. NOT. FEEL. GUILTY. Ooooooh, say it again!
Self care for a Mom is so important. It is not reasonable or rational to neglect ourselves, but most of us do it. And, by some sheer miracle, if we do something for ourselves, we are fraught with guilt about it. That needs to stop. Now. Yesterday, actually.
Without us being our best versions of ourselves, then who? We can do better for others when we do better for ourselves.
Carry on Moms! We are made of serious stuff. We are absolutely capable of taking care of ourselves and taking care of others. We just need to get our heads in the game, prioritize, delegate and ask for help when needed. It is not a sign of failure or weakness, it is a sign of stamina and strength.
Time for some yoga, meditation, a good meal and glass of wine! Add it to the list. I know I plan to add it to mine.