Though the following blog is geared towards moms, the message is also for fathers and those without children. Take care of yourselves. You deserve it.
Our entire lives change once we become moms. Not only are we trying to navigate the new journey of motherhood, we are also trying to find our new mom identity. Moms are often consumed with taking care of everyone and everything. Yet, we often forget to take care of ourselves. We feel pressure to be the perfect mom but still have other commitments such as jobs, volunteer activities and more. We feel pressure to do it all, yet balance it all perfectly while still trying to find time for ourselves. Motherhood does not have to be selfless or selfish.
Self-care looks different for each mama. For some it might be a daily workout, or a bath before bedtime, others fill their cup by going out with friends or a monthly date night with their significant other. Whatever self-care looks like for you, it should be done often. Self-care is not a luxury, it is crucial if we are going to be the best mom, wife, employee, sister etc. that we can be.
Yet, why do so many mamas struggle with self-care? Is it because of societal pressure that now we are moms, we should give up our former life and give everything to motherhood? Is it because we feel guilty and spend all our time caring for our children and running our household? Attending a workout class, going to a book club once a month, having frequent dates with your significant other or getting a pedicure does not make us a bad mom. Activities to take care of your body and mind is not selfish nor should cause feelings of guilt. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
Our children are always learning from us and we are their greatest and most constant example. We do our best to teach our children about proper nutrition, playing outside to get in movement, getting adequate sleep and so forth. We are teaching them self-care, right? But if we never take care of ourselves, what are our children learning about self-care? They are learning that self-care is not a priority or that self-care can be put by the wayside.
Motherhood is constantly changing. We are moving through different stages at a rapid pace and life is busy for everyone. At times, you might be doing a great job of prioritizing self-care and then other times it might start to suffer. Whatever you have going on in your life, make it a habit. Don’t have time to get to an exercise class every day? Make sure to get in a few short walks. Can’t find a babysitter for a long and much-needed date night? Put the kids to bed, pour a glass of wine and sit down with your spouse and have a date night at home. Ask for help and support. Trade babysitting days with your neighbors. Work out a schedule with your significant other for you both that allows both of you to take time to yourself. Don’t see self-care as something nice you do for yourself. See it as a necessity.
Fall in love with taking care of yourself mama.