As a mom of 3 busy kids, I.get.it. Life is busy. Add on a spouse who works out of town most of the time, plus working myself, and it seems like there are never enough hours in the day. Tune in to the constant influx of social media, news, alerts…it’s enough to make you feel crazy!
That’s not to mention the mental load that we as mothers hold. We are the gatekeepers of all the information for all the people in our house. No one else but a mom can recite everyone’s schedule for the next 3 days, what they need to have or wear to each event, where each event is, who has an appointment that week, and what we’re having for dinner every night, all in under 5 minutes!
It’s exhausting! And without a plan, we’re likely to fall apart under the burden of it all. When we fall apart, who feels the brunt of it? Our spouse and kids. The same people we are so busy loving and taking care of, are the same people we are quick to lash out at when we’re feeling stressed.
So, what’s the solution? How do we avoid getting to the point we are so burnt out and worn out that we are barely functioning?
You have to take time for yourself. If you are anything like me, that sentence immediately gives you mixed emotions. On one hand, yes- that sounds great. Sign me up! On the other hand- wait, no, I can’t do that- everyone depends on me. Or, my personal favorite, I don’t have time for that.
“Self-care” has become a bit of a buzzword. Just the word alone can bring up many different images to mind. For me, it feels diva-like. I picture a mom in a big bathtub with a face mask on and wine glass in hand. And maybe that is you, and that fills you back up- good for you. But maybe it’s not, and so the idea of self-care leaves you feeling a little less than.
My encouragement to you is to find the thing that fills you back up, that restores your soul, that gives you a minute to breathe and change perspective. This could look totally different for everyone. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Drink a cup of herbal tea
- Write 10 things you are grateful for
- Take a detox bath
- Do yoga
- Take a nap
- Walk in nature
- Watch your favorite show
- Read a book
- Meet some friends for drinks or dinner
This all sounds well and good, but for most of us, what happens when we try and do one of these ideas and take some time for ourselves? Guilt sets in. I don’t know what it is about being a woman/mom, but we put a ton of guilt on ourselves. And for the most part, this guilt comes from expectations that no one else has put on us, that we have (impossibly) placed on ourselves.
To help rid ourselves of the guilt, we have to look at the bigger picture. Remember what happens when we are our burnt-out, stressed-out selves? The people most important to us don’t get the best version of us. In order to preserve our best selves, we have to take time for ourselves and let go of the guilt. Our people are depending on us to do so!