Does Self-care for moms sound like an oxymoron to you?
You’re exhausted and busy, how the hell can we find time for self-care?
You see the memes online about how you can’t pour from an empty cup. Blah blah blah.
I’m willing to bet that those memes haven’t changed your behavior. You’re still probably working and parenting day and night, day-after-day, without a break.
But is this really reasonable to expect of ourselves? Or even good for our families?
Treat the General Well
Did you know that in traditional, ground-fought wars, the generals were always given hot coffee, dry food and better accommodations? Makes sense, right? They’ve got the rank and have earned it. But that’s not the only reason.
They’re also responsible for keeping up moral and making the best possible decisions for their troops and to win the war.
I’m sure you see the parallel.
You’re the general, mom. But how are you going to keep up the moral in your home and make the best decisions for your family if you’re exhausted and burned out.
(For the record, I’m JUST as guilty of not taking self-care as any mom. It wasn’t so long ago that I shared with a mom friend that I could totally relate to Kristen Bell in Bad Moms, when she said she wished she could get really sick and go in the hospital and binge watch tv all day and be brought food and waited on hand and foot.)
Definitely a sign that I needed self care.
Feeling burned out doesn’t serve our family. It just makes us short with our kids and husband. It may even make us resentful of them…as much as we love them.
Yes, self-care may seem selfish. It is. But that’s okay. You being selfish from time to time actually HELPS your family, in this case. Trust us, you allowing yourself to lose your identify does NOT serve your family in the least.
What can you do if you know you need self care but feel you just don’t have the time?
We recently spoke with bestselling author Jody Agard, who shared with us that busy moms just need to remember the acronym SELF.
It stands for:
State of Mind
Monitor Your State of Mind
Self care isn’t something that has to be done every single day. But it does have to be top of mind, and one simple way to monitor whether you need self care or not is to ask yourself: what’s my state of mind right now?
Am I feeling burned out? Anxious? Ready to commit myself to the hospital? *wink*
If you’re starting to feel short tempered or burned out, it’s time for some self care!
Keep in mind that self-care means something different to everyone and it doesn’t have to require a major time commitment. It could just be a 10 minute walk before you begin the crazy homework and dinner routine during the ‘witching hour.’
Identify What Energizes You
Do you love working out? Meditating? Listening to loud, gangster rap and dancing around your bedroom?
Identify what energizes you and add more of that into your life.
And make sure that you’re nourishing yourself with foods you enjoy… whatever diet that might be! (Although a diet of primarily pizza and takeout won’t make you feel great if you make that part of your daily routine in the name of self-care.) Consume more of the foods that make you feel your BEST.
What is Your Dream Lifestyle
When I read Rachel Hollis’s book, Girl, Wash Your Face, I loved the fact that she said that it’s OKAY to want to be more than just a mom. But if you want to be a stay at home mom, if that is the life you love, then that’s great too!
The question you need to ask yourself is: what kind of lifestyle makes YOU the
Are you a stay at home mom who misses the life you left in corporate? Are you working in corporate and wish you could just be a stay at home mom or wish you could start a business that allows you to work from home?
Do you need to hire a part time or full time nanny to help you pursue your dreams or feel most like yourself?
As I mentioned before, losing your identity in order to give all to your family doesn’t serve anyone.
I’m pretty sure there’s no rule book out there that says we have to spend every night and weekend with our families.
Ask yourself this question: if you could do anything WITHOUT your family, what would you do?
Go to a movie? Wander through antique stores? Have a glass of wine on *gasp* a Saturday afternoon while reading a book?
Get your family on board and start scheduling in time weekly (or even twice a month), where you have a few hours to yourself (or even time out with friends without your family, if that’s what will make you feel nourished and most yourself).
Let go of the idea that you have to be available for your kids every waking minute. Trust me, they’ll be fine.
In fact, they’ll probably be better because they won’t have a mom who is short-tempered, but instead have one who is calm, peaceful, and PRESENT. (Oh, and a WHOLE LOT more patient!)
Final Thoughts on Self-Care for Moms
Self care doesn’t have to require a huge time commitment. It doesn’t have to involve retreats or weekends away. In fact, it can last just minutes a day a few times per week. And if you feel like you just don’t have ANY time for it, start small!
The SELF acronym, though, will help you monitor when you’re getting to a place where you desperately need self care. Just remember:
- State of Mind
- Lifestyle, and
What do you think? Are you making time for self-care now? What self-care routine do you practice, if any? We would love to hear from you. Just drop us a comment below!