I have been receiving questions about self-care. This past week several people have asked what I do to take care of myself. Truth be told, not much, because like most moms, I am consumed with meeting everyone else’s needs so much so that my needs are placed on the back burner. I appreciate people asking about my self-care because it is a reminder that I matter, that my needs are also important.
Most of my days are spent juggling several things. Most of my day at work is spent putting out fires, making decisions, meeting my staff and clients’ needs, and making sure I meet all of the organizations’ stakeholders’ needs. At home, I take care of household chores or juggling my children’s schedule, spending time with my kids or my husband. I literally go through the day on autopilot for everyone.
Parental Guilt: A barrier to Self-Care
As a result of parental guilt, parents deprive themselves of a lot. I know that I deprive myself of food, sleep, time with my friends, a new pair of shoes, etc., because I often feel guilty taking that time or money away from my kids. However, as parents, we must remember the three (3) things highlighted below. I took the time to reflect on the three items below to remind myself that my needs matter also.
1. You Existed Before Your Spouse Came Along
A previous boss once told me, “you know, you existed before your husband came along.” In fact, I did! I traveled, cooked for myself, woke up whenever I wanted, ate whatever I wanted. I worked hard, sometimes having more than one job at a time, but I still found time for self-care.
As you make time for your spouse, make time for yourself. Think about it, what are the things you did before your spouse or partner came into your life? Start there, determine one thing you enjoyed and make time to get back to them.
You Existed Before the Kids Came Along
One of the greatest blessings in my life is the privilege of being a mom to my kids; I do not take for granted the gift that they are. After having kids, I poured all of myself into ensuring their safety, happiness, and more. I slowly began to neglect my hobbies and interest. I focused solely on working hard to provide for the kids and making sure that I avail myself enough to them.
In the same way that I existed before my husband came along, I lived before my kids came along. Between school drop-offs and pickups, playtime, homework time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mom’s have to fit themselves in. Again, what were things you did before having kids that you can now resume? Think about it, make a list, use our self-care list generator, and commit yourself to at least one thing a week.
You Exist Today
One of my most favorite things in the world is living a life of purpose. An essential part of living purposefully is recognizing that you exist for a reason. You wake up every day to fulfill a purpose. Choosing to have a family speaks to your values and is an essential part of the journey in fulfilling your purpose. But living a fulfilled life successfully is recognizing that you matter and taking the necessary steps to take care of yourself as a mom and a woman.
Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First.
I will admit that I am speaking to myself as well as those reading this post. To be fully engaged as a spouse and mother, women must prioritize their self-care. We forget the importance of self-care and self-love. We are reminded on flights to put our oxygen masks on first before assisting others.
The same concept applies here. Put on your oxygen mask first. I.e., make time to drink a coffee, a glass of wine, or read a book. Make time to do the things that light you up so that you can be a light to and for those who depend on you.
thanks for exploring this topic with me.