As a mom, your needs often come last. It’s easy to believe you don’t have time for self care. Instead, it’s always kids first, then your hubby, friends, pets, errands, and if anytime is left, YOU!
I love this quote: “You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
I never really understood self care or what it meant. I thought self care meant self-ish!
Not true! Biblically we are told to love your neighbor as you LOVE yourself.
Loving yourself means taking care of yourself.
Life is so much happier when I take time to breathe and fill my mind and body with the love and care it needs.
I found these definitions of self-care and health really helpful:
Self care is an independent, very active and powerful choice to engage in the activities that are required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health.
With that, I think we need a second definition.
Overall health includes not just the physical, but the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual components of an individual’s well-being.
Wow, that’s a lot, but it is super important to understand that self-care is a choice.
A choice as moms to take care of ourselves to promote our well-being so we can care and serve our families and littles.
Only we can identify what we need, when we need it, and often times we put that burden on our hubbies or others to help determine and carry it out for us. Well, at least that is what I did!
I understand and have also been there where you feel at a loss, hopeless and may not even know where to begin.
I highly recommend finding a therapist who can guide you and even assist in developing self care habits.
Check out this post on Self-Care and Mental Health by Shay!
I’m not an expert on self care, but here is what has helped me:
Let go of:
Guilt: Quit letting the lie of guilt tell you you are not worthy enough to take time for yourself. Or that you are any less of a mom, wife, or person because you take time away from your role of mom and wife to devote back to your identity.
You are worth it, whether it’s 5 minutes or an entire day!
Need for Control: As awesome as you are and no one can do it better than you, let go of those reigns. Letting the hubby, parents, friend, sitter take over for a couple hours and allow yourself to breath was the hardest part for me. The truth is, everyone will survive without you. Yes, it may be a little more work up front or you may have to play catch up when you get home, but take a break for yourself and God willing life will continue just as it was left!
Carve out a small chunk of time: Maybe it’s as small as monthly, especially if your self care includes social time with another mama. I like schedules and have committed the first Saturday or third Wednesday of the month for coffee dates with a good friend. If a friend must cancel, then that time becomes solo time for me!
Maybe your chunk of time needs to be smaller chunks daily. I tell my husband every night I get 20 minutes quiet time in the bathtub. I crank the jets on to drown out any noise, sometimes light a candle, or have a glass of wine but that 20-minute chunk of time is non-negotiable!
Do something for ME: Maybe you love to walk, or sit in the sun, have coffee, or read. Whatever it may be….do it! Talk about it with your spouse and ask for their support, then find a way to do it, no excuses!
Personally, I never liked to exercise, but I knew my body needed movement both physically and mentally so I chose to start walking. When we first moved to Iowa I strapped Easton in his little car and we would go for 3 mile walks. That was a turning point for me on gaining back my health and fitness after having a baby.
Today it looks different. I have learned how to make self care a choice daily that fills my vessel in many ways. I have a routine that allows me to make time daily for myself. Most importantly the plan works for my family.
I choose to get up early at 4:30 a.m. and work out with some amazing ladies. I then have time with hubby for coffee and reading before my son is even awake. I need that time at the start of my day, and it works for us. By the time Easton gets up, my vessel is full and l have a full day ready to be a servant mom!
It took me 4 years to get to this plan and routine of self-care that works for my family, and we slowly have adapted as our family grows and changes.