Chances are if you are reading this, you are in some kind of a mothering role. Whether that is being a caregiver to your children, your grandchildren, or an important loved one – being a mom is a special position to be in.
I always hoped I would have the opportunity to have a family and become a mom. I was over the moon happy when this dream came true in my late twenties. I’m a mom to two boys. The eldest is now 12 years old, and the youngest is 9 years old.
While being a mom is my most important and treasured role, it can be exhausting to manage the many moving parts of our full lives. In addition to my husband and I both having our own businesses, both of our sons play competitive sports. I get what it’s like to be the CEO of a fast-moving, busy household.
What I’ve noticed within myself, as well as the many moms I come in contact with each day, is that we all tend to share a common thread. We are proficient at multi-tasking and giving a lot of energy out – and we are not as well versed at giving that energy back to ourselves.
Moms wear many different hats throughout the day. A busy pace of life can easily become our baseline and norm. When we don’t recharge our batteries, life inevitably becomes unbalanced.
When life becomes unbalanced, who typically gets bumped to the bottom of the priority list? That’s right, moms do – we are quick to put ourselves last. What we need to do, is follow the timeless advice of putting the oxygen mask on ourselves first, before we set out to help the important people in our lives.
That’s what these simple self-care solutions address – getting used to putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, and making yourself and your self-care a priority.
Here are 3 simple mom-approved self-care solutions that will help you feel re-energized and open to enjoying the journey and gift that is motherhood.
There are a lot of reasons why moms have a hard time setting boundaries. As caregivers, we intrinsically want to give energy to our loved ones and nurture them – that’s part of the beauty of motherhood.
It also must be factored in that it can be uncomfortable to say no. When we say no, we risk disappointing others around us. As multi-taskers, we take on a sense of duty and responsibility in more areas than we can energetically maintain. This leads to feeling like we aren’t measuring up in the many different roles we take on. When our actions stem from guilt, or the desire to prove our worth, we never receive that feeling of doing or being enough.
When we don’t recharge our batteries, and we keep saying yes when we want to say no – we risk becoming resentful and stuck in martyrdom. Neither of those traits are helpful, or of service to our loved ones and communities.
One way to start changing our mind on saying no, is to flip the script to: “It’s more than okay to say yes to myself.”
When we start saying yes to ourselves more, we become healthier role models for our children and surrounding communities. We also help other moms out there, who may be struggling with setting healthy boundaries, by showing them it’s more than okay to say yes to themselves.
Self-Care Solution: Choose an allotment of time, whether it’s an hour, a day, a week, or a month, where you commit to saying no to anything new that drains your energy. Say no to anything new that isn’t a HUGE yes. Remind yourself that your saying no, really means you’re saying yes to yourself and your loved ones. Remember: when mom is recharged and has clear, consistent boundaries – everyone around her benefits.
As moms, we are often the CEO’s of our households. We have our finger on the pulse of the many moving pieces of our full lives – we keep it all together so to speak. It’s vital to have some kind of a system to organize our time and energy.
Many of us follow a linear time-management model that has us pushing ourselves well beyond our energetic limits, without taking our cyclical nature into account. We aren’t computers, we are human beings. We are also women, and our hormonal clock typically follows a 28-day cycle, not a 24-hour clock. Our energy varies within that cycle. It’s important for us to get in tune with our own biology, so we can move with our energy, and give ourselves permission for added rest when our bodies need it. It’s a huge relief to let go of the idea that we have to fit the world into one day.
Planning ahead isn’t just one more thing to do every week, it’s one of the most important parts of our week. A weekly planning ritual sets us up to consider ourselves within the big picture.
Self-Care Solution: Map out your week every Sunday using a feminine model of organizing your time. Take your cycle, your sleep and your energy levels into consideration. Map out what the week looks like ahead of time, so you can: 1) Get everything out of your head and on to paper, so you’re more apt to be present and in a position to enjoy your day. 2) This practice will also help you have a clear picture of where you are giving your energy out. Then it’s easier to know what you have extra time for, what you can realistically say yes to, and when it’s important to say yes to yourself. You’ve got this!
The journey of motherhood is a huge learning and growing phase of life. In addition to being moms, we are human beings and modern women who are evolving and growing continuously. We are also mothering within a noisy, external environment.
There are so many alluring ways for us to detach from ourselves and escape from what feels noisy and draining. Instead of regularly connecting inward to feel tethered to our truth and wisdom – more and more of us tune out, numb out and burn out by recharging our batteries in ways that drain us, instead of feed us.
The external messages around self-care we are inundated with, add to the pressure that we need to do more, be more and look better in order to find the ease and balance we crave. But the self-care we crave, isn’t usually something we need from our external environment. It’s connection to ourselves that will help us fill the void. It’s about holding space for ourselves, so we can actually hear our own truth within the noise. Then we can lead life from a place of wholeness. Now that’s nurturing!
We are simply in a busy phase of life. It’s messy and unpredictable and fast-moving. We can’t pretend it isn’t, or turn away hoping it will change. We can trust in our own wise guide though, and know that everything we need, we already are.
Instead of chasing the moving target that promises happiness and fulfillment – tune inward and know the soft cushion you’re looking to land on, lives within you. Being connected to who you are, amidst your evolution and busy life, will support you to feel whole during this precious, fleeting time of life. Give yourself compassion for being in this important role. Being a mom in this busy stage, is a gift you’ll one day yearn to have back. Set yourself up to enjoy it while you’re in it.
Self-Care Solution: Have periodic check-ins throughout the day where you consciously listen in on the tone of your thoughts. Set check-in reminders on your phone, or choose a regular time, so it’s easy to stick to. Don’t try to steer your thoughts in a certain direction. The idea is to practice being still enough, so that your inner truth and wisdom can come to the surface. Give your busy mind a rest. The practice is to get more comfortable tuning inward to listen. Get to know the tapestry of your inner world, so it doesn’t feel like an uncomfortable place that you turn away from. Get comfortable leading your days from your truth and intuition. Trust in your power as a woman and a mom.
Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.