I am just SO moved by the huge number of moms that I talk to who share with me that they do not take care of themselves. You know the drill (I know the drill)...no sleep, unhealthy eating, not seeing the doctor as they should, no support group, not moving their bodies like they should, not reading, not seeing friends, and so on and so on.
Seriously, as moms we know all of the important and positive effects those kinds of choices can make on a person's life - I mean duh, that is why we make sure our children, husband, family and friends all are having those experiences. For example, many of us bend over backward to provide healthy meals in the midst of a chaotic life, we take our children to the doctor regularly and we make sure they got lots of exercise. Among other things, we always go the extra mile to make sure our children have social opportunities, help at school to make sure they have an opportunity to learn and knock on every door we can find, looking for assistance, when they struggle. The list of what mothers have done to take care of their children and the other important people in their lives is absolutely amazing. Moms are amazing!
Here's my question. WHY DON'T THEY TREAT themselves the same way? Why Not Take Care of Yourself?
I know that in most cases it is not for the fact that they don't know better...
Because the reality is that, I have never met a mom who was happy or proud of the fact that she doesn't take care of herself and, as a matter of fact, most moms are mad at themselves that they don't do it.
I know that in most cases it is not that there is someone literally stopping them from taking care of themselves...
The truth is most moms say that their husband or family or friends have been supportive of them taking time to take care of themselves and have offered to do child care, etc...
I know that it's not because everyone can't afford to take care of themselves...
I mean really, who can find a deal better than a mom? Cutting a few coffees a week to save up for a class or find small, inexpensive or even free options.
As to my question of WHY, I think it does come down to 2 things...Energy and Love.
My dear Momma friends, you must start saving a little bit of your ENERGY to show LOVE to YOU too!
I do know that this is a hard shift for so many of us. I am very familiar with living under a survival mentality. Life does get so chaotic and challenging, I agree, but I want to remind you that you are smart and strong, you are beautiful and gifted, your heart is life-giving and healing and to continue to be all of these things YOU have to be cared for too.
I hear you..."How do I even start?"
My answer to you is three part:
1. Start today
2. Give yourself permission to take 5 minutes for yourself. Then say to yourself, it is okay for me to take 5 minutes to _______! (paint your nails, clean a drawer, read a magazine...something you like, just for you)
3. Communicate BRAVELY with those around you about what you are doing and how they can help take care of you too.
One thing I know for sure...life is more fully lived with intention. You intentionally do your job, parent your children, even drive down the road; now it is now time to INTENTIONALLY TAKE CARE OF YOU!
As moms, we are on this journey together. Here's just another spot in which we will all be better if we hold each other up, inspire each other with our stories success (post on my Facebook page how you are taking care of you) and cheer one another through the rough spots (no matter how long they are).
We can do this and we will do it together!