In the busyness of our everyday lives (as mothers, wives, employees/employers, cooks, housekeepers… the list can go on and on with our various roles and responsibilities) it can be difficult when juggling and prioritizing the needs of our children, homes and families to remember that sometimes we should be the priority!
I know, I know, this sounds crazy, even impossible, but it’s not. The reality is if we do not take care of ourselves, we can not be the best version of ourselves in any of our 100 other roles. Easier said than done, yes, but taking care of ourselves doesn’t always need to be an entire spa day or even a night out with the girls, it can be much simpler.
In the first few months of being a new mom, I (as I’m sure many others have) got lost in my new baby, in being somewhat isolated during the days at home, still trying to keep up with laundry and housekeeping and…you get the point. I was exhausted and tired and not feeling like me. In these last few months, I have been making it a point to get back to feeling like myself.
I have now made it a point to do at least ONE thing every day for ME. Before you start thinking “That’s impossible, there’s no time” keep reading. Today, as I’m writing this, writing is what I am considering my me time. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I started blogging to share my experiences and have another creative outlet and hopefully help others.
You might be thinking, “But, I don’t blog” or “Blogging is my job”, so here are some other ideas to sneak in some time for you throughout the week.
I try to do a 10-minute face mask twice a week, as is recommended on my charcoal face mask. Admittedly, I tend to only get around to it or remember once a week (I’m still a work in progress). At least once a month, I get my nails done. Sometimes I do this during my lunch hour – hands one day, feet the next. I get gel on both hands and feet so I can get up and go right after the treatment is over. I get to have some relaxing time for myself without taking time away from my family on nights/weekends.
I don’t have a lot of time to go to the gym (something else I am working on fitting in more of) but, I try to at least incorporate a couple of small workouts into my week. Usually, I do sets of abs or squats while Liam plays, he thinks its a game. He plays and I can get a small workout in, so win-win.
A TV show
I don’t count all tv watching as me time, but I do have some shows I watch without my husband that I count here (the Handmaid’s Tale anyone?!) Find something that you enjoy watching for you. Most of the time, I get to enjoy this after Liam is in bed and while cleaning up the kitchen or folding some laundry, but I still make it count.
Writing, like I mentioned above, is another outlet for me. If writing is not your thing, think of something that is. Painting, crafts, reading…whatever it is, make time.
Throughout this challenge though, I struggle to admit, the biggest hurdle has been me. The biggest road block and the one who consistently deprioritized me, is me! Realizing this in the last few months has been the biggest help in correcting the problem.
I continuously found myself frustrated because my husband wasn’t giving me time for myself. He was busy working and doing things for himself or projects around the house – which meant I was always taking care of the baby. But this was my fault. He did not need to give me time, I needed to take it (ok figuratively, but I had to tell him my needs). My husband is extremely helpful and supportive and has never told me I could not go do something or spend time on myself. I would listen to what he was working on and make the decision on my own to forfeit the plans/projects which were in my mind. Don’t do this to yourself. It has taken me longer than it should have to realize that my little plans and projects are important. Too long to realize when a friend invited me to a concert, or to dinner, or to (insert your plans here) that I deserve to go and not have mom guilt for leaving my family behind (I still do, again work in progress). Not everyone has the same situation but, whatever your situation is, take the help. Make yourself important because if you don’t, who will?
Don’t stop yourself from being you and doing things for yourself because of mom guilt. A little reset and refocusing puts everything into perspective and allows us to be better moms. Our children feed off of our moods and energy – what do you want to show them? Every member of your family is important and life is about balance. We deserve the opportunity to reset and be the best versions of ourselves, not only for us but for our families. Communicating with your family (and even enlisting the help of friends) so that EVERY member’s needs can be met is important.
So how do you break out of the cycle? Start slow. Pick something, anything, and make it a point to give yourself time to do it once a week. If you can, work up from there so that you spend at least 10 minutes a day on you.
What are some things you let mom guilt stop you from doing? How do you fit in time for yourself during the busy work week? Let me know in the comments!