Are you full?
Are you full? And I don’t mean your belly? Do you have a healthy hobby? No, not blowing your entire paycheck at Target! Although, I know how tempting and addicting that can be. Until the next week, you realize you’re broke and the remorse sets in.
Are you good at giving and giving until there is nothing left but utter exhaustion? Taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury–it’s essential in being a good mom. Just because you became a mom doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself a priority. I mean a healthy hobby like a regular massage; monthly dates with your husband and maybe another couple(s), but without the kids; meeting up with girlfriends regularly; yoga with a group of friends; or having a workout group aside from your immediate friends. Something that moves your body will stimulate good brain endorphins and boost your mood (bonus: burns calories).
Do you have a fear of commitment to being good to yourself? Do you make the same excuse I did for years? “You don’t have the time” Practicing self-care helps make you a better parent. The more we fill ourselves up, the more we have to give, and as we all know as moms we have to give a lot. Are you full of excuses? If so, start small and work your way up.
IT’S NOT SELFISH TO MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY
Well, guess what? We all have the same 24 hours in the day. No one is special and gets six extra hours. Rather, people you see making the time for self-care, make it a priority. They plan for it to happen so the day, month, quarter or year doesn’t flash past them without accomplishing their goal. They are not left wondering where that time went and how they wasted it. I remember many moons ago, I was in my 20s, childless, beaming with excitement for Spring Break with friends. Sitting by the beach took all my care and troubles away. I think the biggest concern I had was what my next drink would be. Man, that was a tough decision between a pina colada versus a margarita. Life was good.
Now with three kids the thought of a vacation by myself is decades away. I’d love to escape the chaos of life and take a vacation. I’d also like to bring along that 20s body in a Hawaiian bikini and ditch the leggings and messy bun attire I live in daily! Self-care leaves you feeling calmer, refreshed and recharged, positive attitude, and lifted spirits and energy levels. It’s crucial to know those little eyes are always watching Mommy, and they pick up on everything. Setting good examples is so important in their development, and when we don’t take care of ourselves, they won’t think it’s necessary to take care of theirs. Are you full of bad examples? Remember, everyone has their days, weeks, or months. But there is always something good in every day, you just always have to find that one thing and focus in on it.
Think of yourself as a large 32oz stainless steel Tervis cup (hang with me here, that’s what I’m staring at and I lug around everywhere I go.) I panic when I don’t have water with me. It’s my thing, but not the point of this message. A water bottle is a better analogy than my initial thought of a delicious bottle of Leinenkugel’s Grapefruit Shandy – (in a minute you realize why a beer analogy wouldn’t have worked so well.)
So, you are this large water cup, okay? Filled full of clean crisp water on a hot summer day. If you pick it up, you hear a ting, ting from ice cubes that are floating around in it. When your partner is frazzled by his daily tasks from a long day, he picks up this beautiful cup (that’s you) and chugs down some big gulps of water. The kids are running around screaming like the little crazies they are, panting because it is so warm out. Now, they are all very thirsty and take several drinks each.
Then your mom stops out to see the fam and brings up she would appreciate it if you could make the trip to someplace on the other side of the state for a family reunion with “family” you’ve never met. After all her talking, now she’s thirsty too. (Okay I don’t share my water bottle with the world here – analogy here. I’m far too germ aware to share with more than just a slight few).
RUNNIN’ ON EMPTY
Later on that night, you have a meeting for a community committee you feel passionate about. The same goes for the church you belong to, it’s your turn to be the circle leader. Several more slurps are taken from the water bottle.
Before you realize it, you are completely out of water. Not a drop to be had! When your child runs back up to the cup of water, desperately needing a drink, you, the sturdy stainless steel Tervis bottle, tip over and make the loudest CLANG!
You’ve just let your cup run completely dry. There is nothing left to give. Your patience is blown now that there isn’t any water for yourself. You snap at that child like it’s their fault the water is gone when they only had a few sips. Remember, it’s all about how you make them feel.
Are you full of bull$hit or can you relate?
FILLING YOURSELF UP WITH GOOD INTENTIONS
I realize this water bottle story sounds pretty weak, but hope you got the picture I was attempting to paint for you. Think of your life and how much you are giving out every.single.day. How often are you replenishing “your cup” before you let yourself fall over from exhaustion? Mama’s need a little slice of heaven too. We can’t pour everything into our kids, our “mom” life, and never do anything for ourselves. Always remember self-care isn’t always about those amazing shopping extravaganzas, girls nights where your stomach hurts from laughing so much, or relaxing pedicures. More importantly, it’s about making daily decisions and dedicating time to yourself to make your overall life function better.
Do yourself a favor and love yourself enough to make time for loving yourself. Make sure you fill it in areas of Fun, Friends, and LOVE. Refill your cup o’ love so you have enough love to keep dishing out! Always remember to have wine, chocolate, and a remote handy even though it doesn’t quite compare to a beach, but it’ll do for now! Are you full of love, yes! Are you full of water, yes! It’s always good to have both necessities!
As I’ve shared over the last nine months of this blog, I’m learning to appreciate the replenish times. Ms. Rachel Hollis shared this story in the version of a vase at the Rise Conference in Minneapolis. It reconfirmed that we are not being bad moms when we do something for ourselves every once in a while.
No, I was never a morning person. But when the morning is the only time I can rationalize taking time to get in a run or a workout without interruption or feeling as if I’m neglecting my family, I do it. I get up at the butt crack of Dawn…oh wait? :/
Motherhood is like a whole new identity but it doesn’t need to steal the quality of time you once poured into yourself. Mix up activities, date nights, expenses, or whatever makes you feel fulfilled, happy, balanced, content. Having a happier more patient mom is better for everyone!
You are not being a diva by making time for yourself.
You are being smart and making it a priority because you are worth it!
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