Modern Day Motherhood Self-Care
Sleep and eat whenever possible, bathe periodically, walk around in milk soaked shirts, change countless diapers, get puked on, repeat. Ah, yes! Self-care of any kind was non-existent. That was new motherhood for me 3 years ago.
What can really prepare a woman to become a mom, I mean REALLY?!
The truth is that no one really tells you the TRUE reality of motherhood until you’re already knee deep in all of the craziness. And then they say, “Oh yea, I forgot about that!”
Often times, I easily forget how fulfilling motherhood really is. My life completely changed for the better. And now I can’t even remember what I did with all of my time 3 years ago.
Motherhood has changed me.
As a new mom, taking care of myself fell much lower on the totem pole. My new reality was trying to keep a helpless little human alive and providing all that it needed. My days of sleeping in until noon, Netflix binges, taking long hot showers any time of the day, eating slow enough to taste my food and other self-care rituals went down the drain.
When I reflect back on how I “coped” those first few months after having my son, I get a feeling of heaviness but also a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Life tends to move a bit faster after kids but there will always be those days that seem to drag me through the mud inch by inch. It’s reassuring to know that those bad days can easily be turned around by something as little as a kid's laughter, a stranger’s compliment, a hug or a couple of mindful breaks sprinkled throughout the day.
Self-care should be looked at as the thoughts, things and stuff that help us enjoy life to the fullest.
We all have different values, wants and desires. They tend to differ in many ways but they are actually very similar in the end. We want whatever gives us the most gratification and joy!
The thought of self-care is simple, but actually doing it on a daily basis is not. Life itself gets in the way and self-care gets clouded over with things that need to get done, other people’s needs, pet’s needs, house chores, etc. We, as moms, get blindsided by all of life’s crazy moments.
It’s surprising to see so many moms who are unknowingly completely burnt out. They disguise themselves as “high-functioning moms.” You know what that means?! We, mamas, are TOO STRONG for our own good. I never actually realized how brilliant, strong, amazing human beings we all are until after joining the mom club myself. Now that I’m on this side, it’s undeniable that WE make this world go round.
Keep your cup full.
In order for us to keep doing what we do best, which is giving, we must take for ourselves first. We must keep our cups full so we have plenty to give. You know those words of advice before taking off on the plane, “...place YOUR oxygen mask on BEFORE placing it on anyone else’s?” Well, that holds true in our daily lives too.
There’s nothing about learning to practice self-care that sounds particularly exciting, I know. It’s kind of like a “thing” that always lingers in the back of our heads, almost like a chore. It never gets done because it is not a high priority. I’ve been there plenty of times and I’ve learned the hard way. When my cup is empty and I’m running on fumes, it messes with my entire life. So, over the past couple of years I’ve made self-care one of my top priorities.
Let's Fill Our Cups!
If I were to account for all the moms that I’ve seen in my practice including my own personal journey, these areas are a great place to start!
With our crazy busy lives we have the tendency to live life on auto-pilot. Many times I've found myself at a place without any recollection of the details on how I got there. I was completely "spaced out." Kind of scary! Taking mini mindful breaks throughout the day has helped me come back to the present. That way I'm able to reset, refocus and be fully present. Many of us are running on fumes creating burn out which eventually leads to sickness. We need to start resting and relaxing more so we can continue on this journey through motherhood at a sustainable level.
When we are always on the go we tend to eat on the go too. I've been so guilty of this. My car has looked like a crumpled up Ruffles potato chip bag exploded in it. I’ve become more intentional with my meals from preparing it to actually sitting down and eating. The types of food have also changed for the better. When feeding my toddler, things that he thinks he wants vs. food that will actually nourish his growing body make a huge difference in his general mood. Same goes for us! Oh, and drink more water too!
Get movin’! Sure, you could say you move all day running errands, chasing kiddos, housework and jobs. Busy, busy, busy! However, actually scheduling 10-20 minutes a day to stretch or exercise is completely different from the movements you do during those day to day activities. Our bodies and minds thrive on physical activity that gives full range of motion of our joints, muscles and soft tissues.
Start to focus on these areas for self-care first. They are the ones that are sure to make a significant difference right away. Breathe well, eat well and move well for a healthier, happier you!
Begin to reflect on what brings YOU the most gratification and joy in your life?
In Health and Happiness,