Take Care of YOU!
Motherhood is wonderful career….did I say career? Yes! No matter what your educational background is, what type of job you have now or have had in the past, or what your career goals are; as soon as you hold your baby in your arms, guess what…your career is motherhood. The career of motherhood is very demanding. It has multiple responsibilities, long hours, minimal financial gains and is a lifelong commitment. Have you seen the YouTube video trying to hire for the position of Mom? Wow, who signed you up for this job??
There is no other career that demands so much but rewards so greatly. Motherhood is a unique profession that demands 24/7 responsiveness. Unless Moms continually “refill” that internal pitcher that they pour out of daily, Moms will experience a change in energy, attitude and happiness. Your “job satisfaction” will plummet unless you take care of yourself too and when you are depleted and stretched too thin, the most important people in your life suffer. If you sacrifice too much without refilling yourself, you lose your best qualities that make you who you are.
This Mother’s Day week let’s commit to nurturing ourselves so that we can better nurture our children. After all, isn’t that what we Moms do?
1. We must be healthy
- Sleep. Even a quick 20 minute nap will help rejuvenate.
- Healthy eating. Take your vitamins! Low fat, high carb food like bagels, pretzels, and popcorn help to release “feel good” chemicals in our brain. Don’t skip meals, high protein foods and whole grains give energy. High fat foods drain energy.
- Exercise. Research tells us that exercise reduces stress. It will give a sense of calmness and relaxation. Besides, we need to be able to keep up with our kids! Take a walk!
- Go outside. Natural light is essential to feeling energized and positive. Even on cloudy days, a walk outside helps recharge you and increases natural feel good hormones.
- What are your basic emotional needs? Do you need inward time, to feel mothered, to feel protected?
- Laugh. Laughter is a large part of feeling well. Watch a funny movie, laugh at yourself. Even smiling increases endorphins, the feel good hormones.
- Find time to expand yourself. Be creative, read a book, listen to music….use your brain!
2. We must be intimate
- A woman who is intimate physically and emotionally with her partner is more relaxed, calmer and more confident.
- Intimacy builds couple relationship.
- Touch heals. Touch for women has been proven to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and bring a sense of peace. Hold hands!
- Keep the lines of communication open during the diaper years—the most stressful time of raising children (until the teen years!!) You can’t think that you will talk “later”. You must do small things now to stay connected with your partner.
- Celebrate each other!
3. We must be idle
- We must be willing to sit in a chair quietly.
- Map out two or three-minute activities that you can do to give yourself time during the day. For instance, take your morning coffee and drink it in front of the window for 2 to 3 minutes while your baby is entertained. Will these short moments change your life? Yes, you will become more satisfied which leads to a Mom who can nurture without resentment.
- Plan for at least a couple hours a week for alone time. That might just be a long bath or a walk through Target by yourself!
- Let go of the “completion complex”…there will always be laundry!
- Meditate or pray, both relieve stress. Slow down and breathe quietly, relax your muscles, and clear your thoughts. Twenty minutes a day will bring peace to your life.
4. We must always remember: We are not steering this ship!
- We must give up control over everyone’s lives.
- We must be able to adjust to change.
- Worry zaps energy and positive thoughts. Schedule worry time. Save all the concerns you have and only think about them once a day. This will make you feel better and free up the rest of your day from negative thoughts and worry.
- Choose our words carefully. Remember what you say results in how you feel.
- Lower the bar. It is OK not to be perfect. We feel inadequate when the bar is set too high.
- Have a conversation with a best friend. Women need comfort and support from other women. Share, you will find that all moms have similar challenges. We are not alone.
- Surround yourself with like minded moms. Moms who parent like you will give you support.
6. We must love our lives TODAY and TODAY and TODAY
- Step back and appreciate the moment several times a day.
- Be grateful for the moment, feeling grateful is a real mood booster.
- Write down why you are thankful, or the three best things that happened today.
- Engage in positive thinking, and you will be more in control of your happiness. Feelings follow thoughts.
- Resist the temptation to pile more chores and responsibilities on our plates, focus on the important only.
- Remember, we are useless to our families unless we fill ourselves up.