Self-care is something I’ve been blogging about more often in recent months, not because I’ve arrived in this area but because it’s something I’m learning about and experiencing myself.
I’ve been writing about self-care to remind readers—and myself—of its importance and the benefits and so on—and yet it’s only been in the last few weeks that I’ve seen clearly how it really does benefit everyone around me. Not just in some vague, theoretical sense, not just a little bit, but in really big, tangible ways. In the way I react to chaos and mayhem, in the way I feel inside, in the insights I’ve had into my girls’ motivations and feelings.
The bottom line is that when I take care of myself, I am a better mom. I feel more peaceful, more present, more patient.
When I know that I’ll have time to recharge and refocus, I’m better able to prioritize my kids needs—not just the basic needs, which obviously take priority, but their emotional and spiritual needs too.
When I go to bed early and read rather than staying up and vegging on the couch, I’m more able to set aside time for my kids during the day, to look them in the eyes, to see things I would have missed otherwise.
It feels noble to sacrifice everything for our kids, to put our lives on hold and pour into their lives while forgetting our own interests and passions, but it’s not really. Because at some point we resent it. Maybe just a little. Maybe just when were interrupted for the fifth time in the toilet or when we wake up and realize we don’t have any interests outside of our home and family and don’t really know who we even are anymore.
And with our actions, we’re telling our kids that when they grow up and become adults or parents, they’ll have to forget their own passions and interests and self-care as well.
Yes, there will always be chores to do, Pinterest projects to attempt, kids who want your attention. But while taking care of things right away is good for productivity, and Pinterest projects make pretty pictures, and being present is worth striving for, it’s okay to leave the chores for later, to choose simple instead of Pinterest-worthy, to make time for the kids and protect time for yourself.
The happiest moms I know take care of themselves. The most fulfilled moms I know take care of themselves. The best moms I know take care of themselves.
P.S. This post isn’t intended as an advertisement, but if you struggle with this idea of self-care, I invite you to join us on the journey of creating a life you love. This idea of self-care is at the heart of each of our Live course topics, woven into the conversations we’re having about simplifying, loving yourself, friendship, focus, and so on.