I hate the phrase “self-care.” I hated it so much, that even as a sleep-deprived, totally exhausted mother of 4 young kids, I wouldn’t have dreamt of indulging in anything of the sort.
Self-care was for other women, for weak women. I didn’t need something as frivolous as rest. I was strong, capable, and pretty committed to doing it all, all the time. I thought moms who never slowed down and were the most exhausted won. If that was true, I would have earned a gold medal. Instead, I had bone-deep exhaustion and a simmering resentment for motherhood.
All I ever wanted was to be a mom. I wanted desperately to be a good mom and so I did all the things I thought I good mom should...put herself last, give selflessly, work hard, and do it all, day after day after day. I didn’t know any other way than to give all of myself.
But when you give all of yourself away, there’s nothing left. You cannot pour from an empty cup. You cannot care for your people when you are totally depleted. You cannot be the wife and mother you want to be exhausted. And you cannot continue to devalue your own wants, needs, and desires.
It’s time to redefine self-care. It’s time to take back the phrase and claim it as our own. It’s time to stop feeling weak or not enough for being human. It’s time to put ourselves back on our own priority list.
Committing to self-care begins with a decision. Decide that you are ready to let go of who you think you should be so that you can become the mom you actually want to be, rested, happy, whole, and able to love her family without resentment.
Here are 3 simple questions to help you redefine, reprioritize, and reestablish a new connection with self-care.
• What is my favorite way to rest and recharge?
• When do I feel most relaxed, connected to myself, and at peace?
• How can I make more non-negotiable time in each day to care for myself?
It’s simple, but not easy. Start by exploring your own desires and begin to understand what you actually need. You might not even remember the last time you felt really rested or recharged. Momma, I get it, but figuring out what your tired soul is craving is a vital first step. Self-care is ultimately about connecting to yourself, knowing your needs, and making them a priority, even when, especially when, life gets crazy.
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