Self-care is not about ME.

This is a post I wrote for my Weekly Wellness Chat Newsletter back in March 2018.  I thought this was the perfect post to share with you to give you an understanding of the heart behind what I do.

I’m a mom.  Of a toddler.  And am pregnant with another little one due in August.  I am surrounded by other moms and young kids.  And I see the epidemic of the “perfect mom”.  Putting ourselves first before anyone else, making sure everyones’ needs are taken care of before our own.  Running all the errands, making the birthday party plans, obsessing over clean homes (of lack of a clean house).  

I can go on and on.

And although I feel this pressure myself, I have allowed myself the GRACE of stepping back.  I have heard the stories of the “perfect mom”…or wife, daughter, friend, you name it.  But what lights the fire under me to help others is SEEING the ill effects of putting ourselves LAST has on our health, our souls, and our overall well-being.  

My mother is the example I come back to, time and time again.  The nicest woman you’d ever meet.  And she did everything for me.  Putting me first.  And my stepdad first, and her family first, friends first…even pets first at times!  And I see now the harm it has caused her.  Low self-esteem and worth, health issues, and fatigue.  

As every child tells themselves “I will not be like my parents!”  

Yet, once I became a parent…I understood.  I understood how we can let go of this sense of self.  And how harmful that is, not just for ourselves, but for those who need us the most.

Self-care is not about ME.

A couple months into motherhood I realized just how lost I felt.  Every waking moment was catering to someone else.  Which is COMPLETELY NORMAL when you have a newborn!  Allowing myself grace (another important self-care practice) until I hit the 3 month mark helped me look forward to doing something for myself.  

Once we got to that point, my husband and I both decided we needed regular date nights.  So a trustworthy family friend and my sister in law would take turns watching our son about 2 hours a couple times a month so my husbnad and I could connect.  I loved these dates.  

I also realized that I still needed some ME time.  Although that was hard to come by, I found it through mommy and me boot camps and yoga classes.  I realized fitness was a major player in self-care.  My body craved movement that fueled my body rather and made it stronger.  And I started doing at-home workouts while my son napped.  That was the best use of naptimes!  

Getting dressed in clothes that helped me feel beautiful (not wearing yoga pants all day long!), changing my skin care routine by buying make-up and skincare that was safe for my skin was a game changer. My skin cleared up and my confidence blossomed again. 

And maybe my number one action or realization I put into place was being HONEST about how I was feeling.  If I felt overwhelmed and needed me time, I’d tell my husband, or call my mom or hire a sitter so I could have at least an hour of time with MYSELF.  Not allowing myelf to get to that breaking point where I truly resented my situation has been the most crucial part of my journey.  

And ultimately, having time for myself has helped everyone around me.  And this is true for you, as well.

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