How to Take Care of Yourself Guilt-Free
Being mom stretches the very core of our self-concept and identity.
We don’t even recognize ourselves at times and we don’t have time to be the parts we remember (fun, spontaneous, artsy, etc.).
It’s essential that we carve tiny pockets for ourselves during this process of expansion. It helps us remember who we were while at the same time allowing us to be open to the new life we are in.
The new normal.
This next stage of our own growth and expansion takes time and stages.
(Before you ask, I remember moments at 18 months, at 4 years, at 5 years, and at 9 years where I was like “HECK YEAH I’VE SO GOT THIS!” It just took me a long time to really get my mom feet under me.)
Here are some things I, friends and clients have done along the way to regroup on a cyclical basis –meaning weekly, monthly, yearly- yep…without guilt.
Go away for a day or once a year, for a weekend (by yourself or with a girlfriend)
Take a class in the community – photography, writing, welding, pottery, etc.
Go on a mini adventure – next town over, local state park, new coffee shop in town.
Find the best food in the area and order a meal. Alone. Peacefully.
Yoga. Or hot yoga.
The heart behind all of this is to find a way to love our lives without requiring others to be involved.
When we take off the demands of life, we can rediscover ourselves.
Just in case you’re thinking But it all costs MONEY and I hate to spend money on myself when we have so many other things to pay for – let me give you this thought:
The therapy that you and/ or your kids will need if they live in a house where mom isn’t happy/ doesn’t really want them/ or to be there is much much more expensive than that $20 meal at a great restaurant alone.
The divorce that you may eventually want because he isn’t who you married is much much more expensive than that day away.
When we are in crisis (and expanding our identity into motherhood forces a personal crisis), we are to advocate for ourselves as we would any child who depended on us for their life.
We matter that much.
In fact, without us in great shape, our family can sustain itself, but not thrive in it’s fullest potential. I truly believe that.
When to Worry
Some of us may truly struggle harder than we realize… when the above isn’t comforting and we DO NOT want to learn how to be a mom.
So, let’s go over some markers when it might be a good idea to find some help.
–Is depression a factor? There’s a great quiz here.
— If you take a day away by yourself to regroup (psssst. do this.) , when you return the following week and get back into the swing of things, you still feel the same pull of sadness or apathy.
— We aren’t getting out of bed in the morning or we go straight to the bed when we get home from work.
— We aren’t happy most days an and tried all we know and can’t get there.
–It’s hard to engage in family life. You go through the motions but don’t connect.
It’s time to find some outside help.
Becoming mom is a world where its’ easy to feel judged and where our own self- talk of what we should be leaves us always having to measure up to “her” (BFF or next door) and them (everyone else).
Truth is: There is no “her and them”.
We are all trying to figure out our kids, our lives, and ourselves.
We are all doing our very best and just sometimes we are the ones who need a hug, a nap and someone to give us a hint at what to try next.
You are not only ok, but you are right where you need to be for your life. Whether that means your next stop is asking a trusted friend for a therapist’s name to check out or plotting your next day away.
You are figuring it out, learning what it means to be you amidst all the change and expectations and keeping kids alive…Because you believe you matter.
Mom coach, speaker and author of Momifesto: 9 Practices for Phenomenal Moms. Buy your copy from Amazon HERE.
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