A few months ago, I found myself sitting in the living room with one of my good friends and she asked me a very important question. “Do you know who you are anymore now that you have become a mother?” At the time, I answered the question quickly. “Of course I know who I am. I haven’t lost myself. I am still me.” Only when my dear friend admitted to me that she has had times as a mother where she has forgotten herself, did I really start to do a little self evaluation with my own state of sanity when it came to remembering who I am as a woman, not just as a mother. I have pondered over this question recently. Have I lost myself? After a much needed self evaluation, I can answer that question truthfully and say no but I can admit, there are times when I have completely forgotten about myself. Where I become so consumed with my family, I am left eating the scraps while everyone goes to bed with full bellies…metaphorically speaking. As I have found out from plenty of moms, I am not alone in this. Many times as mothers, our lives can become so consumed with taking care of others- our family, friends, jobs, and other obligations, that by the end of it all, we are beat down and tired with no shoulder to lean on. As moms, we can make it all look so easy, that others may not realize the internal struggle we face everyday. If you find yourself feeling like this, I want to offer these easy 5 self love care tips to get you back to loving yourself properly again. Because if mama isn’t happy, no one is.
Devotion Some call it prayer, some call it meditation. Whatever you choose to label it, that is completely up to you but you need it. Devotion time is exactly that, time to devote to yourself or to your higher power. Imagine waking up every morning, being startled awake by an alarm clock or crying baby, sleep still in your eyes, and immediately jumping into full mommy mode.
How hectic is that?
I’m sure you know because as moms, many of us do it everyday.
“We fail to allow our bodies to peacefully transition from a sleep state to fully awake and literally shock our bodies and brains into full blown responsibility of taking care of others.”
Instead of waking up this way, try setting your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier than your family rises or before work and devote 25 minutes to tranquility. Go into a room and sit quietly, read your bible, or do some relaxing yoga to breathe oxygen throughout your body. Reflect on the day ahead and plan to go into it peacefully.
Remember You Are Beautiful
Do you remember being early twenty something, standing in a mirror applying mascara and lipstick, rocking out to a song on your stereo while getting ready to go out with your friends? You probably have not done that since before having kids, right? Right. Time to change that. Being a mom, our first priority is comfort so we tend to do the flip flops, pony tail, and leggings routine a little too often.Before even going into what we put on our body, try looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself that you are still beautiful.
“Look at the shape of your eyes, your lips, your hips, butt, and thighs and embrace you.”
Give yourself one day a week that you apply makeup, buy a cute pair of colorful leggings instead of wearing the black holey ones, and find those hoop earrings you put away when you were afraid the baby may rip them out of your ears. Strut through that play date like you are the hottest thing walking because, well…you are.
Don’t Forget Who Your Friends Are
I read plenty of articles that talk about life changing after we become parents and how sometimes we have to abandon certain friendships and lifestyles now that we have “matured”. OK I hear you but sometimes I miss my early twenty something lifestyle of going out with friends and staying up until 2 AM. So my advice to you is this, call up those same friends you were getting dressed up with while rocking out to your stereo and have an EPIC girls night. At least once a month. Call an Uber, go dancing, have one drink too many and relish in the fact that for one night, you can be twenty one again- it’s dark, everyone is twenty one in the dark. Not to mention, going out with friends helps you to appreciate family. Take the break and leave the guilt at the door.
Eat Dessert Alone
My daughter can be 100 feet away and hear me open a bag of chips. So then of course, I have to share. Then sharing becomes an unexpected duty of having to feed her. My dessert. That I wanted to eat alone. There are certain levels of parenting that you didn’t think would bother you as much as it actually does. One of these for me is sharing food, especially the sweet, chocolaty ones. So every so often after she is asleep in bed, I go for it all alone. Some nights it may be ice cream, other nights it may be almond cake, and for those very special nights, it is a joyful combination of both. You deserve it mama, go for it!
Have A Spa Day
I am and will always be a firm believer in pampering myself. My level of pampering may be a little extreme- like going to a local bath house and let a woman in lingerie bathe me…so if that isn’t quite your style, go for something more simple. Take yourself for a manicure and pedicure. Go for a massage or make a hair appointment. Do this all alone and relish in the moment of quietness and peace. If you can’t afford this every week, set it for at least once a month. Squeeze it in on a lunch break or find a sitter and do it on a Saturday morning. Make space for it in the same way that you would make space for something that you feel really matters- because Mama you are important too.
In what ways do you involve self care in your daily routines? Share below!