Self Care. Yes. SO important. Motherhood has taught me the importance of taking care of myself…and I don’t mean getting a rose gold body mask wrap exfoliant peel thing-a-majigger, or whatever the cool kids are doing these days.
Being a Mom means I give 100% of myself, 100% of the time not because I have to, but because I want to. In order to make sure I am giving the best “me”, I need to put effort into making sure I am my strongest, happiest, healthiest, best self. If I’m going to spend all day doing laundry, I want a washing machine that can handle all of the crap (literally) that I’ll be throwing into it. If I am going to buy maternity pants, I want to make sure they have the durability and capability of stretching to 5 times their normal size instead of just a few inches. If I’m going to get on a plane with a toddler, I want a glass of wine, Aladdin on my movie screen, and an entire row to myself whilst my toddler peacefully sleeps next to me….lol..LOLOL..LOL…..got off topic again…but you get the picture.
First: My Soul. In order to make sure I am giving my best self to my husband and my daughter (and of course Roscoe and Napolean) I need to take care of my soul first. To me, that means staying true to what I believe, and staying unbreakable despite the challenges and obstacles that come my way. Investing in the truth, or simply being curious about it, is one of the greatest things I can do for my soul. I find any and every question I have, in the Bible. The more consistent I stay with studying it, and praying, the more my heart is filled up. Being intentional about strengthening myself and knowing my source of strength comes from God, the happier and stronger I become.
Next: My Mind. For me, the best way to relax, strengthen, and grow mentally is by prioritizing and sticking to it.
#1 Sleep. Sure, its easy to stay up later than you want because you’re rewatching Friends for the 48th time and you just. can’t. turn. it. off. Or, you have 500,000 things that you have to get done, therefore you convince yourself you can just “sleep when you’re dead”… but in all honesty, it’s so important for me to make sleep the most important factor when it comes to taking care of myself mentally. If I get 6 hours instead of 9, theres a 93% chance I’ll be putting milk in a cupboard, and cheese in the pen drawer. No one likes moldy colby jack. No one. Plus, I like having enough energy to do ridiculous impressions of ducks and gorillas for Kaia because watching her belly laugh until she practically falls over is quite frankly one of the greatest things in all the world.
#2 Time with my husband. (Not really sure if this fits into the category of “self care” because marriage has really very little to do with yourself and everything to do with your spouse..and really, this could be it’s own blog…but for now I’m going to throw it in here). Marriage is by far one of the greatest gifts God has given us. When you take care of and cherish your marriage, what comes from it is beyond wonderful. And on top of it, the best gift you can give your children is a healthy marriage. When we make time for each other, it only fills us up and strengthens us even more. For me, having that strong, unbreakable, blissful relationship with my bestestest friend in the whole wide world is so important and beyond worth it. One way we stay on top of this even in the middle of football season, is by having “non negotiable date night” every Monday night. And every year during the off season we try and do a Mommy Daddy Vaycay where we get to run away and focus just on each other. Another way of strengthening our marriage is by reading a book together. Right now we are reading “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller. Sooo good.
#3 Relaxing. This one is tough. Unless I schedule time to just unwind and relax, Candy Crush before bed is about as successful as I can get in this area. Sometimes during Kaia’s nap I just say to myself, “Dishes and laundry can wait. I get 45 whole minutes to myself to do…literally..nothing.” And THAT, my friends is beautiful and totally necessary. And yes, I really actually do absolutely nothing.
Finally: My Body
The way I take care of myself physically is pretty simple. I do my best to give my myself healthy fuel, which means being consistent and conscious of what and how much I put into my body. I’m not saying I don’t treat myself cuz I DEFINITELY do (As long as puffy Cheetoes exist, I will always treat myself). But seriously, we all know that if you don’t give yourself enough good and healthy food, you won’t have the energy to achieve what you want to. And in the realm of Motherhood, energy is absolute key. Also, I try to exercise daily. Whether that means getting on the treadmill, going on an hour family walk, light yoga and stretching during Kaia’s nap, or all three, I’m making a conscious effort to keep my body strong..because at the end of the day, that makes my brain strong too.
Last but not least: To all the Mom’s who may be reading this, here’s a friendly reminder (that we all need from time to time) to go easy on yourself!! If all you ate today was a questionable banana, haven’t yet changed out of your husbands T shirt you’ve worn for almost 2 days straight, have no energy to do your afternoon Yoga because you didn’t get all the sleep you wanted, and are on your 4th cup of coffee …you are still an absolute rockstar and deserve a trophy, and a hug. Go. Easy. On. Yourself. (and yes….yes..you are correct…what you just read is 100% me today).
So thank you yet again little Kaia, for giving this Mamma another important gift- the realization of the importance of self care. You have taught me so much in such little time <3