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Loving Yourself When You Take Care of Others




I have always admired those flexible women who are in such great shape and super healthy eaters. While I desire to eat & be healthy, my kids tend to be the driving factor in the reason it doesn't always happen like I hoped. My oldest boys are in school, and it's usually just me & my daughter throughout the day. You would think I would have all this free time and be flourishing with fulfilling every thing on my to do list and have extra time for my wishlist. That's 99.99% of the time not the case.


I'm a working mom, and although my schedule is flexible and I can work virtually any hours I want when I can squeeze them in, I try to work as much as I can in every available minute. After all, bills have to get paid! But what about when I'm not working? I mean, we're a household of 5, keeping up with the laundry, dishes and cleaning alone is enough to tap me out (which is why I usually working through the night). So that's where my lack of nutrition and self care come in.


I'm usually so exhausted in the morning that I'm barely getting the kids to school on time. Then when I walk in the door, all I want to do is sleep. So I snack on whatever leftovers the kids left on the table earlier that morning, then I try my hardest to convince my daughter to fall asleep so I can recover. Sometimes she's tired enough to go down for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, if I'm lucky. Then I try to lay down myself, but often get distracted by my phone (silly mobile games, social media, and sometimes work). Before I know it, the time flew by & my daughter's ready to play!


In my therapy sessions, we've been talking a lot about taking care of myself. Sounds like such a foreign concept when society is constantly expecting moms to do everything! But, she's right. I can't take care of others if I'm not taking care of myself. So i think about it more, want it more, research it more... but months later, here I am still in the same cycle.


Finally, I was done with being last. While, yes, it's important for my kids & husband to be first, it doesn't mean I have to be last. What I mean by that is that there are soooo many other things on my list that come after my kids that prevent me from being there for me. A lot of times, I really don't think of myself.


I'm important. I'm valuable. I'm beautiful. I'm talented. I'm enough. It's OK to spend some time shopping, and I mean... for yourself! Not always what your kids want, or what your husband needs (but those are definitely important too). I mean, go down that aisle of women's clothing you so powerfully resist while grocery shopping. Take the time to do your makeup & hair in the morning, and do a face mask or your nails at night. Spend a few more minutes in the shower just breathing and relaxing. Go do that hobby or interest that you've been holding back from.


For me, it's been yoga. I've been interested, even followed a couple Facebook groups and tried to follow some videos on YouTube & TV. But something always distracted me, or I had absolutely no motivation to actually do it. I haven't lost very much of my baby weight after my last daughter. I though for sure I'd be motivated now that we've decided we're done with kids. I mean, I get to take back body, how exciting! But no. It hasn't been like that at all. With all of life's busyness, and all of the many excuses I can so easily come up with, it's been postponed for a VERY long time.


I finally decided, enough is enough. If I can't bring myself to do it at home, then I need to hold myself accountable someway. A while ago I had followed a local yoga studio. An event popped up for parents & kids yoga weekly classes that will be starting soon. Not only can I get my yoga in, but my daughter (or sons for that matter) can do it with me. Perfect opportunity!! Instead of just liking it, marking it as interested, I committed right then & there to do it. I signed up for the class & prepaid for it. My first class is coming up shortly & I'm prepping for it by shopping for everything I need to be ready.


It's something so simple & we don't even do it. Commit to it, invest in it, and follow through. When you commit to it, you're setting that time aside specifically for that certain thing. So there's no excuse that I don't have time, I made time for it. By investing in something, we're now backing this up with real cash or items or whatever it may be, to actually do this. Otherwise, it'd be literally throwing dollars away. Nobody wants that! I want to get use out of what I'm investing in. Now here's the hardest part for most of us, follow through. But hopefully by committing and investing, it's easier to follow through. I've already marked it in my calendar. I've already paid for the class. Now I just have to get there and do it.


So let's try to take better care of ourselves this year & every year. After all, we're worth it!

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