We Mamas are incredible! We are capable of taking care of everyone and everything and think nothing of it… because it's just what we do! But, in the end we often neglect ourselves. In today's episode we are going to DEBUNK the 5 reasons you are not practicing self care, why the cleaning, kids, guilt, the world's opinion, our blurred vision of what's necessity and what isn't often get in the way of living our healthiest and happiest life.
We will discern the small actions each day that make a big impact on the way feel, how we emotional react and connect to our children/family, our negative or positive outlook, how we sleep, and how we speak to ourselves at the end of the day. OUR truths, what is truly important and of value to us will be revealed and we will learn to make decisions based on our own wellbeing and happiness instead of expectations and guilt. We will apply this mindset to time-management, so that you can make the very best of your day with what you have.
With a little guidance and tough-love you will be making change and growth around your self care routines in no time! Let's get to it mama!
Ugh, I remember about 4 months postpartum feeling really lost. Everything I knew had changed and I just didn't feel like myself. Granted it was for a darn good reason and I was so full of love, but I could feel this need to pour back into myself… the challenge was figuring out how I was going to that. Before becoming a mom it's easy to do the things you love, to care for yourself.. You got to do what you want, WHEN you want. When you become a mother it's no longer that easy. I think sometimes we also find ourselves going " if I had an hour what would I even do ?" In this place we have so many needs that aren't quite being met, so it's like where do we even start… I'll tell you… you start by becoming more self aware of your needs and what you value and you start small.
What I hope is that you can begin to see self care as the decisions and routines you do or don’t do to support your wellbeing and happiness on the daily. It's the menu of options you have to help fill your 4 buckets- Your Consumption, Your Body, Your Cup, and Your Heart. We discussed these buckets in Episode 3, so be sure to go back and listen if you need clarity.
In Episode 3 we also talked about the Lie we tell ourselves around self-care, it's this notion that it's of luxury and has been designed around specific parameters that make them possible right? The grandparents have the kids, my partner is out of the house, the house is finally clean- or all those combined that create the perfect scenario for you to go get your nails done, watch your fav show, or get that massage. Don't get me wrong these things can totally be considered something you do "for yourself" and in the realm of self-care and you should keep those up, but they can't stand alone. I'd argue that this thing you do once a week ( or less) doesn't do enough for your wellbeing and happiness on a day-to-day basis. I'd also argue that it's not something you may be able to sustain regularly based on these parameters.. Because things changes in the realm of motherhood and honestly #life. It's the small decisions we make every day, the routines we implement, the flexibility we adopt, and the self awareness we gain that help us lead a happy and healthy mamahood.
I want to do a quick exercise with you. If you can get out a pad of paper or jot this in your notes. I want you to think about the perfect "normal" day. Not your favorite things in the world to do day, but your Monday- Friday day. In this perfect day, you're happy, you handle ev2rything in stride, you're calm, motivated, grateful, and present. Can you think back to a day that felt like this? Now… what happened, what did you do, what didn't you do, from the time woke up to the time you went to bed? Take some time here- pause the episode and come back.
While our lives may look different in many ways, I imagine on this day things were quiet for you starting out. Maybe instead of scrolling social media you just starred and cooed at your baby and were simply present. You had plenty of time to get ready for the day or that pressure wasn't there, you were able to finish a full cup of coffee ( even if it had to be microwaved a few times). You made some really good decisions about your health that made you proud and made you feel good and energetic. You were a bit more patient when it came to your typical triggers- certain coworkers or the sink full of dishes and the crying babes in the background. At the end of the day you connected with your family and felt content. Maybe instead of falling asleep to the tv, you read or you reflected on your day and wrote in your journal or simply had a warm conversation with your partner. You put your head down on the pillow feeling like it was a good day.
I may not know your life and every role that you play… but I know you have several, because it's in your nature to ensure everyone and everything is taken care of. So let me tell you one more thing that'll blow your mind. I'd be willing to bet that you are Shetty good at your roles, that even if you looked away for an hour it would all still be there - alive and well as you left it. I'd also be willing to bet that your family believes you deserve as much love and care as you give them, believe that and stop telling yourself you don't.
Don't let yourself be overwhelmed or defeated by ALLLLL the areas for improvement- . Jay shetty said something the other day on a podcast that hit home- he said, " when you are climbing a ladder you don't go- oh I'm stuck on the second step and there are 10 steps, you go - ok I'm on the second one and I'm going to keep going and I know there is a higher step" That's all we are aiming for … the next step.
Now before I throw out some tough some love, let me say this. Sometimes it's more fun to adopt new words for things we give value and time to in our lives. So if self- care just doesn't settle right - insert something else " mama love" " filling your cup" maybe your'e in indy 500 fan.. Use " fuel your engine". Make it something that feels right to you or embodies the love you have for yourself.
Ok so here it is… the 5 reasons you are not practicing self care.
1. You don't think you have the time.
Like the exercise we did earlier, think of the days that didn't go so well. How much time did you spend scrolling social media. Check your phone - most phones now a days tell you where you are spending your time on that device and how much. I would bet that most of us spend 30 mins plus a day scrolling on our phones. As a mom, 30 minutes is gold. I promise that I am not going to pretend that us mamas can just magically stretch time. I know almost every minute of our lives is accounted for. What I am going to stress is that it's valuable and how we choose to spend it shows us what we value most. I doubt that everyone on facebook means more to you than your own sanity and health. I doubt that getting in that episode of How to get Away with Murder before bed is more valuable than a restful of sleep. Am I right?
As moms we must also learn to take advantage of our pockets of time that involve less distraction for the things that require less distraction- this means before the kids wake, nap time, and when they go to bed. Things like journaling, reading require more focus and less noise right? We have to be able to hear ourselves- for the things that fit in "this" you know that they have to happen during one of those times. For the things like organizing the pantry for you Type As', or exercising .. Maybe these things can be done while the kids are up. One of the best skills I mastered early on was working out when Miles was awake. I got really good at looking at interruptions as just a pause and saw that it made even more fun. Most importantly it was a really great way to exercise my flexibility, patience and adaptability. Now I could have spent that time cleaning, but I needed to feel good, and strong and energized. I value my body more than I value freshly mopped floors.
Again, this will look different in different stages of motherhood…but regardless this time is precious. For the new mom of a 3 month old, it's that decision to get the much needed rest you are missing, instead of tackling the dishes while they are sleeping . It's that sacred time you make by, waking up just a half hour before your toddler to be with your thoughts, breathe and stretch instead of spending the first part of your morning starring at your phone.
Think about what you value most right now, and if your actions don't align, acknowledge it and adjust.
2. You don’t' think you have ENOUGH time.
You know how you tell yourself it would take 2 days to clean the house for company, and then your husband tells you he invited a coworker and his wife over for dinner.. And you clean that house in 2 hours! Do you also know how a just a 5 min shower can turn you into a whole new woman? You do you get where I am going here? Let's say you take that 30 mins of social media scrolling and divide it. 15 of those minutes you choose to do something that fills " Your Cup"- this is the bucket of self- care that includes activities that make you happy, light you up, or simply allow time for self reflection and peace. Maybe for you, that’s journaling, reading the bible, or painting. Use that 15 mins and do any of those things. Pick ONE, and focus your energy there. The other 15 mins? Well what are you needing most- energy ? Do you need to spend that time prepping something a little healthier to eat instead of snacking on all the convenient, empty carbs in the pantry? Joy? Maybe you need to put the phone down and just play with your child. I know nothing else can put a smile on my face like Miles does for me. Movement? Maybe it's time to just sweat for 15 mins! I promise that's enough and It'll it benefit you more than deciding that it's not. We have pockets of time, it's not only how we use them… but our presence, focus and energy dedicated. I believe this is also why setting the tone and taking the time in the morning to self-reflect is so important. For argument sake, for you morning people rolling your eyes at me…move this part to the evening before you head to bed. This time helps us gauge our needs and feelings in the moment and allows us to create this menu of options that we can pull from during the day.
When those pockets of time reveal themselves, pull from that menu of options, take advantage of those 15 minutes and just see what happens… If anything it's a starting point and if you continue to practice this habit, you will get really good at dedicating time and being present in it.
3. You think everything else is more important.
How many times have you said, ok I am going to get a workout in as soon as the dishes are done, the babe is fed, the laundry is folded, I sort the mail, pick up the living room.. The list goes on. And how many times do you never get there? You guys, the dishes is the sink will still be there in 30 mins, yes the baby needs to be fed.. But of those things.. That's probably the ONLY thing that is more important than YOU ! I think we all love a clean house, but not at the expense of our wellbeing and happiness and honestly if those things are that important to you I promise you will get them done… because remember our chat earlier on the motivation, focus and drive ? We can get a whole lot of cleaning in when it's crunch time. But better yet… we can learn to let things go. Lesson 2 of a 2 billion and one I motherhood… we must learn to let things go.
This takes us back to seeing self care as a luxury. I am here you to tell you that if you want to feel happy and healthy on most days, self care is absolutely a necessity. Getting the dishes done before you get your workout in … is that really necessity? What will happen if you don't do the dishes right now… they'll get done later? Sleeping for 15 more mins in the morning instead of getting up to get quiet- stretch, reach for inspiration, read the bible… will that 15 mins really leave you feeling that much more rested? Let me fill you in… the answer is no.
Think about what is most what is necessary and most valuable, and then let the rest go.
4. You feel guilty for doing something that only benefits you.
You will not believe what I am about to tell. Self care is NOT SELFISH. In fact, your self care practices directly impact your family, those around so much it's not even funny. How many times have you found yourself irritable because your child wants your attention, but you're feeling pulled elsewhere? When you are more rested because you've taken more care to ensure a restful night- you put the babe down earlier, you read and reflected before laying your head down instead of staring into your phone…, aren't you up for more- more smiles, more play time, more a fun? So yes, the time that you make and spend on these routines and practices are for YOU, but like anything that exudes an energy.. It affects everything around it.
I may not know your life and every role that you play… but I know you have several, because it's in your nature to ensure everyone and everything is taken care of. So let me tell you one more thing that'll blow your mind. I'd be willing to bet that you are sooo good at your roles, that even if you looked away for an hour it would all still be there - alive and well as you left it. I'd also be willing to bet that your family believes you deserve as much love and care as you give them, believe that and stop telling yourself you don't.
5. You are not willing to give up the things it will take to make it happen.
I just debunked 4 of the reasons you aren't making time for yourself daily, but this is the hard truth guys… these decisions you make in the day that support your wellbeing and happiness often come with a choice. A choice to break a habit and adopt a new one. When you make this choice, something must go. The question is are you willing to let it go. If the answer is no then ok, but stop telling yourself that you can't or that it is impossible… because more often than not it is possible, your'e just not willing to do what it takes to make it happen.
Let me a more gentle approach here and talk you through what it could look like. Ok… you "not morning" people". You can't wake up early. It makes you feel terrible and you value your sleep. Got it ! Now, you also know that it makes such a difference when you have just a few minutes in the morning to yourself before the babe wakes. You aren't wiling to give up 30 minutes of sleep. Fair! Are you willing to go to bed 30 mins earlier? Shut the tv off 30 mins earlier? Put the kids down 30 mins earlier? You just laid out what it is going to take to make it happen… are you up for it?
I want you to know you are worth it and deserving. Don't put the pressure on yourself to be perfect, just reach for that next step, take the time to see how it feels and let it guide you. Consider what is truly important to you and what you need. Remember that your energy affects those around you and that feeling happy and healthy isn't a luxury. You remember that you are capable of growth and change, that it's not that you "can't do it" its that you have to be willing make the choice based on what it will take.
When you find yourself stuck, come back here and let's chat. Sending you all so much love and energy! You got this mama!