I was at my workout class several weeks ago & during the cool down section the instructor had everyone lie down on their backs, close their eyes and said something like this, “In your mind right now make a list of everyone you care for…”
The class was silent as they spent time reflecting. I made my mental list of the various people I care for with my time, energy & resources. Next (being the overachiever that I am) I made a list of my multiple responsibilities. The instructor spoke again and asked the class, “… were you on that list? Do you care for you?”
A great question! A fabulous question for moms! I have spent a lot of time thinking about this & taking inventory of my own life.
When I made my mental list – I was not on it & I would venture to say that the majority of moms in that class did not place themselves on that list either.
As a mom our job never stops. We have been blessed & entrusted with these beautiful lives- our children… to care for, to nurture, to teach, to prepare for life. It is no small responsibility.
Our role is vital! May not feel very glamorous at times but there is no question of the importance of the role of mom!
You may have heard this illustration before… as the flight attendant is giving the pre-flight instructions you will hear something like this, “in the case of cabin pressure change, an oxygen mask will drop down, make sure to first place the oxygen mask on yourself before trying to help anyone else.”
It makes sense, right? How could you adequately care for anyone else if you yourself are not being cared for – and in this case – if you are not breathing!
So, I am writing this as someone in process… realizing that I do not always do a great job in the area of self care and making my needs matter but I desire to grow!
I’ve talked to many moms who admit they have a hard time making their needs a priority and feel guilty for taking time for themselves. They worry that if they make time for themselves, they are being selfish or they are not adequately fulfilling their role as mom.
If I can encourage us all (and yes I am speaking to myself as much as anyone else!) – Making time for ourselves is NOT selfish, it is healthy!
Just like a car cannot run without fuel – neither can you & I!
We all need time to refuel … to refresh & rest. I used to think that rest meant taking a nap and while for some a nap might be exactly what they need, others may not find napping to be restful & that’s okay!
We are all different and we find rest in different ways.
So how do you and I put ourselves & keep ourselves on “the list”? What can we do to be intentional in keeping our “tank” full?
How can we be proactive vs. reactive?
What is life giving to you? What brings rest to your soul?
In the midst of our responsibilities we can easily push aside our feelings, our desires, our needs & even our dreams. We can forget who we are & what we enjoy doing.
I can always find a reason or even excuse as to why I am not prioritizing my needs… I’m too busy, too tired, don’t have a babysitter, don’t have enough money, my kids need me or I’m responsible for too many things and on an on.
I can be all or nothing (thinking the only way I can find rest is going to Maui for a couple weeks) instead of making the effort to do small things daily that are life giving.
We are all in different seasons of our mothering – for some of us our kids are in school or out of the house –while others are taking care of an infant or a toddler that needs much of your continual time. Keep your season in mind and try not to compare to someone else’s.
The important thing is taking time for yourself & staying filled up. Investing in ourselves IS investing in our kids, our husbands, our friends & our jobs. When we make our health (physical, emotional, spiritual) a priority- we not only set an example for our children, we are able to the give to others from a place of abundance and not lack. We can love others well when we learn to love ourselves well.
It’s the little things! Be creative!
-Make a list of things you enjoy- big & small.
-Create a Pinterest board regarding Me Time or Things I love.
-Process with your husband or a friend if you feel stuck or aren’t sure what you like.
Here are a few things on my list.
and this week I actually had a little personal get away- two nights at a resort all by myself!! Let me tell you that is a rare occasion – it definitely took some planning and coordinating – but I cannot tell you how much it was needed!!
So what is on YOUR list?? I would love to hear and encourage you to make time for yourself today!!
And just for fun – I would love to do a little give-away!! Comment on this post with one thing that you do just for you or something you plan to do and I will choose a winner at random next week (4/29) for a gift certificate for a pedicure at Pink Polish!