Hey, Busy Momma! This blog is specifically for you.
After Mary Cady and I went live back in January to discuss how you can open the door for hard conversations with your kids, our inboxes and dm’s flooded for more conversations like it. So, back by popular demand, Mary Cady and joined forces this past Tuesday to talk about the importance of self-care for busy moms.
Let me be one-hundred percent real with y’all for a moment… this is something that I am terrible at doing.
I get that self-care is important. I get that self-care is something that I need to take the time to do. BUT… it’s just so much easier said than done. Do ya feel me?
In fact, Mary Cady asked me prior to the call what I do for self-care and I drew a complete blank. I was like… “Uh… I clean out my email inbox.” I was quickly informed that is not an act of self-care that’s a to-do on my ever growing to-do list.
So, as we dive in to this topic, I want you to know that I’m right here with you, friend. I struggle with this on the daily but I’m making a point in my life to start making self-care for myself one of my top priorities. You with me? Awesome.
What is self-care?
By definition, “self-care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated.”
One very important to note before we move on is this… Someone else’s self-care is not our self-care.
Mary Cady shares how she has friends that bubble baths and a good book are their form of self-care. However, she goes onto say that if you put her in a bubble bath she feels claustrophobic and is just wondering when she can get out.
You’ll need to identify what self-care looks like for you and that does not mean cleaning out your email inbox.
Write down the three words below because we are going to break them down a bit in order to define what self-care is for you.
Determine how much time you have to devote to self-care. Do you have five minutes, one hour, a whole day, a whole weekend? This will play a role in your self-care activity.
Now, sometimes your self-care time may fluctuate. For example, maybe your kids spend the night at their grandparents house. You know that means you’ll have an entire evening to dedicate to your self-care.
Does your self-care activity cost money? For example, Mary Cady mentions she loves having a salad delivered every Tuesday to her work for lunch because Tuesday’s are her busiest day of the week. By not having to worry with eating a healthy lunch or even making lunch that day, she chooses to make that her indulgent treat for the day.
Now, some of you may go the route of getting your nails done once a month. Know the cost and the time that’s involved and work it into your families monthly budget.
And, of course, there are free forms of self-care such as taking a walk outside, sitting down to read a chapter of the current book on your nightstand, allowing yourself to just call a friend and catch up on life. Self-care doesn’t have to always have a price tag attached to it.
Lastly, is help. Now that you know your time and the price of your self-care, does it require help from an outside source? For example, if you want to go for a walk just by yourself but you have a 2-year-old, obviously, you can’t leave him/her in the house alone while you take a 30-minute walk. Ask your spouse, grandparent, etc. to help you watch them for 30-minutes so you can take a few moments to yourself.
Do not feel guilty for taking time for yourself. Do not feel guilty for asking for help.
Again, I’m preaching to myself over here! I LOVE extending help to my friends, but when I’m on the receiving end of that help I hover back and am like, no, I’m good. I got this.
Just stop that. We wear this I’m So Busy Badge with pride and it isn’t always a good thing. Being busy does not define whether you are a good mom, a good wife, a good friend, etc.
We need to stop putting “being busy” on a pedestal.
“Exhaustion is not laziness.”
Beth Moore states, “Exhaustion is not laziness.” I think I need to write this on a notecard and put it on my desk, on my refrigerator, in my car, all the places where I need to read this reminder.
It’s crucial that we know when our bodies are screaming at us that they are exhausted that it’s our body telling us we are at our full capacity. It’s time to take a step back and take the time for self-care. (And, just so you know, exhaustion shouldn’t be the reason we start self-care. Self-care should be a constant in our lives.)
Self-care has three parts…
- Recognize You Need It
- Figure Out How You Can Get It
- Ask for Help to Get It
Recognize You Need It
We all need self-care (even our kiddos!). And, guess what… if we deny ourselves self-care, our children are watching our every move and are learning that this whole superhero complex is the norm. When in reality, it’s draining and an unrealistic way to live.
Another thing you need to recognize is what self-care is to you. Mary Cady’s daughter, Catherine, likes to go running. So when she starts to seem overwhelmed and stress, Mary Cady simply asks, “Hey, do you wanna go for a run?”
I’ve learned that Mary Catherine’s version of self-care is reading. And, for me, I love my mornings. Mornings are for me, myself and I.
So recognizing that you need self-care and what that looks like for you and those in your household is imperative to the next step.
Figure Out How You Can Get It
One of the hardest things to understand, is we are our own advocate. We cannot assume that people can read our minds and automatically know that we are needing some alone time. As much as I would love for JT to be able to read my mind to instantly know my needs, that isn’t realistic and it’s important for to me speak up.
As I mentioned, I love my mornings. My kids are in a carpool line so JT and I are responsible for taking the kids to school on Monday’s and Wednesdays. Well JT has spoken up and said he’ll take Monday’s and I can take Wednesday’s. Y’all, having Monday mornings to solely myself just makes me all giddy. This is my “me time” and I get to utilize this time for self-care, whatever that may look like for that particular morning.
Ask for Help to Get It
Again, y’all… I love giving help but hate being on the receiving end. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves, but we need to remember it takes a village. Let your friends help. Let your family help. Maybe you and a fellow momma rotate playdates each week so that you each have one evening every other week dedicated to self-care time.
Make Self-Care a Popular Topic in Your Home
Remember, our kids are learning from our actions.
While at the dinner table, make this a conversation for the evening. Ask your children these questions…
- What did you do today for someone else?
- What did someone else do for you?
- And, what did you do for yourself?
Establishing that self-care isn’t something that you should guilty about, that it’s okay to need your own space, and that it’s not selfish is something that every child should understand.
Don’t Wait for Permission
I get that you feel like you may need permission to act on self-care for yourself, but let me tell you… you don’t. Remember by definition, self-care is under individual control.
Ditch the cape – ask for help and start making self-care a priority in your life. “Self-care is important because you are important.”