Self-care has been a hot topic lately, as it should be.
As soon as I saw those two lines it instantly stopped being about me and become an “us.”
Lately though, I am feeling burnt out. I am feeling hollow yet antsy. I go to sit to do something, and I am uncomfortable.
I tried to describe myself the other day and all I could come up with is mother. Don’t get me wrong; I am deeply, to my core, so proud that being a mother is my greatest challenge, reason of growth, accomplishment, source of pride and joy. But there has to be more to me than that.
So I sat down and took a quiet moment. I asked myself who was I before this.
Student, woman, empathic, healer, creator, lover, science fiction fanatic, coffee snob, silly, spiritual… and the list went on.
And when I looked at that it made sense. Of course the word “mother” describes me. It is an all-encompassing word. I am still each of those individual things. For myself, for my family, for my friends, and for people I don’t even know.
I am not just a mom. I am a mother. A goddess. A warrior! A lover.
And not just to my kids but for myself too!
And we, us mothers, cannot lose sight of that. Believe me it happens. A never-ending cycle.
Happens time and time again where I give too much of myself to others.
I start to lose sleep, my body aches, I get sick. My body and spirit are screaming, “MOTHER US TOO!”
So that’s where I stand today. What are the best ways to mother yourself? How do you steal a few minutes and get a chance to take a peek inwards? How do you start to pay attention back to your wants and needs?
So here is my self-care, “mothering the mother” to do list.
A vision board.
This is so perfect. It tackles a few of my needs. It addresses creativity. I get to sit on floor, gather supplies, and throw on some awesome tunes and get to work. It also has you looking at your future optimistically. You are finding words and pictures that speak to your spirit. Desires and intention are brought to the forefront. It is a great activity to keep your hands, head, and heart busy.
Baking from scratch alone.
One of my favorite activities to do with my oldest son is to bake. But there is something so divine about baking ALONE. No waiting to do things their way. No mess. No shells in the batter (usually.) I don’t have to practice math out loud. I can just get into a meditative headspace where I can create and enjoy my works of art.
Yoga in the bathroom.
It shouldn’t, but it ALWAYS blows my mind how I can’t go anywhere in the house without two little shadows right behind me. I go to the bathroom and if I have the audacity to shut the door there are little fingers under the door, banging, and screaming. Yet my fiancé… He could spend half a day in there and no one would bat an eye. And there, in the bathroom, an idea was born. So like that manipulating ninja I am, I have been working on boundaries here and there. I started to close the door more. I made comments that if you can wait when dad is in there, you can wait while I am in here. Or my new favorite distraction; the new hit song that I wrote, preformed, and produced “YOU DON’T NEED MOM BECAUSE DAD CAN DO IT TOOOO!” So now I take 10 extra minutes while the water for the shower is warming up, or after I go to the bathroom to do some Sun Salutations or a small yoga flow. A stolen moment for me to connect my breath to my body.
… even if it is in a bathroom.
Morning brain dump with coffee
It is not beneath me to blast some obnoxious Netflix show for my kids so I can get 30-45 minutes unbothered and untouched time. I wake up, practically jump out of bed with the excitement of that first sip of coffee. Then I sit and I write. Anything from my intentions for the day, the list of must get dones, calls I need to make, the bits and pieces from last nights dream, ideas for my business, stuff about the kids. Anything I just need to delete from my head so I am not totally distracted for the day. It just feels so good light and good- may be the caffeine talking here.
These are just a few things I do when I get that itch. When I start to question if I am enough or do enough. And don’t worry YOU DO! Motherhood is hard. Damn hard. No one disagrees. It doesn’t matter if you stay at home or work. Breast or bottlefeed. Homeschool or public school. We all make choices that are best for our families. Some of these choices flourish and some leave us licking our wounds. There is no winning or losing. It is all just part of our story. We are all just doing our best. There is no competition in motherhood every bit of it is a challenge. So please. Don’t make it even harder. Take some time for yourself. Even if it is just saying one nice thing about yourself while you brush your teeth. Or you sneak your favorite snack hiding from your kids in the pantry. YOU DO YOU. If you feel that cycle starting where you lost those pieces of who you are or perhaps, even forgot what those pieces are.
Stop. Do yourself a favor and ask yourself, who am I? What am I? And see what comes next.