Four Ways to Practice Mom Self-Care
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before!
If you give a mom a macaccino, her kids will probably need a tissue, then she will realize that the kitchen is a huge disaster and start to clean that up first…”MOMMMMM!!!! I need a tissue again” then she will bring her daughter a tissue and realize the living room is also a mess and start to clean that up. Then she will have forgotten all about the macaccino and now it is cold, into the microwave it goes…and so on and so on until she gives up and dumps the damn thing in the sink.
Mom – 0, Macaccino-1.
Have you ever read the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? It is my all time favorite kids book because I totally relate to both characters. As a mom, I am the little kid helping the mouse by picking up after all of his misadventures in “helping.” I also identify strongly with the mouse, starting new projects every few minutes and never quite finishing anything. At the end of the day, there is this unimaginable exhaustion that would seem to indicate I worked my tail off and yet…nothing truly got accomplished. I read this amazing story years ago that totally resonated with me and gave me this beautiful analogy for motherhood. At least it was good preparation!
All of this to say…
1. Us moms need to slow down and drink our hot beverage!
I mean, look at the living room if you want but resist the urge to tackle the mess ASAP. Leave the room, sit on your front stoop, sit out back on your patio, grab a seat at your kitchen table, WHATEVER. Just drink your drink. Savor it, and take the time to intentionally relax. The world won’t end if you wait twenty minutes to pick up the house, I PROMISE YOU.
2. We need to focus on one task at a time
We’ve somehow convinced ourselves that multitasking makes us more productive, that the end-goal is to get as much as done in a day as possible. Holy stressball, Batman. We need to slow up, and work on mono-tasking. In the long run, you save time by focusing on one task at a time and it’ll be higher quality, too. Your brain will thank you for not wearing it out by running so many gears at once. Check out this awesome video on the lie of of multitasking. (Although, as I type this, I am sipping my drink…can’t win them all!)
3. Give ourselves a little more grace at the end of the day!
This is really a mindset issue. You had it in your head that you would do #allthethings today but that mindset is just not realistic. Even when you feel like you “got nothing done,” if you really think about it, you know it’s not true–you just didn’t get done all the things you thought you were going to get done. Managing your time to reduce stress is whole ‘nother blog post but the important thing to remember is keeping a little perspective and stop beating yourself up for not being uberproductive. (See #2!)
4. Mommin’ ain’t easy but this little stage doesn’t last forever. I am learning to love it instead of being sad for my messy house!
What’s more important to you? Your house being spotless all the time, or being a present mom for your kids? Once you order your priorities, it becomes easier to not get stressed out about a messy house or having a six course meal on the table at dinner time. A messy house is a sign of a home where life is being lived. Embrace this season of your life and just do the best you can.
Practicing mom self-care isn’t selfish- it’s a necessity. In my book, Journey Back to Health, I devote a lot of time talking about the effects of stress on health. Running yourself ragged and walking around resentful does no one any good, least of all, you!
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