So I had an entire series of these posts planned on “self care” and even created content for it….
But then I scratched it. I don’t exactly know why, but it just felt a little like something my former self might read and roll my eyes at. Not because it was super woo-woo or even phony, but because it is so freaking hard to perform regular (meaning “as-needed”) self care while dealing with morning sickness and a demanding job or chasing a toddler and managing a household, etc. etc. etc. etc.
You get it and can’t you agree I’m right?
The truth is life is hard. Even harder: embarking on Mommyhood and defining your new life with new boundaries, priorities and demands. You don’t pop a baby out and: Voila! You flip the switch and changes occur.
You also don’t read a list of self-care whys and how-to’s and: Voila! You internalize and integrate it all into a new improved version of you 2.0.
Most of us already know that if we have a Dixie cup (that’s you, by the way) and life suddenly becomes a gallon of milk, then we have a problem. It usually takes a bit for the spilled and overflowing milk to wake us up. Denial is part of it, but being in the zone of survival mode is an even larger force at play.
I wish I could spell out the ways in which I’ve pushed myself this year to massively alleviate the guilt (notice that I didn’t say “eliminate”) and you could easily translate it into your life. You already know that you shouldn’t feel guilty.
But just as your baby biologically grew out of a mere teeny sperm & egg into the complex wonder you hold now (or will soon hold), guilt is somewhere programmed into Moms. Like an X chromosome.
So the best thing is to start small. I mean microscopic. Teensier than that sperm and egg that started this all. Week by week and day by day.
Start with consciousness and awareness. This week: start with listening to your body and noticing your negative or guilty thought patterns. That’s it. Just notice, observe and, most importantly, DO NOT JUDGE. That’s the hardest part, in my opinion.
Next week, incorporate one small inspired action. Either a deep breath or a forced smile and thoughtful pause on life when stress is starting to max out.
Then, gradually move on to the things like 5 minutes of meditation while you hold your sleeping baby or before baby wakes up. After days, weeks of mastery then you can slowly move on to a juice a day or a bath a week or a yoga class.
Whatever works for, inspires and recharges you…and makes you feel like your “old self.” Is it a haircut? A long drive? A special snack? A free evening with the girls and a glass of wine? A new dress? It doesn’t matter! Just make it small, make it meaningful and, most importantly, guilt-free.
At Seni Naturals, we consciously use the line, “Smile, You’re A Mother” on just about everything. Not to be cheesy or gimmicky, but because I truly feel that way. Being a Mom is nothing less than extraordinary. No one can take that feeling from you. And we should all put you on a pedestal. You created and birthed life and, trust me, you are the most important source of everything to your child. That’s why you deserve to smile!