“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and make your happiness a priority.
It’s necessary.” –Mandy Hale
Did you get that? It’s Necessary.
Taking care of yourself is necessary. Now, I’m not talking about a shower and a plate of food all your own. Though that does sound heavenly. I mean identifying what simple things are just for you that bring you joy. Yes, I know, your children bring you joy. They also bring you frustration, life lessons, and gray hair.
You know what doesn’t do that?
A massage. Or a pedicure. Or a coloring book, of which I have several.
So many times as Mothers (or caregivers, boss babes, besties, etc.) we put everyone else above ourselves. The messy-bun-yoga-pants-yesterday’s-eyeliner-look is a mark of sacrifice and doing things right. But is it right? Do you have to save your favorite lip color for date night only? Why not wear it on a Wednesday just because it makes you feel good? Am I saying that you should leave the kids for the spa five days a week? Probably not, but when you start to feel run down, pulled too many directions and as if the world is slightly off kilter, it may be time for a mommy-break. Don’t think you have someone to relieve you right away? You’ve got friends. Yes, you know who your friends are, but I mean, you have friends. Real friends. Your friends won’t begrudge you the time for yourself, in fact they’d probably love to help out knowing you’ll do the same when they need it. That’s what friends are for. (Yes, I’m talking to you. Quit looking around. You.) Let your trusted neighbor or friend who has been begging to take the all of the kids (yours and theirs) to the park, do it- and you can enjoy a cup of coffee and quiet guilt free. You will be better for it and in turn your children will get a more relaxed, more patient you. Isn’t that worth an hour a week? In fact, maybe make it a weekly or bimonthly endeavor.
Playdate at my house this time, yours the next.
1) I take the kids, you have quiet time for an hour or two.
2) No texting unless it’s an emergency, I’ll let you know if we need you.
3) No cleaning, laundry, dinner planning or errands. Put down the duster and if I hear that vacuum I’m taking it.
4) You must do something that makes you happy and is not related to anyone else. Options include mani/pedi/massage, coloring, read a book, coffee and daytime tv, arts & crafts, or whatever floats your boat.
The more I think about this idea the more I wonder why I haven’t tried it already. It sounds lovely. Heck, I could do with just 20 minutes of ‘me’ time. Bonus: social interaction and play for the kids!
Honest-Mommy-Confession: I wasn’t as patient as I could be today. A perfect storm of little events plus an overly tired toddler made for a less than patient Mommy. It’s not a fun feeling, but it let me know that I needed to quite literally sit. Just sit. So, I made a small pot of tea, (granny status and proud of it) sat and watched as Bubba played with his toys and Little Bear made cooing noises next to me. That little bit of refocus time allowed me to prioritize my to-do list and realize that nothing on it was life or death. As a stay-at-home-parent you may not have someone available at a moment’s notice, but you do have the ability to sit down and take a few deep breaths. This will give you the time to regroup and muster up that Mommy-energy to tackle the next few hours until naptime or until reinforcements arrive. So, sometime in the next few days take a moment for ‘me time’ and allow yourself to do something just for you. If you do it, I’ll do it too. Pinky promise.