"To put your own needs over the needs of others. (Gasp!)
It"s okay, really.
I"m not suggesting that you stay glued to the couch with your coffee when your child needs breakfast or if someone is bleeding. However, there is an epidemic among women caregivers, and I ask you Moms, to take a good look at yourself and see if you can relate.
There"s nothing wrong with caregiving unless the caregiver fails to take care of themselves. Let me say first, I honor all of you who selflessly work in caregiver fields, and to those fellow Moms who work so hard to ensure their children are provided for. But, what about you?
Putting everyone else"s needs above your own seems noble, but at what cost? Are you too run down to play with your kids? Are you so on edge trying to get everything done that you don"t have time to be present with your kids or yourself? Do you resent those around you who take up your time, or don"t share the load, and then feel guilty for the feelings of resentment? Do you ever take time to consider your own feelings and pursue your own interests?
The depleted state Moms find themselves in, is often tempered by having several glasses of wine in the evening, indulging in foods high in fat or sugar, or living in fight or flight mode much of the time. All these things take a huge toll on the body, stripping us of our energy, motivation, patience, and presence for ourselves and others. This makes doing for others way harder than it otherwise would be, and the cycle continues.
You really can"t NOT put yourself first. By taking care of your needs, everyone wins. Believe it or not, your happiness is all anyone around you really wants. Your family wins if you feel good and take time to care for yourself. You will want to play with your kids, and you"ll have the energy to do so. Instead of leading with a false sense of having it all together, while struggling beneath the surface, you can lead with your whole self, body/mind/soul.
Ask for help when you need it. Not when you are at your wits end, but before you lose your patience. It"s okay to say No, when you feel you are stretched too thin or if something just doesn"t feel right. It"s okay to buy baked goods for the bake sale instead of slaving over the oven all day. It"s okay to choose to take a walk, meditate or nap, rather than cleaning the kitchen. Your body is your temple and when you feel good, you will reflect that on everyone around you.
I encourage you to drink lots of water (half your body weight in ounces) and limit the ingredients that bog you down like artificial sweets, alcohol, heavy fats and sugars.
Try to move your body every day with intention. Take a walk, bike ride, or dance to some music you love. Sign up for weekly exercise or meditation classes so you have a healthy commitment to yourself that you will stick with. Make a weekly lunch date with a friend, or just you! Take time to sit and be with yourself in silence, art, reading, music, or whatever it is that you desire.
Take time for you, Mom. Every single day.
When you fill your cup first, then anything you offer others will be poured from a full cup of love."