This didn’t prevent me from eventually martyring myself on the altar of motherhood, however.
I still found myself depleted, struggling, and unhappy. I had completely lost track of myself. I wasn’t even doing yoga consistently, instead squeezing in practices whenever I could manage which occasionally was 11pm.
I loved my daughter (and I still do, just for the record) but I couldn’t really enjoy being a mom because I was too stressed out and frantic all of the time.
Even though I had (and still have) the most supportive and wonderful husband, I still felt a little behind the eight ball all of the time, stuck in patterns that no longer helped me.
It did not feel like Mother’s Day everyday because I wasn’t showing myself that every day was a day to celebrate and support me.
It took me a long time, but I finally figured out how to take good care of myself AND make time for the things I really wanted to do, that were separate from my daily mom life. And separate from my daily work life. I realized I needed to do things JUST FOR ME without guilt or hesitation.
Here’s how to begin to make this happen.
1. Acknowledge that you have needs and that they MATTER. In fact, YOU MATTER. Your needs are just as important as everyone else’s needs. Including your kids. How are you going to show them that you value yourself if you allow everyone to walk all over you? You teach others how to treat you. Teach your family that you are important.
2. Stop saying you don’t have time. You do. We all do. How much time did you spend on facebook today? Instagram? Watching youtube videos of Randy Rainbow? These aren’t accusations. I’ve spent my share of time on facebook today and instagram. I also spent about 20 minutes watercolor painting. And about 1 hour sitting in meditation and doing yoga. I used to say I didn’t have time. The truth was that I just wasn’t prioritizing my own needs. Now I do.
3. STOP Martyring Yourself. Easier said than done, I know. Here’s the thing: Only you appreciate what you are doing when you set aside your needs EVERY SINGLE TIME in order to do things for your kids. Which leads right into #4…
4. Start getting comfortable with saying “NO.” It’s ok to say no to something in order to say YES to something else. I’m not suggesting you say NO when your kids ask for help with their homework or if they ask you to read them books before bed. I’m suggesting that you stop overcommitting and start getting clear on what you are capable of fitting into your life so you can make space for the things that really matter.
5. Ask for help. Because sometimes someone else can help with the homework so you can go to a yoga class. Or someone else can put the kids to bed so you can read a chapter or two in a book that doesn’t have more illustrations than words.
6. Sign up for my Conscious Healthy Mama Essentials program. Those 6 habits are the gifts that keep on giving so you can reclaim the habits, routines, and practices that make you feel more whole.