I wrote another post called the Mother LOAD. In this post, I spoke about how often we are so busy being wife, mother, friend, mother, career woman, and so on, that we may forget who WE are (self-love). Sometimes, our dreams and aspirations get put aside so we can fulfill a very important role. And that’s OK… SOMETIMES!
Learning to put yourself first by no way means that you are negating your role as mother, etc. It just means you know the importance of being in a healthy place, in order to succeed at what you have been called to do/be. Because the reality is: if we are not healthy, often our families suffer because of it. That’s why I called my previous article, THE MOTHERLOAD, as it may feel like a load and when that happens, we should know that its time for some self-care.
We should not feel guilty about taking some “time out”. In fact, I think our families will be grateful that we acknowledge the need for it. For you see, we will walk back into our home ready for another round of parenting. Well rested, feeling calm and in control.
So, how do we do this?
I believe there are 4 very important components. Yes, it might be different for other moms, but this works for me… We need to ensure that we are physically, emotionally and spiritually in tune, and then some.
By saying that we need to ensure that we are physically healthy and active I don’t mean that we need to be ready to take on the next Ironman. Trust me, I’ve just had a kid, (the baby weight is still lingering) and the Ironman is not on my list of things to do…
But, in all honesty, when we are active and exercise our body releases that beautiful inner “happy” magic called ENDORPHIN, which triggers a positive feeling in our body. So, for me… Whenever I get the chance to, I go for a run. If that isn’t an option I try to go to the gym (ours’ happen to have great childcare facilities). Or even just a walk around the park/block with the kids – they are happy, and I am happy! That ENDORPHIN magic is great, once they kick in. So whatever we can fit into our schedule will work, and it’ll be well worth it!
This can be a tricky one. Each of us is wired differently, and so are our emotional needs. Being emotionally fit takes a lot more work than physical fitness (I believe)… This is a much deeper, more vulnerable aspect of ourselves that we need to redirect continuously. I don’t think this redirection ever stops. It is the ability to take all negative feelings and replace them with feelings of a positive nature. Once we realize and understand how powerful our thoughts are we then begin to see that most things in our lives are the way they are because WE allow them to be. That may be a bitter pill to swallow. I think some reflection time will enable us to learn how we need to fill our tanks emotionally.
What moves your soul? For me, it’s writing or music… Just pausing for a moment, in the midst of a frantic day, to pour out my thoughts in some form of writing, or singing/listening to a few notes fills my soul immediately… We need to believe in ourselves, trust ourselves, engage in those things we know give us a sense of fulfillment, and before we know it our smiles will tell the story of our true happiness.
Now, this could turn into a debate, and I don’t intend it to. Many of us have different beliefs and religious practices… and I in no way am here to be judgmental or critical of your faith. I’m just sharing my story and I hope it resonates with you.
In order to fill myself spiritually, I PRAY… The beautiful thing about prayer is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, and in any frame of mind. To lay bare my emotions, fears, and joys is a reawakening experience. I never walk away unfulfilled. None of us is perfect, we all have our faults and fears, God knows us better than we know ourselves and he understands – so let’s be brave and honest in our prayers. For me, the best way to find spiritual fulfillment is in daily prayer. You will know what yours is, but, whatever it is, do it… because we need this dimension of our ‘self’ to be fulfilled.
4. Do What You Love
This must be the easiest one… Doing what we love creates an excitement and peacefulness in us. It gives us a sense of satisfaction and, as I said above, SELF CARE is a wonderful and vital thing! Whether it be reading, writing, a massage, manicure, pedicure, coffee in your favourite coffee shop… The indulgence is yours and yours alone… So make time for it…
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