Giving yourself permission to take care and listen to your own needs is a really hard thing for a lot of mom’s to do. This difficulty actually comes from a really beautiful place, our children mean everything to us and we want what is best for them. The problem is that we have the misguided belief that if we give them all of us then we are being “good’ moms. This is just not true. We are good to others when we are good to ourselves! Our families need to see us in actions of self care as this will result in a happier and healthy you as well as teach your children what worthiness, self esteem and inner love looks like.
Here are 5 ways that you can give yourself permission and model self care for your family:
1. Go first:
Step ahead in the family line and take care of YOU first! If it is at meal time, bath time or bed time put your needs first and take your turn before anyone else in the family. Allow yourself to be nourished, relaxed or rested before your children or partner and get curious about the positive rippling effect this has on you and your family.
2. Take a planned time out every day:
Reflect on your day and pick a non-negotiable, never missed few minutes when you are able to with you and your breath. Create conscious awareness around this daily time slot. By putting one hand on your heart and the other on your belly for just a few minutes every day, you will connect to yourself in a beautiful and profound way. Communicate this “time out” with your family, so that everyone knows that you are NOT AVAILABLE during this time every day!
3. Let some things go
As a self proclaimed control freak this was really, really hard for me but once I embraced the necessity of letting some things go I could feel the pressure lift from me immediately.
Everyone has different values and only you know where you are putting energy that is not serving you. I love a clean and organized house, I wanted to let this go but it ultimately did not ease any pressure for me. I was however able to let go of the concept of perfect meals, I can share with you that at least 1 time per week we eat frozen pizza (with a side of veggies) and I buy -not bake – cookies, granola bars, muffins for my daughter’s lunches. What a relief when I put my gluten free, vegan, paleo cook books back on the shelf to collect dust once again! What can you let go of?
4. Ask for help
Mom’s martyr! We do! I had to get honest and admit that I was not asking for help because I felt that no one could do it as well as me. What a relief when I recognized this and now once a month we pay for a cleaning service to come to our home, a wonderful luxury and worth every cent to me. The other times of the month, my husband, daughter and I turn up the tunes and get to work. My daughter loves to clean the toilets and my husband is awesome with the floors. We try to make it a “funish” family affair and often go out for a treat after to celebrate our clean house! What can you get some help with? Maybe a teenager can come over a few hours a week to watch your little ones while you have a bath or read a book. Can you ask your husband to take over the laundry duties? Chances are you are holding on to a mom duty that you can pass along to someone else, they may even do it better than you!
5. Say No!
Sometimes the simple things are the hardest things. A big part of mom burn out is the need to take care of everything and everyone. What is that saying…want to get something done, give it to a busy person? Mom’s you are the perfect target for this! A little technique that has served me very well in the past few years is something I call the “pause button”. Whenever anyone asks me to do anything, I reply with “I will get back to you”. This allows me to walk away and think about if it serves me before responding with a reflexive yes when actually it is a resounding no!