One of the biggest hurdles that mom’s have to get over before we can truly create self care in our lives is giving yourselves permission, to say yes to your needs! We feel guilty if we are not doing something, being with or caring for a need for our family. Where did this belief system come from? What is this guilt rooted in? Logically we all know that if we are not caring for ourselves then we have nothing to give to other’s. You have heard advice about putting the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child, but what stops us from doing this in our day to day lives? This is something that I have been exploring as part of my own personal recovery from mom burn out.
When I became a mom I set out on the impossible task of doing it all. As a self employed Naturopathic doctor I started back at work when my daughter was 4 months old, part time but working none the less. Still 100% committed to nursing my daughter my life became about nursing, pumping, working, running, commuting, disrupted sleeping, eating whatever was quick and easy and drinking lots of coffee to keep this cycle going. Whenever I was working I felt awful for not being with my daughter, whenever I was with my daughter I felt torn from being away from work that I loved. My remedy to this was a futile attempt to be 100% to both and 0% to me. The math did not add up. The result was burn out! I was so incredibly hard on myself and nothing about this process was loving. I also realize that during this time I was not an awesome Naturopathic doctor nor was I a present and centered mom for my daughter. This still brings me to tears.
Looking back, I truly believe there was room for family and career but I was missing a key component of self care and a gentle heart. It took an emotional as well as physical crash but when I knew better, I did better not only for me as well as my family, my work, my friends, my community.
It is something that I still have to check in with myself every single day: I ask myself is this choice loving and am I caring for myself? If the answer is a no, then I give myself permission to make a different choice that reflects my needs knowing it will ultimately have the positive domino effect on the people that I touch each day. I now say Yes to me!