If you are a mom looking for a simple, straightforward, and beneficial self-care routine that will allow you to thrive as a human being and as a mother – you are in the right place.
Many things happen as soon as we become mothers, but the primary transformation is in the undeniable fact that we are no longer responsible and accountable for ourselves only; we now have this tiny little human being who depends on us like no one ever depended on us before.
Our children need us to eat, they need us to drink, they need our help clean them up, make sure they sleep, pee and poop, make sure they are not too cold or too warm, comfortable enough, and if all this wasn’t enough – we are the ones solely responsible for their development, physical and mental alike.
By the way, this applies to you even if your kids are teenagers 🙂
Why Do You Need a Self-Care Routine?
You don’t need me to tell you all this information that you’re already aware of and probably overwhelmed by. You are here to find the perfect self-care routine that will allow you to handle all this immense responsibility while catering to your needs and not going postal.
And this is where you do need me. Because it is so easy to forget. It is so easy to forget that you need time, too; you need space, you need autonomy, freedom, and protection. You need connection, support, acceptance, to know that you are seen, to see that you are heard. You have needs, too, mama.
You’ve Already Forgotten YOU
And this is where you need me because I’m sure that you forgot.
I’m sure that you forgot to share your feelings today, I’m sure that you believe that your feelings aren’t that important anymore. I’m sure that you forgot to say “wait, you know what, I’m actually not fine; I’m lonely, and tired, and overwhelmed.”
I’m sure that you forgot to say that “that comment” someone made was hurtful, that you didn’t appreciate the judgment. That you would prefer someone to ask you if you are looking for opinions before going ahead and sharing theirs with you.
Being a Parent Doesn’t Mean That YOU Have No Needs
You see, parenting is like politics – everyone has their own opinions of it, and as soon as you become a mother, you learn that all they want to do is share, and no one is, really, after listening. All they seem to want is to tell you what you are doing wrong, and what you should be doing differently, and you (at least a part of you), you believe them (at least a portion of them). And you take their words personally. And you carry that pain, that pain that grows each day.
Keeping The Pain In
Yet you don’t say a word. Because it has nothing to do with your current role, your role of a mother. And to an extent you are right, it doesn’t. But sooner or later it will. Because being a mother doesn’t rob you of your own humanity, even when it seems like you are expected to do everything and just be happy about it. This is a soul-wrecking expectation. I see you, mama.
To what extent do you think you can continue blowing your steam off into this imaginary balloon of anger, sadness, and frustration before it blows up? Before it robs you of everything you have, and everything that you love?
I work with so many mothers who can tell you – this is real. At some point during your parenting journey, you will realize that pouring from an empty cup is impossible; because it is. Cliches become cliches for a reason – they are correct.
Self-Care – The Way You’ve Never Thought About It Before
When most moms hear the words “self-care” and “self-care for moms,” they think of to do lists that tell them, well, what to do. Go to sleep, take time to exercise, eat well. These all are true, but they are strategies and strategies are merely means of meeting our needs.
I’m going to give you something different. I’m going to tell you what you need, and I know what you need because human needs are universal, you and your baby actually need the exact same things. And the sooner you will internalize this one sentence, the better 🙂 This will not only transform how you see and experience yourself, but it will also change how you experience your children and simplify everything that seems so overwhelming.
Being on the same side always feels much better than being separated, being apart.
What Do Moms Need?
- You need acceptance: someone to accept you for who you are at this moment. Someone who will not want you to change or tell you what you need to do and how you can do it.
- You need affection: someone to show you love, for whatever this word means to you.
- You need appreciation: someone to see what you are doing, the bravery, strength, patience, and determination with which you approach your life.
- You need belonging: to know that you are a part of something bigger, a tribe that will be there for you when you can’t do it yourself anymore; a tribe that knows that this moment will come, and is ready to be there, at your side, and to help you carry the weight.
- You need compassion: the understanding that things won’t be perfect, and everything is good enough just as it is.
- You need consideration: someone who will ask you “what do YOU need to make things just a bit easier”?
- You need empathy: someone who will be there, next to you, as you cry. Someone who won’t try to make you feel better, but will be courageous enough to stay there, next to you, in your pain.
- You need safety, support, and security: someone who will be there next to you and will protect you, your needs, your feelings, and your wishes.
- You need stability: the comforting knowledge that tomorrow will look and feel like today, and today was just OK.
- You need trust: trust to continue doing what you do best, trust to trust yourself, trust to learn from your mistakes, trust to be who you can and want to be.
- You need authenticity, integrity, and presence: not only from yourself outward but from the outside inward. You need to know that you are seen and heard, that you are understood.
- You need peace, harmony, and order: and only you know what this means to you, and it’s OK if it’s a different definition than what everyone else is thinking.
- You need autonomy, choice, freedom, spontaneity, space, and to know that you are in control of your life: this sounds like a contradiction to motherhood, but this is one of humanity’s significant needs. Find what you can do to meet these needs of yours, I can’t think of anything more substantial.
- Meaning. You need meaning. You need to know that what you do, what you think, what you say, who you are – means a lot, and makes a difference.
So What Is The Perfect Self-Care Routine For Moms?
I don’t really know the answer to this question. Only you will be able to answer it for yourself because we are all different, we all understand these words differently, and we consume our empathy and compassion differently.
Everything that can be said in reply to a “what” question is in the realm of strategies, and there are as many strategies as people on this planet.
There is one thing you can do, though, you can choose happiness, and pursue it. Define these needs for yourself, understand what they mean, and together with your loved ones find beneficial ways of meeting your needs. Fathom that you are the only one accountable and responsible for your needs and that if you won’t stand up for yourself – no one else will do that; at least not as much as you need it.
You have to. For yourself, for your children, for your future.
And Here’s The Self-Care Tip Of The Century
Depression is the price we pay for being “good”. The price we pay for not showing our authentic feelings, and only expressing your “acceptable” feelings. Depression is what we get when we believe that we are responsible for the emotional well-being of others, and that we are responsible for it on our own expense.
Depression is what we get for doing what we are expected to do, for suppressing our hearts and souls, for not letting our light shine.
LET YOUR HEART SHINE with HAPPINESS > You Deserve It.
Join my parenting support group on Facebook, I’d love to meet you and deepen the discussion on what YOU need to be a happier YOU.