Before Baby-Ji arrived, time was wholly my own to use well (i.e. read, learn, nurture) or to squander (i.e. indulge in binge Bravo watching). I never had to think about finding time or feeling guilty about getting my hair done or going to the doctor. Eating a meal was not a luxury but a daily ritual – three times a day at that!
Now since I have become a Mother – time is tight and difficult to manage. The day starts early and goes late. Surprisingly, there is still a long list of to-do’s that rollover into the next day or weeks 🙂 For the last year or so, I have constantly felt like I am running behind the curve. So where in this new beautiful chaos, am I supposed to find time for myself?
For me, as many of you have gotten to know through our social media posts, I struggled with my health for a large portion of the year after my son’s birth. Even now, I am still a work in progress. It seared my soul to not be able to care for him 100%. I was too ill to hold him, change him and often too weak to keep up with him. In addition to struggles with my health, I struggled with PostPartum Depression & Anxiety. My situation left me frustrated, bitter and resentful of why I could not be like other mommy’s who were able to be dedicated to their little one.
Layered on top of this, I was angry that any little time I carved out in the day for me I had to give away to doctor’s appointments and healing. I still hold sadness in my heart for not being able to share the initial months with my son wholly.
Stepping back, I can see this is an unfair hurt on my heart to hold guilt for caring for myself when I needed medical attention. Anger, resentment and frustration close our hearts from openness, love and acceptance.
Self-care is the ultimate symbol of self-love and celebration. It is a statement that “I am worthy and deserving of nurturing”. So when as mother’s did we sign on to sacrificing our wellbeing? When I talk with other Moms, new and seasoned, this seems a common theme feeling guilty for “me time”. Collectively, we need to shift our vision that “me time” is not an indulgence but a necessity towards the well-being of ourselves as an individual and a mother.
“Me time” keeps your heart open, creativity alive and gives you space to be YOU not Mommy. Give yourself permission to step away for a few minutes at first and then work towards larger periods of time. You are deserving of self-care.
I have worked over the last year to find small ways in my day to reclaim empowered Mommy living:
- Saying NO: This is not easy but as the foundation of your home you can only be stretched thin so much before breaking. It is not your job to please everyone and accommodate other’s needs. Your first priority is to yourself and your family.
- Asking for help: You are not superwoman and do not have to be one. Find ways to engage your family, partner and friends to help you out with errands, chores and childcare.
- Feed your soul: Motherhood many days can feel like a thankless job. What inspires you, awakens your dreams and brings joy to your heart. Even if you don’t know the answer yet continue to make time to ask yourself these questions to keep the conversation open.
Meditation: At the start or end of the day, take time for yourself to just be with your breath. Start small with 5-10 breaths until you can find a 5-10 minutes. Allow yourself to sit comfortably in a sacred space of your home. Repeat your mantra quietly to yourselves as many times as you need until you embrace daily rituals of self-care freely.
Mommy Empowered Mantra: I give myself permission to relax, let go and be nurtured. I am deserving of self-care and self-love.