Changing gears today, I want to address something that doesn't get enough attention. Moms are often the centre of the home - in addition to our own wellbeing, we are responsible for that of our children and pets, sometimes become the errand runner, the grocery-getter, the bill-payer, and let's be honest, the spouse motivator. This can all add up, and though we power through it most of the time, pressure can build up when we feel our own separate life isn't being fulfilled. I would like to offer some tips to the busy, do-it-all Mom on how to prioritise yourself when your schedule is full from dawn 'til dusk, and beyond.
Set Goals: Where do you see yourself in a week? a month? What does your 5-year plan look like? By setting realistic goals, you are challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone and make a change in your current lifestyle. The sense of accomplishment you feel after completing them can be a great boost to your self esteem. Start small as your current life situation allows, then build up to bigger dreams.
Have a "me" spot: Choose a place inside or outside the home that is not to be shared with anyone else, where you go in your spare time to relax and recharge. In the evenings in the summer, I like to sit out on my front verandah with a coffee and read a book, write in my goal journal or just scroll through my phone. I have not settled on an outside "me spot" yet, although I have spent a lot of time at my local Starbucks. With COVID there has been disruptions in seating, so if I'm going to be buying coffee without the "sitting in a café" experience, I'd rather just make my own and go somewhere else.
Have a fast hobby: Choose something that can be maintained for the amount of free time you have in a day. I started my downstairs greenhouse when I took a whole week off from work, and now I just go down twice a day to turn on/off the lights and water it. I look forward to seeing the progress it makes everyday, and again, it is something that only I do. It's a bit of an escape from doing things with one (or more) kids who are beautifully chaotic, so to speak!
Artistic distractions: Bring out your inner child by getting creative. You can order adult colouring books that have highly detailed illustrations or even profanities. If that's not your thing, try painting on a canvas, writing a poem or playing an instrument.
Try new recipes: Order takeout on a day when you just don't have the energy to cook. Be adventurous and try something you haven't had before! You can then try to recreate it in the future with your own twist on it.
These are all little doable tasks that can shake up your daily routine and keep you from getting burn out. Self Care needs to become a priority, not a gift, for the Mom who does it all. If we don't take care of ourselves, how can we care for others? I encourage you to find ways to enrich your own life while being the superhero you are.