Stop Being the Mommy Martyr: You need self care whether you think you do or not
So, recently I’ve been seeing articles popping up saying that self-care is impossible for some moms. That motherhood keeps us running so much that there is no time left to take care of ourselves, so we will just go back to focusing on ourselves once all our kids are grown. This thought couldn’t be further from the truth. You do not need to ignore your needs and be a mommy martyr for your family.
For many of us, when we are overwhelmed, we feel as if we can’t take a minute for ourselves. We might only be thinking about the big, grand ways to get some self-care, going for a massage, or a week long vacation to a resort. While those types of things are amazing, and I’m sure it sounds amazing to all of us, it just isn’t a possibility for most of us.
Sure, self-care is less glamorous as a mother, but it is just as important.
Do you maintain your vehicle? Put gas in it? Get the oil changed? Doing these things is done to make sure your vehicle keeps going, right? If you neglect to do these things then your vehicle suffers and will eventually stop.
The same applies to yourself. Unless you’re taking time to refuel yourself, you’re going to break down. For some of us, that break down happens early, for others, it might take more time, but regardless, the breakdown will come.
It really becomes about finding balance. So what if you’re not going to the spa or salon on a regular basis. Who cares if you dye your own hair instead of having it professionally done? It really becomes about the things you do for yourself to make yourself feel better.
Some days it could be just as simple as getting dressed in something that makes you feel amazing instead of leggings and baggy shirt. Put on some mascara, perfume, lipstick, or whatever makes you feel a little special.
Doing small things for yourself throughout the day can help you continually fill your tank so that you’re never quite to your breaking point. Some days are more difficult than others to get any time in, but when you can do small things for yourself you’re at least not running on empty nonstop.
It’s kind of a stretch, but one thing that helps me to be more intentional is to take pause through my day. I can get so focused on everything I’m doing, and everything I need to do that I lose sight of the small things that matter. So, here is what I started doing. It’s going to sound overly simple and pointless, but hear me out.
I started to take a pause and appreciate the little things that surround me. When i’m overwhelmed scrubbing floors and can’t focus on anything because 15,000 things are going through my mind, but then I see Little Miss playing or dancing around to the music. I pause. I stop where I’m at and look at the life around me. I look at her face, really look at it. Or I join her for a dance.
These moments are full of intentional motivation. I want to soak these moments in, I want her to remember the times that I would put down the dishes and dance crazy around the living room for a few moments before going back. She will remember that her mom could work the balance between being a good housewife, wife, and mother (sometimes barely) and manage to find moments of fun throughout the day.
Sure, in the back of my mind, I know I’m letting things slide, but hearing the giggles and the joy that comes out of those moments keeps me going. It is really all about the small things you can add to your day.
Ideas for small things you can do throughout your day
- Stop for a special coffee instead of filling up at home
- Put on an outfit that makes you feel sassy or sexy
- Put on some mascara or lipstick
- Video chat with a friend while you’re both cleaning/ going about your day
- Dance around to music- at home or in the car- just let it all out
- Celebrate completing tasks with a reward for yourself- finish dishes & get a chocolate bar, or whatever reward you want
- Grab a special body wash for the shower
- Take a pause to appreciate things throughout your day (this one is explained above)
- Take a new route home from work or the store
- Ask for help when you need it- or delegate
- Order a pizza, use a crockpot, eat cereal, or just have the world’s most simple dinner on the crazy nights.
- Sit in your car for a moment after dropping kids off at practice/ activities and just take a few deep breaths
- Listen to a podcast that lifts your heart as you drive/ clean
- When in the shower, take 5 deep breaths
- Dance in the kitchen
- Have a glass of wine
- Make your favorite meal for dinner
- Go for a walk with the kids, or with a friend.
- Watch one of your favorite shows or movies while you do other stuff
Stop being a martyr already
Running yourself absolutely ragged and burning out completely does nothing for your family. Being overwhelmed and running nonstop each day does nothing to help you or your family long term. Take small moments for yourself throughout the day to keep your tank above E. You’ve got this momma… you deserve this.