Whether you’re a first-time mom, or an old hand at motherhood, we’re willing to bet that you know all about self-sacrifice. There is hardly a mom we know who doesn’t define the words selfless, generous and caring.
From sleepless nights and baby burping to early morning school runs, never-ending taxiruns, overflowing laundry baskets (I just did a load yesterday!) and meals that never seem to be enough or please everyone’s taste buds – we know a mother’s work is never done.
As we celebrate our mothers this month on Sunday the 9th, we’d like to remind every mom not to forget to make time for herself. Check out our recent blog about self care and the importance of putting yourself first. And this is exactly what we believe most mothers have a hard time doing – putting themselves at the top of their to-do list.
As women, we are taught directly and indirectly from a young age what the world expects from us and how to fill these expectations. While some of these expectations may have sincere origins, they could lead to us simply never saying no, spending all of our time on others and making every effort, using most or all of our energy, to live up to them. Due to factors such as this, we expect it may be specifically hard for mothers to make the mental shift of putting themselves first.
SInce you are a busy mom, we put together a few tips to help you make the shift to prioritise yourself.
List your Priorities
Make a list of your priorities. It may look something like this: Family, Health, Community, Home, Work. Look at the list and read it again. Oftentimes our priorities are intertwined, if you aren’t healthy, you can’t go to work for example. We’re hoping you realise that you are at the core of each of these priorities. These things are important to you, and if you want to serve them well, you need to be well. Write down your priorities again, but start the list with your Most Valued Player: You. When we recently asked a single-parent mother who also runs her own business to rewrite her list, it looked like this: Me, Kids, Work, Community, Home.
What do you need?
When asked, most mothers will say they need their family to be happy and healthy. But today, we want you to think about yourself. What do you love, what do you miss? What would you like to have in your life that brings you happiness?
Here are a few ideas
- Uninterrupted sleep – this one is for the new moms, or moms with infants. Regularly ask your partner or a family member to babysit so you can catch up on some z’s.
- Alone time to reflect or journal – schedule an hour or two at your favorite coffee shop, or park at least once a week and use the time to jot down your feelings and ideas in a notebook.
- A hobby – pick up an old hobby or start a new one by making time for it in your schedule.
- A treat – we all need a treat every once in a while. Schedule lunch with a friend, a manicure or a massage and try to do it once every two to three months at least.
- Exercise – take time a few times a week to get to the gym or go for a walk, get fresh air and work up a sweat.
Ask for help
The activities you need are completely actionable if you schedule them ahead of time and make proper arrangements. Ask for help from family members or friends and remember that you would do the same for others when they ask.
Keep the Balance
Here is the answer to every mom who’s knee-jerk reaction at the start of this article which was probably something to the effect of: “how can I put everyone below me on my to-do list? Isn’t that selfish? Everyone will suffer and nothing will get done!” Well, mommas, it’s all about balance. It’s not selfish if you take a few hours per week for yourself, but it may become a very selfish act if you simply disappear every day and only come home to sleep. Well, selfish but probably mostly unhealthy.
Keep an eye on how much you take and how much you give to others. You will know when the balance is off.
Motherhood is one of the most rewarding journeys you will go on in this life. It is by no means easy. We hope you are able to accept the challenge and start putting yourself first on your to-do list. We salute all the mothers in our community and in the world. You are doing good work.
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” – M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled.
PS. Still looking for that PERFECT Mother’s Day gift? Why not check out our Honorary Ritual Pack?