Self-Care For Moms, One Step at a Time

How are you today, really?

Have you noticed we are so busy that we barely stop to talk to each other? It seems to be always something else going on or someone’s need is in front of ours… I noticed that at the hotel, when I asked a guest how she was doing, but didn’t stop to look at her and listen to her answer. I know, it sounds rude, but we were in a hurry and she probably didn’t feel hurt or offended.

This small situation made me think… am I doing this way too frequently?

This week I stopped to ask a friend how she was doing. She said that fake “fine” and smiled. I didn’t really trust she was telling me the truth so I insisted until she was able to open up to me. I know, no respect for personal space here, but well…

I discovered my friend is on anxiety meds, high blood pressure meds, she has little to no sleep most nights. She eats badly and has no time for exercise. Job consumes most of her day and let’s not talk about how the house is now ok? On top of that all the non-profits she volunteers and let’s mention that she has kids and a dog and she is also a solo mom?

I felt awful with her (not for her) because she is younger than me and as an American lady in the 30s she should be living the dream right? But what kind of dream is that? This report she made shows how little she has dreamt in the last years…

The worse part of this conversation is that we concluded women behave like that most of the time. It’s the Wonder Woman syndrome… you can do it all, no matter what cost, to show that you have power to do it? I am sorry, but this looks so expensive…

I proposed a self-care project and she looked at me as if I was asking for her kidney.

So, let’s breathe together and shift a few things shall we?

Self-care is not about following a trend.

It is about preserving and improving your health. This is done by eating right, sleeping well, exercising, and slowing down every now and again. It’s the Carpe Diem we all know and love, but barely work on.

So how does a fulltime-working-cooking-food-from-scratch-exercising-volunteering-engaged-in-the-community-stop-the-car-to-rescue-that-puppy-with-no-tags-active-in-church-save-the-pandas-PTA-president-blogger-wife-friend-and-mother actually DO that?!

One step at the time!

This is my project:

Start journaling.

Wake up 30 minutes before your normal time to be able to stretch, say your prayers, read one chapter of that book you were anxious to read.

Have a proper breakfast. Hello crockpots! You don’t need to slave in the morning to eat well. Don’t skip a meal. Prepare your lunch the night before!

Drink water. My bottles have numbers, so I see how much water I must drink during the day.

Take little breaks in between tasks and projects. You are not a machine. Deadlines can also be negotiated!

Make your life easy, by organizing one space at the time, doing smaller loads of laundry, doing grocery shopping online, delegating! Believe me, a 3 year old is capable of doing a lot!

Buy an alarm clock and turn the phone off when you are at home. If you are in a field where your attention may be required at any moment, set alarms for breaks. 30 min to 1 hour will make you a new person!

Enjoy silence. Breathe. Walk slowly.

Call one friend a week and really talk to him/her.

Make a new friend every week. Take interest for this new person in your life!

Say yes more often and say no with assurance all will be fine.

Never allow anyone to leave your presence without a smile.

After we talked about it, my friend cried. And I cried with her. Changing is so daunting, but it is part of this life. Change for better, slowly but surely. Invite others to share your path.

Being a mother taught me a lot, and the biggest lesson is that I am not alone.

Believe me, I was not all about this project in the beginning. This conversation with my friend came as part of my self-care project. I wrote on my journal “these goals and projects for myself will make no sense and achieve nothing if I am not available to lift others in the same journey.”

So next time I ask how you are, tell me you are on your way to care for yourself. And I will join you!

See you next time!

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