Almost three years ago (three? how did that happen?), Corinne gave me the biggest blessing and made me a mama. Sometimes I’ll see a picture, or think back to a time before her, and it’s really hard to remember that life. Whether you are a working mom, a stay-at-home mama, or somewhere in between, it’s no secret – motherhood changes you. And it transforms your life completely.
The newborn stage was filled with just figuring it out. Feeding, sleeping (or lack thereof), diapers, getting out of the house…it was all new, and figuring it out was tough! I went back to work when Corinne was 9 weeks old, and swiftly life transitioned into figuring out newborn life + full-time working life. I can say it probably took me a full year before I felt like I had things “figured out.”
(P.S. I still have weeks where I feel like I have NOTHING figured out. Motherhood can ground you that way.)
Now I can’t attest to stay-at-home mom life, or what life is like with more than 1 kiddo, but I can tell you this – mamas, we are way too hard on ourselves. Between the mom guilt and the “I am super mom and I can do anything” mentality – we are just too hard on ourselves. I’ve gotten better over time at remembering that I am only human, and I can’t do it all, but there are still some weeks where I wind up in a heap of tears and misery over the fact that I didn’t do more. Play more. Give more.
Today, I’m giving you permission to take that super mom cape off, rid yourself of the ridiculous expectations you set, and take care of yourself a little bit. And I need to remember to do it, too. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few things I try to focus on:
What can I do to take care of my health? Taking charge of my health was a necessary gift I had to give myself. I was feeling sluggish, tired, and lacking energy. I still struggle (daily) with trading bad choices for good choices, but I feel so much better when I’m taking care of me with less processed foods. More water intake in my day. A little time focused on exercise.
What can I do to take care of my mind? I love reading blogs that speak to this stage of my life. Their stories that are just like mine make me feel understood, and like someone else shares my crazy! I also love reading and getting hooked on a TV show here in there…it provides a great escape for the end of my day.
What can I do socially? My time with my girlfriends is so special, and it doesn’t happen nearly enough. Sitting down with a cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend is like an oxygen tank – I feel like I can breathe again! It’s nice to talk about our kids and mom life, but it’s also nice to remember that we are more than that, too.
What can I do for my marriage? This weekend Brian and I had a night to ourselves, and it was much needed. The night didn’t go quite as planned (1.5 hour wait at restaurants, WHAT?), but we still had a great time. We ate dinner and had conversation. We could change our plans on a dime without worrying how it would affect Corinne. We shopped without worrying about strollers or snacks or schedules. Again, Brian and I don’t do this nearly as often as we should, but it was wonderful. And, it was wonderful for Corinne and my mom to have a night to play together, too!
What can I do for ME? Find your thing that calms you, and do that whenever you need a break. Walk the aisles of Target aimlessly with a latte in hand. Get your nails done. Take a solo walk at the park. Whatever it is, find it – and use it to bring calm to your world.
I wasn’t always good at taking care of myself, and there are still days when I don’t focus on it like I should. But when I do? My peace brings peace to everyone around me, too. Taking care of myself makes me a better mom, wife, friend, and co-worker. Here’s to a new week, mamas, and remembering you are a person, too. Give yourself the gift of whatever brings joy to your life!