Six years ago my entire world shifted. Life was no longer just about me. Every decision I made, every action I took, every thought going through my head... all became about someone else. Now don't get me wrong, this happens when you meet a partner and fall in love. BUT it's nothing compared to the shift that happens when you bring a life into the world.
After having three kids in less than two years everything changed. There was no more leaving the house whenever I felt like it, peeing or taking a shower alone, cranking the music on a car ride, eating a hot meal for the first year or two... and the list goes on. and on. and on.
The craziest part is that even when you do get to do any of those things because of an amazing support system, its now associated with an immense amount of mom guilt. As I sit here writing this post, my daughters are sitting on the couch watching the iPad because the buses were cancelled today. They asked and I said yes because I needed to get some work done. We're not even talking about a nice hot shower or reading a book in my room. I'm WORKING and I still feel guilty because my kids are getting screen time instead of playing dress up with mom.
After six years I am really starting to carve out time for myself. Now the reason I wanted to write about this is because us moms have a tendency to get caught in the trap of confusing errands for "me time." Let's get real here. Getting groceries, going to the gym, shopping for clothes for the kids, taking the dog for a walk; these all need to happen for your family to function. They are necessities! Maybe these errands are enough self care for you because I know some people love grocery shopping, etc. I just think it's a slippery slope to say that moms get a break when they do those things.
I know that when I get a chance to fill my cup, handling my kids is a thousand times easier. I'm a way better mom because I'm not as burnt out and I can show up at 100%...well maybe 90% since parenting is crazy hard! Below are five of my favourite things to do to give myself a little self care. This can look different for everyone but at the end of the day, as long as you put some time into yourself... just for you... that's all that matters.
1. Take a nice hot bath. Yes I realize this can somewhat fall under hygiene and therefor is a necessity, but I'm not doing it to get clean. I do it so I can soak in bath salts, put on a facemask, watch Netflix on my iPad and drink a glass of wine.
2. Facetime/call a friend. One of my besties lives in a different province through the winter months so every week we try to do a video call to catch up on life. These call usually end up lasting an hour or so and I literally feel 10x less stressed when the call is over.
3. Play sports. This looks different depending on the time of year. Snowmobiling and downhill skiing in the winter, beach volleyball and water skiing in the summer.
4. Spa. Usually for me this is a pedicure. Sitting in the massage chair drinking tea while someone else pampers my feet is absolute bliss.
5. Lay in bed watching movies ALL DAY. Ok so I've never actually done this one because my kiddos are a ton of work and my mom guilt would eat away at me the entire time... but if I have one wish, this would be it!
I really challenge you to think about whether your self care is something that is just for you, fills your cup and is an extra; or is it something you would have to do anyway?
All the love,