5 misconceptions about self care for mothers
Guest post by Laneic Lavalle at Makeit218
“Burning both ends of the candle” is an accurate phrase when it comes to mothers. With such a beautifully huge responsibility on our hands, the majority of our days are going to be filled with giving. Our time, energy, love, and more. But all too often mothers give and their own needs are pushed into the shadows. The martyrdom of mothers is noble and out of love. But imagine what life would be like for us mommy’s if we stopped burning the candle from both ends? How much more could we give if we took time to replenish and recharge our own batteries?
Self-care, I believe, is the key to tapping out full potential as mothers. All that potential is left collecting dust as we try to do everything for everyone else, omitting our own needs in the process. Unfortunately, the idea of self-care is rarely explored beyond rare spa days every 3 years or on Mother’s Day. This may be because of some common misconception wrapped around motherhood and self-care. Understanding these false ideas might help us moms start taking self-care seriously and make it a normal, regular part of parenting.
Here are 5 misconceptions about self care for mothers:
Number 1: Self-care and putting my kids first doesn’t work together.
As a mother, your kids come first of course! But somehow the idea of self-care and neglect have been lumped together in an unsavory light. Self-care doesn’t mean letting your kids go without food so mom can eat or ignoring the basic tasks required to take care of children. It’s simple ensuring you’re taking care of yourself along with your family. It doesn’t have to be an either-or situation.
Number 2: But being tired is just part of the job as a mom.
I suppose I should clarify the kind of tired I mainly talk about. There’s the standard tired that comes with each stage of your kid’s development. Tired from a waking newborn, an active toddler, a growing preteen, a social teenager, etc. There are going to be nights where you just don’t get enough sleep or feel like you’ve been running here and there all week. That is part of motherhood.
The kind of tired I’m discussing when it comes to self-care is when you’re looking at the clock praying for bedtime every night, when you wake up and one of your first thoughts are “here we go again”, or when you’re just going through the everyday motions- there’s really no objective but to get through another day. That kind of tired is what I refer to as mommy survival mode and that doesn’t have to be your reality. Even in the challenging times, with the use of self-care, moms can live fully engaged lives that they thoroughly enjoy.
Number 3: Self-care is just not important enough to be a priority, I need to care for everyone else first.
I encourage you to reconsider. Think of it like this; you’re the foundation of a building. If you fall apart, then everything crumbles. If you’re not taking care of yourself, then your kids are impacted. Of course, dad helps but there’s no doubt that the whole family will feel the repercussion of you not taking care of yourself. If you’re a single mom and dad’s not in the picture, it’s that much more important. Your well-being has a ripple effect on the people most important to you. This is a great reason to make it a priority.
Number 4: Self-care can be done in one nice long day of relaxation.
A whole day of relaxation sounds amazing, but self-care is an ongoing journey, not a one-shot deal. You won’t be able to ride that wave of one relaxation day for the rest of your life. Eventually the effects are going to fizzle out. The analogy “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is cliché but fitting. You’ll have to constantly be pouring back into your own pitcher because as a mother, you’ll be constantly pouring into your kids and family.
Number 5: Self-care means being alone.
I’m a huge fan of taking some time for yourself and encourage it, I also really enjoy quiet times and started getting into practicing being comfortable in silence. However, self-care doesn’t necessarily mean going solo. Sometimes it might actually mean seeking out company, like making friends or going out to a social event. You can even do self-care with your kids! For example, if yoga is something that’s restorative for you, some momma’s have a mini mat for their little ones and invite them to practice it alongside them.
Hopefully, taking a different perspective at self-care and breaking down these barriers can make the idea more accessible to moms. When we really start delving into the true meaning of self-care and how it affects our families, amazing things begin to happen in our lives.
Confident Life Contributor
Laneic Lavalle is a self-care and wellness coach for busy mommas at Mynameisnotmommy and blogger at Makeit218. After spending her first year trying to be and do everything under the sun, she was forced to take a step back and start making self-care a priority. Now her mission is to help other mothers who are burned out, or well on their way there, to making self-care a regular part of their lives, reconnecting with who they are separately of their children, and pursuing their happiness without guilt. You can grab her free self-care foundations video series here or connect on social media.