This post goes out to all the new and expecting moms out there! If you’re like me, you’ve been texting every mom-friend you know to get the scoop on their parenting experience. In this series, I’ve teamed up with a handful of other design blogging mamas to be your internet’s version of texting your best friend.
And if mom posts aren’t your thing, come back later for more of my regular design and style content.
I’m a good four days late in publishing this post and you know why? I decided that my rest and relaxation (read “self-care”) were more important than publishing this blog post on time. How’s that for practicing what you preach! In fact, to take that story further, I’ve been absent from this blog for an unprecedented amount of time mostly due to the fact that I’ve chosen to prioritize self-care in the midst of parenting and work responsibilities over stressing about publishing blog posts. But I’m back for now and it feels really good!
Truth is, though, this latest installment of Real Talk with Real Moms has been one of the hardest to write. I feel pretty deficient when it comes to self-care so I wasn’t sure what to write about. After some thought, I’ve realized my current version of self-care is more about survival than manicures and yoga retreats. Getting enough sleep, eating pseudo healthy food and highly caffeinated drinks, enjoying mindless entertainment every now and then and giving myself down time when I’m able. It’s not glamorous but it’s often the difference between sinking and swimming. In the interest of perspective and permission slips though, here is a brief breakdown of what I prioritize for self-care, humble as it may be.
SLEEP: Gabriel still isn’t the best sleeper so I rest when I can. Afternoon naps, early bedtimes… they’re all fair game. And if the stars align and he sleeps in past 7:00am, you better believe I’ll be sleeping in too! The compromise, of course, is that I don’t always get as much done in a day as I’d like to. But who cares! At least I can feel somewhat alert and engaged with the things I am able to do.
PERSONAL TIME: Making time for myself is really hard. There is ALWAYS some chore to be done and a surprising amount of it is timely and important. But when it’s not, I often opt to do something just for myself. For instance, when Gabriel goes to bed, I’ll choose to read a few favorite blogs or watch a TV show instead of washing dishes or folding laundry. Additionally, my commute has become a favorite opportunity to carve out “me” time. I listen to a handful of podcasts that inspire and motivate me. And when I’m tired of that, sometimes it’s enough to drive quietly with my thoughts. No agenda, no distractions. Is it meditating if you’re driving? Probably not, but it’s the closest I’ve been able to get to it!
EXERCISE: This category is more of a wish list than a pattern of practice for me. Besides, lugging a baby around in a carseat feels like enough of a workout sometimes! A couple weeks ago, I did take my first modern dance class in nearly three years and that was truly amazing both physically and emotionally. It meets only once a week but that’s plenty for now. I’ll work up to more frequency once I’ve established some consistency.
INDULGENCES: This is a pretty short list. I take looong showers (even if they are infrequent), I put heavy whipping cream in my coffee, I go all out when David and I dine at our favorite breakfast diner and I get lost on Etsy and Pinterest at least once a week. Ok, this sounds kind of pathetic now that I read it back… It’s a work in progress.
CLOSING NOTE: Guilt is often the pesky partner to self-care. If it’s not guilt for prioritizing self-care, it’s guilt about not prioritizing self-care – an obnoxious game of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’. But here’s the thing, you can’t let guilt get you down! Whatever you’re doing, whether that’s leaving the kids with your mom to give yourself a much needed afternoon alone or doing the dishes late at night because you need clean bottles in the morning, the last thing you need to waste your time on is feeling guilty about it. I have completely neglected physical exercise this past year and while it’s something I’m committed to changing, I’m not letting myself feel guilty about it in the meantime. When I look at the big picture, I can see that I’m doing my best given the present moment’s circumstances and part of that equation includes cutting myself some slack when tough compromises have to be made. Stress and guilt can be far more unhealthy than an unshapely mid-section.
On that note… my friend Alex, who is one of the participating moms in this series, focused her post on self-image in one of the most beautifully vulnerable posts. I highly recommend you read it (HERE) as self-image is closely tied to self-care.
How do you choose to incorporate self-care into your daily life?
CHECK OUT the other moms in this SERIES
Jen of The Effortless Chic // Sarah of Smitten Studio // Em of The Refined Woman // Amy of Parker Etc. // Caitlin of Sacramento Street // Rebecca of A Daily Something // Erin of Apartment 34 // Alex of AVE Styles (Alex )