The original 'Artist's Way' focused on the nurturing of the self.
Being a mom is one of the hardest, and most fulfilling jobs in the world, especially if you have young children. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or you also include an outside job in your daily life, you are a very busy person. If there is anyone who needs to adopt Self-Care into their life it is moms. Every mom should be taking the time to take care of themself.
Recently, while speaking with a friend who is the mother of two young children, and who was deciding if she wanted to return to the corporate world she said “Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but I can’t be their everything 24/7 without some relief from the outside world for me.” Some moms would be upset by that statement, because they give their all for their children and they love what they do. While others would agree that they still need to be themself in order to be able to be a good mom.
This is not the place to debate which of the sides of that concept is right or wrong, but it is the place to see common ground, which is MOMS. And sometimes Dads too, anyone who has the main caretaking position with young children. It is very common for those caretakers to get way too tired, to be way too overworked, to have so many things to do and not have any help in doing it, to wish that they had a break, even for the chance to go pee alone. That is a person who needs some self-care!
(the term mom will be used to represent any caretaker, although everything here applies to a dad, or nanny or anyone who has the role like a mom)
When a mom gets to the point that she is tired and has a long list of things she still needs to get done, she get what we call frazzled, which works up to frustrated, and can make it's way toward angry. Everyone around that frazzled mom can feel her frazzled energy, even though she may do the best she possibly can do to hide that feeling. Energy transfers through the air, it doesn't need to be demonstrated, it can be felt by those you love, and even by total strangers.
It is completely impossible to not ever get frazzled sometimes, that is just part of life, part of being a mom. But, a mom has young eyes watching her every move and most moms want to maintain their cool as much as possible in order to teach those young eyes how to effective and properly handle issues.
Moms who make the time for their own self-care are less likely to feel that they are overwhelmed and have more to do than they can manage. If mom schedules "Me Time" regularly by calling in a sitter or relative to watch the kids while she goes and takes a bubblebath, has her nails done, or just cleans the house in peace and quiet. It gives her peace of mind. It also gives her periods of time that she can look forward to.
A couple of hours per week, and twice a week if at all possible, will have mom in tip-top condition for the rest of the week.
Not all self-care needs to be away from the kids, as is demonstrated in the picture above, doing yoga or other forms of exercise with the kids could benefit both mom and kids. Some moms also find that cooking or baking with the kids can be very fun, although we all know that there will be a big mess to clean up afterward, but the fun had while doing it usually makes the clean up worth the effort.
by: Wendy Mae, Ph.D.
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Other great ideas about self-care for moms are included in the article that follows written by Dr. Claire Nicogossian and appeared on Moms Wellbeing .com in July 2015
To read this article in it's full content on Moms Wellbeing.com click here.
FEELING EXHAUSTED? 7 WAYS TO AVOID MOM BURNOUT
by Dr. Claire Nicogossian
Self-Care is any activity that restores, replenishes and balances physical, emotional, mental and spiritual parts of oneself. The demands of caring for and raising children can make self-care seem like a luxury; something to look forward to when children get older or are in school full time, or to catch up on during one vacation.
Self-care may sound like psychological babble. A created construct for something many people can do intuitively or without being reminded to make a priority. The reality is, we live in an age of intensive mothering. Many people believe any time away from one’s children and putting one’s needs ahead of her families will have a negative impact on her child’s development. So much so that women get lured into a belief system that she must sacrifice herself to work, volunteering, and in the home, putting everyone’s needs in the family ahead of her own.
When a mother sacrifices taking care of herself, the result can be a trickle down effect of stress on the family because when moms aren’t functioning effectively, everyone feels it.
So how can moms balance the demands of self-care during the summer months?
1. Get up earlier than your children. The early morning hours can be the most productive time of the day for many people. Of course, if you need the extra sleep or your children are already early risers, this may not seem like a doable task. However, setting your alarm fifteen minutes before the kids rise can mean a short but beneficial morning routine spent any way meaningful to you. A cup of tea or coffee in quiet, a few minutes of meditation, a couple of yoga poses, just a few examples to bring in self-care more regularly.
2. Keep some structure for part of the day. Children need some structure in the summer. A break from school means more free-time that can put pressure on parents to fill children’s days with activities. By providing a structured activity or outing for part of the day, you may find your child can then engage in free-play, without your direction giving you more time to fit in time for self-care.
3. Find parallel activities to do with your child. Create time where you and your child can engage in separate activities around the home. For example, create quiet time where everyone can choose an activity, perhaps reading, playing, or crafts. Use this time to do something that is restorative to you such as read, journal, exercise, connect with friends, garden or another activity you enjoy.
4. Find a babysitter or mother’s helper in your neighborhood. A mother’s helper is someone who can entertain and play with your children while you are at home. Where I live, mother’s helpers are often ten years old and older, whereas babysitters are thirteen and older and may be left at home with your children while you leave the house. Check your state regulations for minimum ages children can be left alone and in charge of other children. By finding reliable support, you can schedule self-care time as your budget and schedule allows.
5. Schedule and plan self-care time each week. A favorite quote in my husbands family is, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Most successful events and outings take some planning; self-care is no exception. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s amazing how when I have time each week to look forward to, it helps me cope with the demands of caring for my children.
6. Put self-care first. Cleaning can wait, organizing can wait, eventually it will all get done. By placing self-care as a priority each day, even for a short amount of time, you may find you have more energy to complete other tasks you have to do. I’m not suggesting you stop taking care of your home or your children, but rather finding a balance of caring for yourself and the responsibilities and commitments of your life. If you commit to fifteen minutes of self-care a day, in a week, the time will add up to almost two hours. If you can give yourself thirty minutes a day, in a week, the time will be three and half hours of self-care. Small changes can add up to make big differences.
7. Keep a Mindful Perspective. Before we know it, summer will be over, and we will be back for another academic year. Try to keep perspective, that summer days can seem long, but often the summer goes by fast.
Take the time to focus on gratitude and to be in the moment with your children. Reduce multitasking and savor the moments of laughter, enjoyment and fun with your family.
© Copyright Dr. Claire Nicogossian 2015
This article was edited to appear on this blog, to read the article in it’s entirety click here
The author of all blog posts on this page is Wendy Mae, Ph.D.
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