Let’s just be honest for a minute. Mothering is hard. If you think about it, it’s one of the most ridiculous jobs ever. Here’s a tiny human. Take care of all of their physical, emotional, and educational needs. Oh and make sure they turn into incredible adults ready to face the giant crazy world they have to live in. There are beautiful moments. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m just saying the journey isn’t all sunshine and flowers. Then you add life to the equation. Suddenly, not only do I have to mother. I have to figure out mothering when life is hard. Let me share a bit of what has gotten me through the lunacy lately.
This morning as everyone sleeps I sit down to work on my computer. I am trying to finish countless projects while keeping quiet so everyone can rest. The kids have been sick and my husband has worked some crazy shifts. Something occurred to me as I sat down to work this morning. You can learn more about a mom in the quiet moments than you can by her Facebook or her actions in public.
Mom in the Quiet Moments
I am a huge advocate of self-care. I think being a mom can wear on you. Before you know it you have made it through the entire day without speaking to another human being or finishing your morning cup of coffee. Then some well-meaning person tells you that it is important for you to make time for self-care. “Pick up a book. Go for coffee with a friend. Watch your favorite show.” I think someone needs to tell them the truth about self-care.
The Truth About Self-Care
Am I the only one that wants to just cry when someone mentions self-care in that context? I’m over here working, blogging, homeschooling, trying to keep my home livable, and still be a decent mom and wife. Then they want me to add in this magical time to take care of me. Ha! I laughed at it for a long time. I swore the minutes weren’t in the day and the time for that didn’t exist.
Guess what. I found the solution. It’s about a change in our perspective on self-care. Yes, self-care can be a good book. I would probably read all day every day in a comfy chair with chocolate if I didn’t have responsibilities. Who doesn’t love a night out with friends? What about a good ol fashioned Netflix binge? These things aren’t always practical, though. With kids in activities and moms trying to do it all big gestures don’t work.
You know what works? Self-care moments work. These are small moments throughout your day where you choose to focus on you and what brings you peace. I had to really find this in the busyness of my life. I couldn’t read a whole book but put that bad boy on the toilet and it gets a captive audience for a few minutes. (Sidebar, reading quiets the little people talking to you through the door. They aren’t really quiet. You just don’t hear them as well.)
Maybe it is a special treat. Mine lately has been a delicious strawberry sorbet I make. (recipe coming soon) I will wait until both hyper monkeys are in bed, sit down for two minutes before starting the next thing and enjoy a few bites of my treat. It doesn’t change the to-do list but it is a small recharger that helps me to keep trucking.
So how could this work for you?
What recharges you?
What gives you a little extra energy on a hard day? Is it a devotional? Maybe a bite of chocolate? Is it a shower? I know, maybe it’s five minutes on your own without anyone asking you for anything. Find the thing that recharges you first.
How can you break that into tiny time commitments?
Can you read a bit on the toilet since you are sitting anyway? Could you listen to your devotional instead of sitting to read it? Can you stash chocolate in your sock drawer to enjoy while “putting away socks?” What about saying yes to something that won’t hurt the kids to give yourself five minutes to yourself? The goal is to take what recharges you and figure out how to add it to a busy day.
It doesn’t have to be sneaky but it does have to be for you.
Many moms talk about hiding in their closets with a chocolate. You don’t have to sneak around. Self-care doesn’t have to be a big secret. Instead, make it an expectation your kids have. Let them know that there are certain points in the day when mommy gets a time out. Lock that bathroom door. Send them outside to play while you sit down and eat that chocolate. Give them something to color while you read a few pages of a book. You don’t have to be involved in every moment of their day. Take a minute for you.
There’s no guilt in self-care.
So many moms I talk to say that they feel guilty when they do things for themselves. I completely understand. However, it is not something to feel guilty over. Instead, it is what you need to keep giving your best at home. A worn down exhausted momma is not good for anyone. Take that same momma and give her a five-minute break for self-care and she’s a whole new woman. You aren’t being selfish by making time for you. In fact, it could be just what your kids need.
Are you trying to focus on self-care? Many of the ladies in the More Than A Homeschool Mom Facebook group talk about self-care tips and tricks on a weekly basis. Join the group to join the conversation.
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