How important is self-care to you? Are you like most moms that put everyone in front of yourself? I was, here is my story.
I was raised old school. I was raised that you get married, have children and take care of the house and family. In being raised that way, that is exactly what I did. I got married, had two beautiful boys and gave everything I had to them and my husband. In doing so, over the years, I lost my identity. I always put everyone ahead of myself and felt very guilty if I ever spent money on myself, did anything for myself or did anything to pamper myself. I made them my priority over myself.
My sons and my husband bugged me at times to do something for myself but I didn’t know what. I didn't know how to put myself first without feeling guilty or worrying the whole time i was away. I only knew that it was important that I take care of everything by ensuring they were taken care of, the bills were paid and that they had everything they wanted. My happiness was based on the ability to ensure that they were all happy and that made me happy. I did not have a clue what self care was or how important it should have been in my life.
When my oldest son passed in 2013, I still chose to give everything I had to my other son and my husband. By 2018, my body finally said enough and started shutting down. I think it was a combination of throwing myself into my work because I did not know how to live without my son and giving everything I had left to my other son and my husband that I left nothing for myself.
It took until 2020 to finally get to a fork in the road. Obviously being on bedrest for at least 90 percent of my day for close to two years was still not enough to get me on track because my health continued to deteriorate. My son and husband had by then chosen to write me off thinking that I would probably not survive until the summer of 2020. I feel like I finally hit a fork in the road and finally decided I needed to figure this out.
Once I made that choice internally to make myself a priority, my life started taking on some drastic changes. I realized that I had given everything to everyone else over the years and not allowed myself to be a priority. It may have seemed like I was being selfish to some people who were having to deal with this new me, but I just finally found this internal strength and decided I was doing this for me. I was choosing me so that I would have the ability to help others like I loved to do but I had to come first.
Some of the self care things I started doing included:
· Started getting outside and taking a walk in nature when I could
· Choosing to be mindful and think positive thoughts instead of looking at all the negative in the world and being very mindful of the words coming out of my mouth
· I started to meditate daily. It started at 5-10 minute meditations and worked my way up from there. Choosing to clear the mind and just be has had a profound effect on my health
· I have regular personal dance parties
· I blast tunes that make me smile when I listen to them
· I read books
· Laugh as often as possible
· Choose to smile
· Get proper rest
· Go for a massage
· Choose to love myself
· Play with my grand daughter as often as possible
These things may seem trivial but a lot of them were new to me. I never took any time for myself.
I have realized that at least one hour a day is critical to a person’s health and well being. We need to all be teaching our daughters to love themselves and that taking care of themselves is critical to their long-term health and well being. We need our children to understand that one hour a day without mom is not going to ruin their life, but it is going to be a way to have a happier, healthier mom.
Ladies, we count!!! Love yourself and put yourself first so that you can be a healthier happier version of yourself. Let’s not only teach but show our daughters and grand daughters how important self care is in a person’s life. Let our daughters know that it is good to love our families but it is just as important to love ourselves.