Self-care for Mothers

May is the time when we think about Moms. One day of the year that we focus on the women in our lives who love and support us unconditionally. We lavish them with gifts or simple breakfasts in bed. We give them the day off from doing any housework, and there may be a flower or two in there as well. While all of these are lovely gestures and deeply appreciated, they’re not enough.

The women who come to see me are often feeling under-valued, spent, like there aren’t enough hours in the day and even if there was an extra hour added it still wouldn’t be for them. Sound familiar?

I thought so.

How about a self-care and wellness plan? Does that sound daunting? Too Tasking? If it does, your perception is in dire need of a shift. You can fit in shopping for your son’s soccer shoes, baking for your church sale, and even endless hours of laundry. How and when are you taking care of yourself? Did you know that prevention is key? Of course you did but I’m here to remind you. Oprah had a guest on many years ago – the topic was Mothers. She said, and I’ll never forget it, “Fill your own cup first, then nourish others with the overflow.” That statement made such sense to me. How can you spend when your bank is empty.

Here is a 5-step plan to start caring for the Mom in your life. You.

  1. Make a daily ritual. When you open your eyes in the morning, have your first words be “Thank you.” Gratitude is a game-changer. It immediately uplifts, reminds us to look for the wonder in our lives and forces us to slow down and get connected to the ‘why’ we’re here instead of the ‘what are we doing today?’.
  2. When is the last time you had fun? When is the last time you finger-painted like a 5 year old, listening only to the little voice that said ‘splash’ instead of the voice that logically led you to draw a sun, a tree, and a flower. Splash. Let your fingers experience the sliding feeling and close your eyes to remember what it felt like to run with abandon and jump through a sprinkler. Find the inner fun in you by connecting to that little girl who still needs fun.
  3. Make and KEEP all of your self-care appointments. You wouldn’t dare miss your child’s dental check-up – why are you missing yours? Pick up the phone and make an appointment with me, your naturopath. I can help you find your way back to that place where you leapt out of bed, dove into your day, and the worst ache you had might have been from that extra glass of wine you had on your night out with your friends. By the way, call those friends. Girl time is a must. I’ll write you a prescription for it.
  4. It’s all about prevention prevention prevention! Look at your diet and change one thing. Just one!! Whether it’s eliminating sugar (which I have a great article on how to help you kick the habit), cutting down on coffee, or kicking that soda to the curb.  Keep your two cookies with your milk at night, enjoy this recipe (as my sweet gift to you), or that occasional glass of wine. I’m not suggesting you turn into a health food guru overnight or ever! I’m only nudging you in the direction to make small changes, one step at a time. It’s far more manageable, practically guarantees success, and you can celebrate your victories. Life is about enjoying it, for a very long time.
  5. Love yourself. Have you ever stood in front of the mirror and said “I love you”? Do it. Every day for a month. Then, do it naked. I promise this exercise will transform you. Trust me, after a month of practice it won’t feel awkward, and you will notice incredible positive changes in your life. It will also make the four steps I told you about much easier to follow through with.
Believe me when I say, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Sometimes we just need permission to take care of ourselves because we’ve forgotten that we need it too. So take it, Mom. Take it for your children. They need a mama/mother who is nurtured, a positive example of self-care, and is deeply in love with herself. You owe it to yourself.  Now’s the time. Go.