Keep It All Running
A couple of months ago my dear friend and Sorority Sister, Glenna Anderson, LCSW asked me How Do I keep It All Running; life as a wife, mother, and business woman? Heres what I had to share with her:
As a clinician, wife, and mother of 3, what is the secret sauce to make it all work?
Self-care has always been one of my favorite themes personally and professionally. I often remind myself and other moms about the importance of self-care because it is impossible to pour from an empty cup. We are born givers, nurturers, and caretakers so we must be mindful of when to step away (at least for a moment) and refresh ourselves so that we may continue to pour into our family. I would not be able to be all of the things that I am without taking care of me; even if it’s just for a brief moment throughout the day.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a secret solution to make it all work all the time…
However I do have a few tips to share. I’ve learned that doing things that make me feel like the best version of me helps me give the best version of me.
Do Something for Yourself:
Working out gives me energy for the day and makes me feel good, healthier, and sexier. A manicure and pedicure and/or a hair appointment gives me time to myself to relax, read, close my eyes, and get beautiful all at the same time. Eating healthier always makes me feel like I’m making good choices for myself and my family. Making time for my hobbies (cooking, baking, photography) provides a nice source of eustress. Taking a moment to just breathe, write, sip my tea (while it’s still hot) and/or listen to a favorite song really helps to resuscitate my spirit.
I’ve learned that as much as I want to and as much as I try; I cannot do it all! Knowing and understanding they there is a power greater than me gives me peace. I have peace knowing I can call on His name whenever wherever. I know that He won’t put more on me than I can bear. I know that He will never leave me. And I know that there’s grace and mercy for when I mess it up.
Being a mother is synonymous with the phrase, “I wear many hats.” A little bit of organization goes a long way. Taking care of me also means managing my stress. There are many things that I do to help with this. A few examples are: creating lists for groceries, shopping, to-do lists, etc, creating a work, personal, and family calendar, a family menu for meals, a laundry day, a cleaning day, etc.
In your blog post, “Motherhood the Village”, you discuss the importance of connecting with others. How has connection helped with you overall self care.
We were not designed to do life alone. Community is essential to our overall well-being! I believe it’s imperative for moms to be connected with other moms through friendship, prayer group, mommy groups, ladies night out, play dates, and/or just regular communication via phone/text/email/social media etc. I luv to laugh, have fun, and eat good food with the people I love. Being connected to other women that understand us and can laugh with us is truly good for our mama bear souls. My circle keeps me sane!
If you could say one thing for moms that feel inadequate, and wrestle with the feeling of “it’s never enough”, what would say?
A few things that I want all moms to know is there is no perfect way to parent, there is no right way to parent. I know without a doubt that my children are a blessing and yours are too. I’ve also heard that our children choose us, which means we are the best fit for the job for our child(ren)! I like to remind myself of this on the really tough days. The days when I feel like I’m doing it all wrong, I’m tired, I don’t want to parent today, I’m not enough, etc; I am quickly reminded that they chose me. They chose me to be their mother and for that I am grateful. I want to give them the best version of my self because, (say it with me) you cannot pour from an empty cup!
Parenting is challenging! We do not get a day off from motherhood, so it’s easy to feel like what we do is never enough. However, I do give you permission to take a moment in every day life to do something for yourself. Remind yourself of all the things that you are, love on yourself, and forgive yourself for all the things that you’re not, because there’s grace for that. Remember that you are planting seeds; some of your harvest will be visible now and some fruit of your labor will bloom in it’s due season, but keep planting those seeds.