Attention moms: What are you doing to take care of yourself?
Dr. Meg has three tips to help moms restructure the pecking order.
The women were surveyed in a coordinated effort between the magazines HealthyWomen and Working Mother and the results reported in a 2019 Good Housekeeping article, “Putting Your Family First Doesn’t Make You a Better Mom” by Marisa Lascala.
Mom’s selfcare is VITAL to a family’s wellness
More than ever, it’s vital (not just important, but vital) moms set time aside for themselves for quiet, exercise, creative projects, and peace. And, yes, it feels counter-intuitive to those of us raised to put the needs of others first, but that doesn’t make it wrong.
The old cliche’ about putting the plane’s oxygen mask on yourself first, before your kids, is a valuable tip.
So, what do you do if you’ve entrenched your family in some thick habits and they now EXPECT YOU to pick up any and all slack when it comes to grocery shopping, meals, laundry, and housekeeping?
In addition to being an educational psychologist, athlete, business owner, mother of two and educational consultant, Dr. Meg Murray is a certified personal trainer.
She has some simple remedies to your caretaking compulsions.
“You have to take care of you First -period, no if, and, or buts. Yeah, I know it’s hard. And, yes, I know everyone seems to NEED something from you 24/7. However, if you continue to put off YOU, you will never be the mom, professional, wife, partner, friend, etc. you were meant to be.”-Meg Murray
So, here’s how this works. You schedule YOU into your planner. Make it an hour, although I know one burnt mom who declared one day to her family, “I’m taking two hours every single day for myself. You will all have to manage.” And, she did.
Set the timer and stick to it. If you can’t leave the house because of childcare issues or the pandemic, bring the oasis to you. Maybe you light a candle while you meditate. Maybe you lock the door to the bedroom and stretch. Whatever it takes. Make it happen.
“Get off of the would’ve, should’ve, could’ve lane. Each day at the crack of dawn, I get up before the kids and work out. I don’t even think about it anymore, I just do it. Nothing will change if nothing changes.”Meg Murray
The idea here is to gauge how you feel AFTER you get up and work out. Do you like yourself more? Do you have a better day? Is this action getting you closer to a goal of being healthy and living a happier life? Don’t measure how you feel BEFORE you take action, measure how you feel after and record this feeling.
“Say it out loud and grab a partner in crime. Staying accountable to new habits of selfcare work better when you involve other people. Find someone in a similar rut, but willing to commit to some changes. Build accountability around your partnership. This could mean scheduling a call daily to commit to your selfcare actions for that day. Follow it up the next day with how things turned out. Did you accomplish what you said you would?”Meg Murray
If having fun is a problem for you, because you tend to put everyone else’s needs first, find a buddy who will encourage you daily to make time for fun. A simple five-minute phone call is all it takes. You say, “I commit to one bubble bath, one walk alone, 30 minutes of exercise, ten minutes of meditation, or two hours of me-time.” Whatever floats YOUR boat.
You got this.
Use Be Alright for support if you need it. Dr. Meg is always around for encouraging parents and kids to strive for their best selves.