The Importance of Mommy Self-Care
Published by Marin Mommies (http://www.marinmommies.com)
By Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT.
Whether or not you’re a married, divorced or single mommy, the common tie that binds us together is that we are responsible for loving, caring for, shaping and guiding our children. I can’t think of a more important job! But the reality is that many of us do have other roles and hats we wear each and every day. Aside from mothers you may be wives, girlfriends, friends and caretakers. Some of you probably work full-time and race home to spend precious moments with little ones, others are full-time homemakers managing the logistics of running a household and I’m fairly sure many of you fall somewhere in the middle, doing your best to balance the need for financial stability with the needs of your family. Wherever you are on the continuum…
Are you remembering to take care of yourself?
As a therapist who has worked with countless women who put gobs of pressure on themselves in many aspects of their lives, including motherhood, I know that “self-care” has a way of dropping down the totem pole of priorities. Often times there is so much attention paid to the kids, the husband, the job and the general chaos of life that mommies often forget that to be the best they can be at the job of “mommy” it’s imperative to be as balanced and centered as possible. I can relate to this pressure, having a three-and-a-half-year-old and my own periodic struggles around the elusive “balance” question. It’s a work-in-progress requiring periodic attention and reassessment.
Challenge: Put aside your normal to-do list for a minute and start another one. This one will list all of the things you like to do that bring you calmness, clarity and/or enjoyment. After you’ve made a list, make a commitment to schedule a few of these things every week. Do what you need to do to carve a slice of time out for yourself and enjoy!
If guilt washes over you at the notion of giving a shred of attention to yourself, what’s that about? Is there something about your conditioning and family of origin experience with parents and primary caregivers that taught you that your needs are to be minimized? Are you a self-driven “Superwoman?” Does that way of operating in the world ultimately serve you—or those you care for well?
Wanting “me time” is not a selfish act. It is a loving gesture to yourself that will also be indirectly experienced by your kids in your increased patience with them—and felt sense of mommy’s internal peace. Even Superwoman needs to take off her cape and kick her feet up once in a while.
Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is a Marin therapist, writer, wife and mommy. She is also the creator of The Toolbox at LisaKiftTherapy.com, with tools for emotional and relationship health by Lisa and other therapy/coaching professionals.