When was the last time you, as a mom, did something for yourself? If you can't remember, I'm going to tell you right now to stop whatever you are doing, including reading this, and go do something for YOU, Momma.
I've already written about how important it is to maintain your relationship with your husband or significant other. But it seems to me like the moment we become mothers, we become martyrs. We feel like we have to sacrifice everything for everyone and we forget that we need a little bit of time for ourselves, too. Think about it - if you haven't done something for yourself lately, you are probably starting to feel run down, tired, and exasperated about everything. Taking care of yourself isn't an act of selfishness, it's a necessity.
I felt myself slipping a few months ago. I hadn't been taking good care of my hair, or of my health, or of my mental state. I was kind of just getting by. I really noticed it during the holidays, since I was looking and feeling so run down and eating poorly. So in January, I made an appointment for myself to get a hair makeover. Armed with confidence and a little bit of chutzpah, I sat in the chair and said I wanted purple balayage. During the process, I thought to myself that maybe I was crazy. But I let my colorist do her thing, and when she was done, I was blown away. How had I let myself go unkempt for so long?! And WHY hadn't I been this brave sooner? Now I'm back every six weeks or so for touch ups and trims to my hair. Caleb goes to grandma's, and I get a few hours to myself. It's a win-win for everyone, except maybe Eddie's wallet. ;)
I found that in taking care of something as simple as my hair, I started to feel better about myself. I wanted to feel better in more areas than just my hair looking good. I started watching what I was eating on a more regular basis, and I stopped eating when I was full. I started taking care of my skin. I started putting on makeup again!
I took up running. I have never been a runner, but a couple of months ago, we were in Disney. It was one of their big marathon weekends, and I looked around at all these people prepping for races, and looking so happy after they had run their races, and I said, "I want to do that." I'm nowhere near where I need to be to run a (half) marathon, but I'm excited for the training and I'm quickly realizing just how important that time to myself is. Some days I run alone. Other days I run with Eddie & Caleb. Other times it's Caleb and I. I needed an outlet of some kind - to make myself feel better, and surprisingly, running ended up being what I needed. I never thought that would be the case, but it's quickly becoming something I crave.
At the end of the day, our needs are all different, but we all have needs. If we neglect ourselves, we aren't the best version of ourselves. How can we be great at caring for those around us if we don't take care of ourselves. And sure, some of the things I mentioned require some cash, but there are ways to do things that don't require a lot of money out of your pocket. Here are five things you can do that don't require much (if any) money.
The point is, take care of YOU. Your kids and your husband need the best version of you around. Not the martyr. Not the neglected one. Not the mom who thinks she's doing what's best for her family by denying her needs.
Take care of yourself, momma.