I am a stay-at-home mom so my days generally encompasses taking care of everyone else. Being a mom and taking care of my family is my absolute number one priority over anything. My children and Mr will always come first, no questions asked. BUT, I am more than that.
I am a woman. A woman who loves sporty fashion, dinner and bottles of wines with her girlfriends, pilates, reading endlessly, makeup and more makeup even though daily I only wear foundation and mascara... Cooking and every cooking show ever produced... Helping my friends and family... Growing in my relationship with Christ... I could go on forever but you get where I am going with this. I might end and begin at mom but, there is a whole lot of me in between.
I think that when you are a stay-at-home mom it can very easily turn into taking care of everyone else and forgetting about yourself. When you do that I think that you lose you. I, myself, have gotten lost throughout the years and have to make a very conscious effort not to do so. I am much happier when I take care of myself and do things that feed my soul. When I feel happier I can give much more to my family.
I equivocate this to the crash instructions on an airplane. They tell you that if you are with small children put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then your children. It seems backwards at first but, if you really think about it, how are you going to save anyone if you can't save yourself.
I apply this to my life in all ways possible. I can not take care of my family, if I do not take care of myself. For me that means a few things. For starters I like having a couple hours to myself each week. That gives me time to just relax and not have to think about anything. I also make sure I schedule in my workouts and eating healthy. When I feel my best I have more to give. I love to have date night or girls night out. I get to just be me.
However, none of these things happen unless I make every effort to make sure these things are a part of my life. I am not always perfect at this, but I keep it in the forefront of my brain and know that if I am not on top of it I can become very unhappy quickly! It's not always easy and takes a lot of balancing!! Here are two ways I have made it work:
Planner: I have always been big on calendars and planning. However, it has never been more important in my life than now. There is literally no way I can juggle everything without having it all on a calendar. Whether it is your phone or a paper planner I suggest making this a priority. Make sure that on your calendar you have time for yourself. Plan like it's as important as any other activity on the calendar.
Have preset dates/personal time: Once a month schedule with a babysitter or your husband a time you can get away and have a couple hours to yourself. We all get busy with life and the next thing we know it has been months since you've been on a date or spent some time with yourself, but when it is pre-planned it is already on the schedule. Having it pre-planned ensures that it actually happens.
When you remember to do these things you are remembering to foster everything besides "mom." Everything that makes you more than a mom. You are fostering your desires, wants, needs and in turn feeding your soul. You are taking care of yourself and because you have done this you can be everything to your family.
BreAnna Hackworth is a mom of two spirited girls. You can catch up with her at Mombeyondmom.com where she honestly writes about everything mom and beyond to inspire the modern mom!