This post was sponsored by domain .ME; however all thoughts and opinions are my own. #thisisme
For so many years now, women have been told if they don’t sacrifice themselves they don’t know how to be a better mom. We’re no longer just the rearer of children, but we are saints, we are epic heros or at least that is what we are told we should be. It’s about time that we take the martyr out of motherhood and really understand what it is to be not only a mother, but a woman as well.
What the heck am I rambling about martyrdom? Girl, you know what I mean. Those ads that joke that moms never take days off, or that the only time we get to any “Me time” is when we hop in the shower for two seconds to bathe ourselves. We’re shown nothing but extremes with pictures of Pinterest perfect houses and women neatly trimmed and clothed, or we see pictures of the frazzled mom that can’t seem to figure out which foot belongs with which shoe. We are marketed that the only thing that is important is our roles as mothers and obsessing about putting our children first 24/7.
This is so important that domain.ME created “ME Day,” which is March 16th, 2015. This is a day to celebrate who you are and what makes you rock! It’s a great way to learn to express yourself, and celebrating your uniqueness with ME!
Here’s the thing ladies. Neither one of these scenarios are reality. Well, if you are doing it right?! It’s high time that we take the martyr out of motherhood and begin to find yourself again. The part that isn’t talked about enough is that it’s just s important to take care of yourself. It’s also part of the job, not an afterthought. Learning to carve out some “me time” isn’t selfish. It isn’t a pipe dream. It’s something you need to do in order to maintain, not only your own needs, but those of your family.
Why do most moms feel frazzled all the time? Because we never get breaks, and here’s the other piece, most of us never demand them either. It doesn’t matter whether you are a single mom, married, have a partner that is away a lot there is ALWAYS a way you can make sure to take care of yourself. Older kids, younger kids, there is always a way, and you owe it to yourself and your children to give it a try.
Before you shake your head, tell yourself it’s not possible, and close the browser hear me out. I’ve been a single mom, I’ve had a spouse that was gone for months at a time over the road, and I’ve also learned to make myself a priority. There was a time when I never gave myself a break. I told myself I had to do it all or I was a failure to my kids and my husband, but a near nervous breakdown made me realize that at some point our bodies do reach a breaking point. At some point we reach a point where we can handle no more. Trust me when that point hits, you are really can’t take care of yourself let alone your kids.
Most of my life I grew up never feeling good enough. No matter how many accolades I got at work, no matter how many compliments I got about my kids, no matter how nice someone else told me I was looking that day, it was never enough for me. I didn’t like myself, let alone love myself.
As a single mom, I was happy to put a roof over my daughters’ heads and make sure they had at least something to eat (mac and cheese was offered more frequently than I would like to admit) When they would go to bed, I would zone out over late night TV. There was always just this ache, this long, numb pain of not knowing where I was going or how much more I could give. At the same time, I always felt like I wasn’t giving enough.
After 7 years in a pretty emotionally abusive relationship, I was torn down to bear bones. When I left, I knew it was for the good of myself and my daughters, but I left a shell of a woman. Little by little he had convinced me that no one out there was truly a friend and that I sure as heck didn’t deserve a true friend. When I left, I no longer knew who I was or what I wanted to be. It left me just a ghost of the person I used to be.
Ironically during this time, was also the time that the light bulb went on. Through counselling, and a lot of soul searching, the dust started to settle and at the other end of the storm I began to find myself again. It wasn’t all at once, but little by little who I was began to reappear.
After SO many years of putting myself down, and letting others do it, I resolved to never let that happen again. Never again was I going to neglect myself and make sure the needs of others were met before my own.
It’s been nine years since finding myself again, and I’ve never looked back. finding out who I am and what my needs are have made me a much better mother and wife. More importantly it’s made me a better person and friend to myself.
Each and every single one of you is awesome. Each and every single one of you is epic. It’s time that YOU realize that and promises yourself that you are worth the time investment to carve out some me time every. single. day. Don’t just make an empty promise to do it. Make an appointment with yourself and ake it non-negotiable.
It wasn’t easy making myself a priority, but doing it was one of the best things I’ve ever chosen for myself. Rather than have you wade through it yourself, I’ve put together these 10 tips for real like to help you find yourself again and make yourself a priority.
You guys know I wouldn’t leave you hanging, so I am going to give you some ideas on how to get started, and ideas on what to do . Keep an open mind, don’t fill it with negativity or “Oh that is not reality/gonna work.” Every single thing on this list I’ve done with virtually no support from friends/family and as a single parent. That’s like the bottom of the barrel for no extra time in my opinion. Trust that you are worth giving me time a try.
10 Real Life Tips : How to Make Me a Priority
1. Spend ten minutes a day only thinking about yourself: Somewhere in your day there is 10 minutes you can scrounge up to think only of yourself. Nap time, right before you go to sleep, when the kids are in school take those 10 minutes and figure out what YOU want out of life.
2. Make date with yourself: Once a month (or once a week if you can find the time) take yourself out. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Take yourself out to a cup of coffee. Have a friend watch your kids for one hour. I was able to find a babysitter exchange so I didn’t have to pay anything. Other oms and I just swapped watching each others kids.
3. Baths, Luxurious, baths: It’s always amazed me how much better I feel after a bath. Toss in some of my detox bath salts, throw on some classical music and 10 minutes later I’m a new woman.
4. Lock Yourself in Your Room: Before you reach that boiling point, take a mommy time out. No matter what age your kids are you can manage to give yourself 10 minutes to cool down and chill out. Putting the kids in front of their favorite show , in their crib will not be the end of the world. If it’s between doing that and boiling over, giving yourself the time is worth it.
5. Take a hike: Ok, well not literally. Make walking and getting outside a priority. Schedule it on your calendar like a doctor’s appointment. If your kids are younger, throw them in the stroller and go. Pack headphones so you can tune out for at last 10 minutes.
6. Learn Who You Are: Find an empty notebook and write things you like about yourself in it. It might be hard at first, especially if you are usually pretty critical about yourself. At first, don’t judge. Just write anything that comes to mind. As time goes on challenge yourself to dig deeper and not mention outer things you like (ie. your eyes).
7. Be Your Own Cheerleader: As moms we are used to cherishing our kids’ accomplishments. It’s time that we spend time see what kick ass things we have done. Even if that accomplishment is washing your hair that day, write it down. This is a good way to work on thinking of all the things you rock at instead of always thinking of where you feel you have “failed”.
8. Don’t Compromise: Don’t give up your time for yourself. Unless the house is on fire, the kids are vomiting like the exorcist, your “me time” is NON.NEGOTIABLE. If you make it count, others will take it seriously too.
9. Write a List of “Love To’s”: If you are excited about your “me time”, you are less likely to cancel on yourself. Don’t judge your list, but make sure it includes really big things like ‘trips to Ireland” and more practical things like spoiling yourself with a hot shower with no interruptions. Get creative and have fun with it.
10. Record How You Feel: Keep a journal of how you feel after your me time. Don’t like journals? Take voice notes on your phone or computer. Being mindful how you feel when you do take your “me time” and pay attention how you feel when you don’t take it will show you how much it is worth keeping your sanity.