Caring for Ourselves

Growing up, I remember playing dress-up, using my crocheted blanket as a habit to pretend I was Sr. Mary Somebody, who loved God and wanted to be the best nun in the world.

Other times, I was a princess or queen in a more Cinderella-esque story; but, the love of God was still there – the desire to serve God was still forefront in my solo playing adventures.

My sister says my one goal in life was to become a wife and mother, and I would play house for weeks on end.

The older I became, as is typical, my imaginative play began to subside. I stopped playing nuns, I stopped playing royalty, I stopped playing house.

While I don’t recall ever doubting the existence of God, for a while, I even stopped believing my Faith. God seemed silent in my life, and I didn’t understand His course of action planned for me, nor did I consider taking a moment to to ask Him of his plans for my life.

Then, I became a mother.

The gravity of motherhood hit me like waves hitting the rocks off an island – fast, furious, and with a passion and intensity I had yet to experience in life.

Motherhood.

Such a little word, and yet a word laden with so many emotions, so many thoughts, so many memories, and so much intimidation.

Like any journey in life, motherhood is what we make of it. There are high and low points; there are moments in which we will all battle with stress, anxiety, and worry.

Yet, no matter how difficult it can be to disentangle ourselves from the ball of worry and anxiety, as mothers, it is important we do so. For, each of us are destined for greatness.

We are each given a mission – to love, to guide, to lead, and to raise our children to the best of our abilities. Through the process of motherhood, we are called to put the welfare and well-being of our children.

But, we are also called to care for ourselves.

We must provide for our physical needs of food, water, clothing, and shelter. We must provide for our social needs, gleaning support where we can. We must provide for our emotional needs, since we won’t be effective at caring for others, if we can’t even care for ourselves. Finally, we are called to address our spiritual needs.

Our spirituality is the root of our lives – from those roots shoot the trunk, the branches, and the leaves of our everyday existence. When God is not in the forefront of our daily thoughts and actions, the rest of our life will feel a ripple effect.

Lately, I have noticed I am striving to be like the young child playing nun, royalty, or house – I am trying to live a life with a focus on God first.

Mothers have been given the gift of parenthood, and our children are always watching, listening, and learning from us. Therefore, our goal should be to care for ourselves in a manner which will in turn allow us to care for our children, and model to them the skills, and importance, of self-care, so they will learn the techniques themselves.

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As we begin this new year, I encourage all of us mothers to be a little selfish. Take a few moments to reflect on our needs – what are areas in our life that need a little more focus? How can we best support each other on this journey of motherhood? And, how can we enhance our faith while walking through the journey of motherhood?

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14 thoughts on “Caring for Ourselves

  1. “Therefore, our goal should be to care for ourselves in a manner which will in turn allow us to care for our children, and model to them the skills, and importance, of self-care, so they will learn the techniques themselves.”

    Love the reminder to take care of ourselves! We have to make sure we’re not run down, or else how will we be able to care for our family?!

    (*but I wouldn’t call this selfish… 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree it isn’t selfish, but I have spoken to a lot of moms who *think* it is selfish to take time out of their days to focus on themselves. 😊 Because you are correct, it isn’t truly a selfish concept!

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  2. It’s so important to remember that mom needs to be in a good place, mentally, physically, and emotionally, if she is going to be able to mother to the best of her abilities. I hear of too many women who think it’s the heroic choice to not take care of their own needs (including needs they don’t want to admit they have.) Yes, sometimes you need to choose others first, but not taking care of yourself regularly is only going to hurt your abilities to care for those who need it.

    Thanks for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you could appreciate this article. Like you, I’ve known some ladies to overlook their self care, thinking they are doing themselves a favor, when in reality, it hurts everyone!

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  3. I’m definitely not always good about this… Today I missed my chance to eat lunch because I was busy cleaning out the fridge! Seeing our self-care as a model for our children is definitely going to help me – great point!

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    1. So glad that concept of teaching them through the way we act toward ourselves may help make your self care a priority. And, you are in a position that, as a nursing mama, you need to keep your calorie intake up and have some time to pamper yourself!

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  4. It’s so easy to forget ourselves in the chaos of the family, until well we suddenly go down. Once that happens and everything we are juggling comes crashing down around us, then we realize that we are so busy taking care of everyone else..we forgot ourselves. It’s nice to have this reminder now rather than later.

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  5. I am in such a better mood when I take time to do things for myself. It’s so hard when the day persists in being only 24 hours long! 🙂 I fix myself a hot breakfast every morning, so that’s a good start! I think that for a lot of us, though, there’s a temptation toward martyrdom, and not in a good way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I agree there is a temptation toward martyrdom many times! That’s why I referenced being “selfish” because it isn’t selfish, but for those trying to be martyrs for their children, they would consider taking their own moment as being selfish.

      A hot breakfast every morning is a great goal to shoot for! Sometimes, I will make my hot breakfast while the kids eat cereal – because they want cereal, and I want something homemade.

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  6. pwcamy

    I heard Teresa Tomeo talk about this topic a little. She encouraged the women who were listening to “put on the lipstick”. I forget what else she said, but I felt relieved to hear her say it! I tend to feel like I “do a better job” at whatever tasks I do during the day when I feel as though I look presentable. I’m actually thankful for social media in a way – today I put on make-up and did my hair, because lately, I haven’t wanted to be in any pictures – and that’s such a huge part of our culture now. Probably not ideal – but, whatever it takes to get me motivated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly right – using whatever mechanism which gets us motivated! I like the “put on lipstick” advice – not sure I’d ever thought of that, but maybe I should start paying more attention to that part of self-care!

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