Sometimes a Manicure Won’t Cut It: What Mothers Need to Feel Good
Do you wonder why you are not enjoying your life? You wanted to be a mother. On paper it looked good. You have the house, kids, work, and the husband (or no husband). You have food in the refrigerator. You tell yourself, “There are so many people worse off than me. I should be grateful.”
As much as you try to talk yourself into enjoying your life it’s not working. You wake up to another morning of dread.
Sometimes there’s a faint remembering of something more. You remember times you had that deep belly laugh and couldn’t stop laughing. The times your heart was wide open and you were in love with life. The times you really enjoyed the simple things like working in your garden. The times you genuinely enjoyed your family. The times you felt close to God. You were excited about something you were learning. You had something to look forward to.
Here’s the problem. You got off track.
You believe a good mom pays attention to everyone else first but then your time doesn’t come. This is reinforced with the belief that it’s selfish to pay attention to you.
But this is a lie.
You cannot be healthy and believe this. It affects your physical, emotional and spiritual health. To be a good mom you need to be a healthy mom.
So it is imperative you pay attention to YOU.
“I give myself attention. I get a manicure once a week,” said one of my clients on her first visit. However this mother was extremely stressed out. She yelled and overreacted with her kids. She didn’t like her husband and her friends were driving her nuts. She was angry with her aging mother.
Clearly the manicure wasn’t cutting it.
There are 5 essential areas for you to pay attention to–in order to feel your best.
(Today we are going to talk about 3 of them)
You need a lot of good energy to be a parent and this starts with meeting your foundational needs.
But instead you get so busy that you…
- Don’t sit down
- Get a break
- Have time to go to the bathroom
- Have time to think
- Have a moment to yourself
And so you get “grabby.”
You try to grab something to eat. Grab some time for yourself. Grab a few moments. Grab a night to yourself. Grab a nap.
When we get grabby we get crabby. (sorry I couldn’t help myself.)
You need to pay attention to your physical health. I know you know this. The problem is you are not aware of how you are treating yourself because you aren’t focusing on you.
Instead of saying to yourself I already know this.
Ask yourself, “Where do I need to start taking care of myself?”
- Do I get 7-8 hours of sleep a night?
- Do I have downtime every week?
- Am I eating healthy meals and taking vitamins?
- Am I drinking enough water?
- Do I exercise and how often?
- Am I current with my doctors appts?
Maintenance items are those repetitive things that need daily or weekly update.
Frequently these things are on our to-do list.
Mothers pay most attention to maintenance needs especially when it overlaps with the family. However moms frequently neglect their personal maintenance.
Now personal maintenance is however you define it. For example you may see manicures as part of your weekly maintenance but for others it is not important.
- Do you have regular hair appts or is every day a bad hair day?
- Do you like your clothes? Do they fit?
Many of the foundational items can also be on the maintenance list like eating, exercise, and downtime.
This is the big to-do list category.
- Going to the grocery store
- Getting laundry done
- Keeping the house, yard and cars in order
- Keeping up with the bills
Again you are most aware of these items because it also impacts your family. Maintenance items are important because without them our families wouldn’t run well but they will not renew your heart, soul and mind.
It’s important to feel connected and have a sense of belonging.
For this to happen you need relaxed downtime with your friends and family.
Mothers can spend most of their time herding their family.
You try to get them to school on time. You want them to get enough sleep. You want them to finish their homework.
If you aren’t paying attention all your conversations are ‘herding’ conversations.
This does not build rewarding connections with our daughters or husbands.
- Do you have downtime with your kids daily?
- Do you have activities planned with your kids that both you and the kids would enjoy?
- Do you have consistant dates with your husband away from the kids?
Friends and Community
It’s not good for mothers to be isolated. And yet too often we isolate ourselves. We get caught in our families maintenance issues and feel we don’t have time for our friends.
Again you may not be paying attention.
- When was the last time you saw your best friends?
- Do you have a group of friends that you belong with?
- Do you return your friends emails or phone calls?
- Are you intentional about making time for your friends?
It starts with awareness. You need to be aware of where you have ignored your foundational, maintenance and relational needs.
Now agree to do one small thing in each area this week.
Example: You can schedule a hair or doctors appointment or drink an extra glass of water a day.