Let me just start off by clarifying — I listened to a podcast once that differentiated the words self-care & self-love. Both seem so similar & most would say they’re the same thing. Somehow, someone somewhere decided that self-care should cost money, or rather be something that’s grand & really out of the norm. When actually, self-care is a wide range of all of the basic things we can do to care for ourselves – brushing our teeth, showering, eating meals, etc. Now this can be expanded for each person. If going for a daily run has always been your thing & it’s how you take care of yourself, then that is part of your self-care routine. If you’re not someone who runs daily & all of a sudden you decide you probably should start, but you absolutely dread it & by the end you’re out of breath, crying & regretting every single step you took … that’s not self-care.
& then there’s idea that what you’re doing is unconditional & for your own well-being, just feels so much more sincere. This includes how you talk to yourself, feel about yourself, appreciate yourself, & in some examples, actions that show love. This is why I grew more fond of the terminology of self-love.
So a couple weeks ago, I took a day of self-love. This involved thoughts & actions, but I did them because I felt as though I deserved them.
- I left work early! You know what? I work my butt off & I damn it, I deserved a couple hours off to just not rush from my day job to my home job. I did this & I didn’t feel guilt. I left papers & lists everywhere – so many things incomplete – & I felt good about it.
- I got a large hot coffee! I do make it a priority to have 1 hot cup in the morning.. always.. but the idea of again, having a couple hours to slowly sip my coffee & just simply enjoy it *sigh*
- I went shopping! Now this is a little deeper of a point but to summarize it as short as I can, I hate shopping & I really have for awhile … yes I have more work to do in this self-love area … but my husband had made it a point to give me a birthday present that would result in me having to buy myself some clothes that made me feel good. Was it a little stressful? I won’t lie, I had a few moments, but I brought myself back to the present & ignored the jean sizes & just bought what made me feel good. I deserved this.
- I rolled my window down, felt the sun on my arm & breeze in my hair! I turn up some 2000s hits & I was just present. So often I keep my window rolled up & music turned down because my son has fallen asleep in the backseat or I’m having a conversation with someone in the vehicle, so this was definitely a change.
During this afternoon, I loved myself enough to just be present in the moment. I bought the comfy pants, I enjoyed every second of my caffeinated cup of goodness, I listened to good tunes, & I just let myself have time I deserved. & then I went to pick up my son & you know what? I was a better Mom because of that time I spent away from him. EVERYONE needs these times for themselves, but for the sake of this being an unfiltered Mom blog, Moms ESPECIALLY need this time!
Sometimes self-love looks like turning the baby monitor on silent & letting your baby cry it out so that you can sleep even 30 extra minutes. Mom guilt may try & sneak its’ bitchy-self in there but slap her across the face & let yourself be in that moment because that 30 extra minutes of sleep may just be what will make you the best version of Mom that day & that’s your family needs.
While driving to work this morning I was letting my mind wander – there’s this wild “concept” of sorts, that if a Mom wakes in the middle of the night with her child, well hey, at least you got 3hrs of sleep after that.. it’s better than 2hrs, right? But if Dad woke up for even 5mins during that hour that you were awake with your sick baby, then poor Daddy is going to need a nap today. Now pause for a second – I absolutely love my husband; he is a better Dad & partner that I ever dreamed I’d be deserving of *unpause* but when he makes even the sliiiiiightest comment that it’s almost “normal” that I’m tired (without actually saying those words) I absolutely lose my shit. Self-love is knowing when to say “um no … I do need a nap” because no, it is not my job to be up in the middle of the night. My job is to be a (good) parent to this tiny human & if complaining about being up in the middle of the night & in turn, taking three or four 10-15min snoozes throughout the day, then that’s what I’m going to do. Sorry, not sorry! End rant.
The conclusion here is that self-love doesn’t mean you have to spend $60 to go get your nails done & then another $80 to get a massage afterwards. Are those things nice? Oh absolutely! & if you have the time & money to do these things, by all means, do it up girlfriend! But you don’t HAVE to, to show appreciation for yourself. For me, self-love looks like I described above – grabbing coffee & just having a couple hours to myself. Self-love is going to look different for all of us.
Sometimes I find when I’m providing advice in these posts that I’m really trying to give inner Lynsie a little pep-talk. & this last paragraph will be no exception.
Mama – you’re working hard & damn it, you’re doing a great job! Some days are harder than others… some “seasons” of life are harder than others (current life status)… but what matters is that you’re doing the best you can. You don’t need to be perfect… ever! & you don’t need to always show yourself self-love.. you’re going to have that Mom guilt & the days of constant negatives thoughts.. & that’s okay! But remember everything you’ve gone through to get to where you are today. Whether you carried your babe for nine months & went through 12hrs of labor or you fostered for four years & finally were about to adopt three months ago… whether you took a family member’s child into your home for a “temporary situation” but are coming up on 11 months or you never imagined yourself having children but now have falling in love with someone who has a child… whether you have four children still in school or you have one adult child who is married and having children of her own … all of these situations make you a bad ass fuckin Mom/Motherly Figure… OWN THAT!!
So I challenge you.. find a way to show yourself some self-love in the next week. Whether it’s:
- Simply recognizing your awesomeness & letting yourself soak it in for a few minutes before you move onto you next task. Go upstairs to fold laundry & take your time doing so. You can get the kids bathed & put to bed a few minutes late. Soak in that awesomeness.
- Or maybe it’s an action, such as eating a more indulgent breakfast one day next week because you accept your body in its current state. You acknowledge all of the hard work it has done creating life, then keeping it alive in its’ most fragile stages & now are chasing it around constantly … *whew!* … you’re a damn rockstar!!! So yes you bet your ass you deserve that pumpkin chocolate chip muffin & your body is going to enjoy the shit out of it, GUILT FREE!
& lastly, please remind another Mama about how great she’s doing … remind her of her awesomeness & help boost her self-love! & when you do find time to show yourself some self-love this week, I’d love to hear about it! Comment here, text or FB message me.
Have a beautiful weekend Mamas!
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