Meet almost any mom and you'll find a woman who loves her kids but is admittedly exhausted and depleted. That's because moms today are COEs — Chiefs Of Everything.
It's not just about juggling kids and careers, which is hard enough. Think about all you do. You drive, cook, keep house, pay bills, make doctor's appointments, host parties, check homework, pack lunches and diaper bags . . . and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I find that moms are so busy taking care of everyone else that they forget to take care of themselves.
Don't believe me? Take a look at your to-do list (if you don't have one, make one). It probably flows right off the page. It is filled with action items for all aspects of your life, with one big exception: There's nothing there that's just for you. In other words, there's no "me" in mommy.
Here are some excellent reasons to start taking some daily me time.
1. To preserve your physical health and strength. You can't cheat your health. It will catch up with you. Think about it: If you say you don't have time to eat well, do you have time to go to cardiac rehabilitation when you have a heart attack? If you insist you don't have time to exercise, do you have time to go to physical therapy when you throw your back out?
It's better to invest a little time each day than a lot of time once in a while. Take steps each day and find ways to fit healthy eating and fitness into your life as a mom. Start with a refrigerator-and-pantry makeover session where you toss the soda, crackers, and other processed foods, substituting water and fresh produce. Try rising earlier for a quick walk before your family wakes up, or go to a mommy-and-me class with your baby. Fitness can be done as a family or it may be your special time alone. Either way, consider it time for you!
2. To boost your spirits and nurture your soul. Health and well-being aren't just about physical fitness. You also need mental and spiritual strength to lead your family.
Make a list of things that make you feel good and try to do one every day. This may include reading, meditating, taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, or having lunch with a friend. It's important that you make time for yourself and not just everyone else.
You will be amazed at how much a little re-charge will give you extra energy to handle all that you do. A little Mom-Me time will often give you the peace of mind to play that extra game of patty-cake or to enjoy some alone time with your husband after your baby has finally gone to sleep. It's an investment for the entire family.
3. To set an example for your children. If reasons 1 and 2 won't inspire you to make time for yourself and to make good choices for yourself, then this one should. When I ask moms around the country if they want their children to follow their mother's lead on taking care of themselves, I usually hear "No! I want my children to exercise more, eat better foods, and stress less."
Okay, and who are they going to learn that from if not from you? Let your kids see you being active, eating well, spending time with friends, meditating. They'll realize that these activities are important for you, and for them as well.
So, please revise your to-do list, and your life, to include Mom-Me Time.