I used to feel guilty for not being with my kids.
I left them with the babysitter as minimal as possible because if I could watch them, why would I pay someone else to do it? I felt guilty dropping them off at the YMCA childcare so that I could get a few things done. What kind of parent does that? What kind of parent drops their kid off at the YMCA JUST for the childcare? Not to work out?
I used to race home from work.
I never scheduled mom nights or getaways because deep down, I felt like they were my responsibility.
It was my job as a mom to be ON for them all the time; to be present for them as much time as capably possible.
But today, my 2 kids go to preschool 3 full days. I only work 2. So there is 1 full day I have to myself. It’s the day I use to write here to you and on the blog, connect with my clients, run errands, and make doctors appointments. It’s my “get as much stuff done in one day as I can” day. But if I was being honest….I felt guilty taking it. I felt guilty for leaving my kids at preschool while I was home, knowing that I was perfectly capable of having them home with me. Trust me, it took a lot of mom pep talks to make myself take that day instead of picking them up early or not taking them to school at all.
But here’s what I’ve learned.
When I pick up my kids from school, I am whole-heartedly excited to see them.
I have spent a good solid day getting my stuff done. That stuff may be trivial or it could be grand. I may not get a lot accomplished but my house is quiet. It’s still. It gives me a chance to breathe and restore myself. Then when I pick my kids up, I feel ready and energized to see them. I can show up with them for the rest of the day completely. And I think my kids would take that over me showing up distracted throughout the entire day as I try to multi-task all the stuff I have to do while being with them.
So give yourself permission to say yes.
Give yourself permission to take care of yourself. Shed the guilt. Your kids want the best of you. Not the you that shows up, strung out, exhausted, irritated, and frustrated. So if taking 30 minutes in the morning before they wake or half a morning with them at preschool fills your cup, so that you can show up as your best self…DO it!
As women in our society, we’ve grown to devalue self-care. We place it on the “wish to do” list and idealize a weekend getaway at the spa. We’ve become so accustomed to adding a million things to our schedules. Yet, we’ve never adequately learned how to manage to do it without reaching a breaking point or letting some of the balls fall. Why have you settled for this? Why have we let go of the idea that something more exists? That life doesn’t have to feel this way.
You have to find what works for you, but this one thing is true….self care isn’t optional.
It may look like a day with the kids at preschool. It might be your exercise routine. Or maybe simply a morning prayer and journaling routine. But make a commitment to me that you’ll give yourself permission to take it. You’ll take the time you need WITHOUT the guilt. Focus on the outcomes. When you take a moment for yourself, you are going to be a better mom, wife, friend. You will show up with the best of you, not the remnants of a wiped out, exhausted, and frazzled woman.
Send me an email and let me know how you are committing to take care of yourself?
Need some self care ideas? Check out these 50+ Ways to Get Self Care for Busy Moms.