One year, as Mother’s Day approached, my dear husband asked me how I would like to spend the day. What would I really love to do?
My kids were very young, and I was living a life that was so busy with mothering (cooking, caring, breastfeeding, and a million-and-one errands), being a partner, maintaining a household, and running a business that I was totally out of practice when it came to thinking about what I wanted, how I’d like to spend free time, or what would really light me up and feed my soul.
He asked the winning question (dear man) and my mind went blank.
At that time in my life, I was used to being busy and I was used to being tired. Like many women, the little bit of “free time” I found wasn’t spent in ways that rejuvenated or nourished me.
It was spent being tired. Or zoning out for a little bit. Or “treating myself” in quick, easy ways that felt good momentarily but didn’t really fill me up.
Can you relate?
Not nurturing ourselves is a common problem for busy women. We can’t find the time, we feel guilty taking the time, or we’ve actually forgotten how.
And not nurturing ourselves – not taking good care of our sweet beings takes a big toll.
It’s one big reason lots of busy women end up overeating and doing that kind of emotional eating that leaves you fifteen pounds heavier and not fitting into your jeans.
Food is easy. It’s comforting. It’s a fast reward. It doesn’t affect anyone else’s schedule. It can even help you zone out or perk up or feel special. Momentarily. Until you end up feeling like once again, you didn’t make the choice that was taking care of you.
Not nurturing ourselves leads to running on fumes. Not getting enough sleep (because we put work first and then because staying up later is the only way to get in just a little bit of time for ourselves). Problem is, when we are exhausted and then stay up late for “me-time” it too often ends in more overeating or unrewarding internet surfing or doing something mindless that doesn’t really feed the soul.
Not nurturing ourselves may seem like a necessary choice when we are so busy juggling so many responsibilities and caring for others.
But that’s a myth.
The more people, places, and things that are depending on us, the more vital it is that we show up – nourished, fueled, and with our A-game.
We deserve to be our best version of ourselves. Our world deserves it from us too.
So something to try this Mother’s Day Week:
This Mother’s Day (all week) Take your fabulous nurturing skills and try shining them in your own direction.
Start reminding yourself what feeds you. What lights you up. What you love to do.
Make a list of the things that make you laugh, that make you feel inspired, that make you smile with anticipation.
Don’t worry if the list is short at first. Start working this muscle and the ideas will eventually start to come. I promise.
Make a commitment to do one lovely thing for you. For seven days in a row.
If you forget and miss a day, start over. Seven or fourteen or twenty-eight extra days will only make you better.
Take a listen to how you speak to yourself. If you would never ever speak this way to your child or your mother, make a commitment to clean up your act and love up your self-talk.
Allow yourself the help you need. There’s help for emotional eating, stress, overwhelm, and a life out of balance. And you’ve got a big life you’d probably rather be investing your energy in. Ask for what you need, let help in, and get on with your amazing life.
Take it one day at a time. Remember how many deep breaths you’ve taken as a mother?
How many second chances you’ve given?
How many times you just love them anyway?
Something to try this Mother’s Day Week.
Love yourself this same gentle way.
Take good care,