You may looking at this self-care category and rolling your eyes. Or laughing at me, wondering if I am joking. Do I have a clue about your life? The waking up 4 times a night with the baby only to be woken up at 6:00 am when your 2 year old is ready to take on the world. How you need 3 cups of coffee to make it through. You know you need to cut down but some days it seems impossible. How the baby and the toddler are not quite on the same nap schedule yet. That glorious mid day break you used to have is now a hazy, distant dream. How getting you and your kids dressed, fed and to sleep is a huge feat and you wonder why no one gives you a medal each. and. every. day. In fact you are well aware that not many notice what you do everyday and some days you secretly wonder if this is all worth it.
I don't want to add one more thing to your to-do list – I know how long it is. I know your guilt list is even longer. And the thought of taking time to care for yourself could make you feel guiltiest of all.
I care you are exhausted. I care you are frustrated you can’t find time to shower. What day is it?
The truth is I am not good at self-care. I give to the point of exhaustion. I have gone through post partum depression and tried to fight my way through. I have been depleted for years at a time. I struggle with self-care. What I do know (now) is if I don't take care of myself, I won't be able to love my kids well.
I know it seems absolutely impossible to do self-care as a mom with young kids. Even if you have no idea how you would ever incorporate self-care into your life, I want you to know it is good. When Jesus said to love Him and love our neighbor as ourselves – he meant for ‘ourselves’ to be loved well in the process. He wants all to be loved well – we love our neighbors well, just as we are loving ourselves well.
Your needs matter - your physical needs, your spiritual needs, your mental needs - they matter.
I want you to thrive in motherhood, not just survive.
This idea of self-care will be a journey. It definitely has been for me. You probably still don't believe me - that self-care is possible for you. That’s ok.
I care about you. I am here for you.
Because I know when you are well loved, you will love your kids well.