Friday, January 17, 2014

The "Ultimate Mom": Taking Care of Me

Chapter 2: How a Mom like you can find "guilt-free" TLC

This chapter focuses on why being a "Super Mom" is not always good for ourselves or our families. It cites situations where trying to over max your time with chores, kids, and other life responsibilities can actually be hurting our relationship with our kids.

I can definitely agree with that. As a full-time working Mom who also almost solely takes care of the house, animals, financials and the children, I never realized how taxing it all was until I took 6 weeks off work after having Madison. It was then that I noticed how well the house was easily kept. The laundry was done, bills were paid, and my stress was low. Therefore, my relationship with my husband and children improved! I was no longer snapping at them for all the little things that were never a really big deal to begin with.

Once I returned to work, my stress level peaked! I was still keeping up the house, the laundry, the bills and all of the children's appointments and activities. And suddenly, my husband and I were fussing again, Kalynn seemed to be acting out more than usual and boy did it feel like I wasn't getting nearly as much sleep as before, when really my sleep schedule had not changed!

I first realized I needed help at home. Something I was not accustomed to asking. But I realize now, that it is OK. They can help, they live here too! Give them the gift of learning to help...think of how good you feel when you help someone else. I realize I have denied my family that opportunity!

I also see why it is so important to take time for ME! The point is to find ways to reduce Mom's stress level. It may be easy, simple little things. Like taking a bubble bath, reading a good book with a cup of coffee each morning, going for a walk in the afternoon by yourself or plugging into your MP3 player and just letting your mind drift with the music. Or, you might prefer a manicure/pedicure, getting your hair done at the salon, or getting a monthly massage.

The point is, that you do something for you every day, week, month. You do it without feeling guilty, because by taking care of you, you are taking care of your relationship with your children (and other people around you). 

Being able to "Mentally Un-Plug" is very important! It reduces stress, and anxiety. Allows us to sleep better, and will improve our patience with the people around us. It will improve self-esteem because you become more than just "the primary care taker", you become the "priority". You become "important". 

Now, as much as I would love a monthly massage, it is just not in my family budget...but this chapter also describes how you can take the money on things that you miss, such as your usual morning coffee at the local coffee shop on Tuesday when you were running late, and put it towards something you want to do. Get a coffee can, or set up an account that is all your own for those simple pleasures. This will keep you from feeling guilty about spending that $40 on the pedicure before flip-flop season.

Chapter Tips
  1. It is our imperfections that make us human. Moms who strive to be perfect, who attempt to do it all, and who only know how to say "yes" are headed for exhaustion, disappointment and regret down the road.
  2. Asking for help from your children and loved ones is a gift to them!
  3. When it comes to your "to-do" list, include at lease one thing a day that is just for you and make it a priority!
Taking Action

  • Choose a jar, box or special wallet that you will call your "Ultimate Mom Luxury Account". The money that will be placed here is for the sole purpose of buying little luxuries for yourself. Where will this money come from? Anytime you consciously save money, "deposit" this saved amount into your luxury account. Now here is the fun part! Once a month, spend whatever is in your account on the gift for you that will bring you joy. Only use the cash you have put aside, ans these purchases are to be entirely guilt-free!
  • Next time someone asks "Can I help you?" just say "YES!" and then figure out how.
  • Start your day off right! Choose to use an affirmation or ask yourself: 
"If I did one thing today that would make this a truly spectacular day what would it be and when am I going to do it?"

This week, I will continue to work on the pendulum parenting, and I will also begin taking steps to start taking care of me! This week, is one I am looking forward too!

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