Why is it so hard for us women (especially moms) to make time for ourselves?
I’ve learned how important making time for self-care is. Sometimes it looks like sewing, running a business, taking a walk, or painting… but lately it looks more like taking a nap. Sometimes self care is something big and sometimes it’s doing the little things like napping or getting your favorite ice cream.
In making time for me, I was able to step out of the mom and wife role and actually be Emily.
Self care helps us preserve and develop our identities outside of mom/sister/daughter/coworker etc… For you it might look like going back to school, traveling, dancing, or having lunch with friends.
When I first really wanted to start sewing, I did it with children under foot when I could squeeze in time here and there but, of course, I was always interrupted. I believed in multitasking (which I don’t anymore - but that’s a topic for another day). I was going a little crazy trying to get everything done. Malu helped me realize I needed to take time to focus on one thing at a time, and let go of some of the control. For example, it was hard to let him even watch the kids at first because he didn’t do it the way I thought he should. I was so focused on being a good mom, that my own individual identity was starting to suffer.
Intentionally making time for my self-care gives me the space I need to create through watercolor, digital design and sewing. It gives me time to think about what else I could offer through Kaulumaika. I recharge my mama batteries so that when I jump back into that role I am fully charged and focused on my children.
If you’re thinking you’re just too busy or that making time for yourself is too much work, I’d like to share some ideas with you.
- Know what you want to do.
Do you want alone time to sew or write that book? Maybe you want to go to lunch with friends or have uninterrupted time to watch a movie. There’s no wrong answer. But be as specific as you can.
- Verbally express what you want.
Put it out into the universe. Tell your partner, mom or a friend. You could even post it on social media. “I would love to… (fill in the blank).”
- Make a plan.
My husband and I both work, so in order for me to have uninterrupted time it takes some effort and planning. If you’re super busy, you will probably have to put your “me-time” in your calendar. If you have children, talk with your partner or parents to make a plan for them to watch them; you might even have to hire a babysitter. Find those obstacles and make a plan to overcome them.
- Follow through.
When the time comes for your self-care, support yourself in your decision and make sure it happens. (Don’t even think about changing your mind last-minute.) Now, your only responsibility is to be fully present in what you planned to do.
A few other things I also had to learn…
- How to ask for help to overcome some of the obstacles to getting the self care I needed (and deserved!)
- How to be patient with myself and others when things didn’t go exactly how I wanted them to.
- How to respect others’ time as much as I would like “my time” respected.
- How to let go of other people's expectations of me (like what it means to be a good mom) and do what I felt was most important.
Self-care is healing and will help you regain your personal identity.
Tell me (and the universe): what would you love to do?
Leave a comment and let’s do what we can to support each other!