Long overdue, but here are more entries from our Mother’s Day Contest!
“As every momma knows having a baby is an enormous shock to the routine. I had thirty-seven years of “me time” before having my daughter. The sudden change in priorities that comes with becoming a mommy was (is) sometimes overwhelming. In those first several months self-care was barely on the radar, it really felt more like daily survival. Groomed eyebrows, shaved legs or coordinated accessories were pretty low on the priority list.
Three years into motherhood, along with juggling a full time job, it is still a daily struggle to find balance. What I have done for myself is stripped it down to three basic things I try do for myself every day:
Get Enough Sleep…sometimes easier said than done, but it is a lot easier to get makeup on in the morning when the time isn’t being spent trying to hide puffy sleepy eyes.
Do Something Creative…I have discovered that if this doesn’t happen I am a very cranky momma, even if it is just knitting two rows on a sock I’m happy.
Quiet Time…me time, usually in the form of a bubbly bath and a good read.” - Nicole in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (Canada)
“I am a stay at home mom who has had two children within two years. Though daily self care can be a struggle at times, I make meaningful adult interaction a daily priority. This ranges from playdates, to coffee with friends or date night with my husband. I am an inquisitive person by nature and these get togethers keep me informed of what is going on “out there”. I get a chance to think and assert my opinions on subjects that may not necessarily come up daily with my 2 year old and 9 month old. I need these conversations to keep me whole and fulfilled as a human being, not only as a mom. Talking about books or foreign issues, with just a side of potty training or strategies to get food into my picky eater, does wonders for my soul.
Don’t get me wrong, yoga class and a regular massage makes me feel like a million bucks. A large coffee and a blow out for my unruly hair is an instant pick me up. That’s all true, but rehashing those funny and precious daily moments that I share with my children, over a glass of wine with a friend or my husband, are just as sweet.” - Anna in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)
“Take care. Two small words, but very challenging to do for ourselves as women and mothers. Books and words of wisdom try to help by offering many tips about caring for ourselves physically (drink lots of water and rest!), mentally (stay alert with crosswords and reading!) and emotionally (make time for romance!), but these lists can add up and seem too much to achieve. More than once, I have set out on a Monday to stick to my exercise and eating routine, spend time reading and having a date night- all to wake up on Thursday wondering what happened to the week!
So, on a recent birthday reflection, I realized that taking care for me does not mean achieving and abiding by the many tips and tricks out there for women and mothers. The way I take care of myself is by doing keeping two mantras in mind each day:
“There is a time for every role”. This first bit reminds me that there is a time in our lives to be the sexy goddess, the doting mot her, the house maker, the professional, the athlete, the philosopher, the artist and whatever other goals you may have. But it does not have to be all at once.
“Connection is Key!” The second mantra reminds me that at the end of the day the best way to take care of myself is to connect with others who uplift, encourage and make me laugh. Other moms, family, my spouse my best friend and especially my children all fit the bill. Being open to learning from them and building relationships makes every one feel healthy and complete.
In short, while all of those tips keep piling up, these two things help me maintain some balance.” - Jennifer in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)
“You’ve just had a baby! You’re exhilarated, but more often just exhausted. There’s no way to know “What to Expect”… and it’s hard to take care of yourself. But there are little things you can do to make the days (and nights!) easier.
First of all, relax. You’ll be feeding the baby a lot, so make the most of all that sitting. Get a few comfy pillows. Have snacks, water, magazines, and phone nearby. A DVD box set or juicy novel will help you through those marathon feeds. You’ll be constantly washing your hands after diaper changes, so rub in a baby-friendly oil or cream.
Eventually you’ll have to emerge and do a few chores, but not during precious sleep time. Sort socks or load the dishwasher with your baby in a sling or while she’s on her playmat. Naps should be for both of you.
Finally, you can only snuggle and doze at home for so long. Get out that $1000 stroller for some fresh air. How to be yummy mummy when you feel like scummy mummy? A cool hat or pretty clip hides unshampooed hair. Slap on some tinted moisturizer. A nursing top can give you confidence. Have a treat at your favourite cafe, mama! You’ve earned it!” – Lisa in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (Canada)
“Being a mom of two young boys, I don’t have a lot of time to spend on pampering myself. I think that is a common trend for most mothers out there. We put our children’s needs ahead of our own, and with the change in priorities we can often fall into an apathetic mindset. I have come to the realization that caring for myself only goes so far.
The way that I feel most fulfilled as a mother, the times I feel most beautiful as a woman, is when I’m truly giving of myself to others.
When I am listening to someone excited over the news of a long awaited pregnancy, or crying with a friend over the loss of her baby. When I am using my time and talents to serve others or just to sit and simply be with people. I believe it is one of the most important parts of my job as a mother – to pass on a selfless attitude for my children. To portray that beauty is to love others selflessly. I want my boys to see that in the way I treat people with respect and kindness. I want them to grow up with an understanding that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, and that real beauty and the true worth of someone is not found in what a person consumes , but how she loves others. I also love to slip on some lacy panties under my mom jeans.” - Anna in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)