Self-Care Wasn’t on My Radar
A self-care routine has always been on my to-do list but not something I had managed to get to. Picture this: It was time change week, full moon, and Friday the 13th. Colvin had 4 molars coming through, and an ear infection. Then comes 3:45 pm on Friday, Coralie blew her nose and declared her ear hurt. So I called the clinic and our wonderful and amazing PA let us run in to have Coralie’s ear looked at. The kicker is that the clinic usually closes at 4:00 pm on Fridays. Our PA goes above and beyond regularly not only for my family but for all her patients. And yes, Coralie had an ear infection.
Too Busy Taking Care of the Kids
In our hurry to get to the clinic, I got all of the kids ready and loaded in the car in record time (yay me!), we were driving to the clinic when Willa asked me where my coat was. I hadn’t even realized I forgot it until she brought it up! All I could answer her was that sometimes moms are too busy taking care of her kids to remember to take care of themselves. I told her I was busy getting her and her siblings’ coats on and to the clinic that I completely forgot to put on my coat.
I am sure if it had been 20 degrees instead of 40 degrees, I would have remembered it, but the point is that I forgot one of the most basic needs in my rush to take care of my kids. This hasn’t been the only time and I am sure it will not be the last time.
Always Taking Care of Those Around Me
I’ve always been good at making sure those around me were taken care of. Growing up, I was ‘Nurse Tess’ to all the neighborhood kids. As an adult, I have worked as a CNA at a nursing home and an assisted living, Activity Director at an assisted living, and as a daycare worker. I’ve been a full-time working mom, a part-time working mom, a stay at home mom, and now a work from home mom. Always in a caregiving capacity. I’ve always made sure those around me are taken care of. With that, I can forget, or even neglect, myself sometimes. I just don’t have anything left in me some days to make myself a priority. Self-care is not even on my radar.
How Do We Start Doing Self-Care?
Self-care can be so hard, but we are told repeatedly how important it is. So how do we fit it in when we have so many other things pulling at us?
We take time to prioritize what is most important. I recently took a 5-day course byMegan Sumrell who taught me a lot about making time for myself – what fills my bucket up so I can be productive, active, and take great care of my kids most days (because we all have days that just don’t work out).
My Self-Care Routine
I had to take a look at what makes me happy, what makes me feel good. What exactly fills my bucket, and what I need to do to make sure my bucket is full before I start my day with my family. Based on that, I have started a new morning routine.
- Get up at 6:30 am
- Get my coffee
- Journal & daily devotion while drinking my coffee
- Work – sometimes it is the only time of day I can get work done on the computer (like right now as I am writing this!)
- 7:00 am I get dressed, put on my makeup (sometimes) and wake the kids up at 7:15
Don’t Compare my Self-Care Routine to Yours
This is what I have decided I want my morning routine to look like. Don’t think you have to do exactly what I do. I have learned through this that I am better able to care for my family if I take some time for just myself in the morning. It can be as little as 30 minutes. I make my coffee and do my daily devotion and journal. On the mornings that I oversleep (aka hit snooze 10 times, no joke) I am a different person. I am crabby, impatient, and short-tempered with everyone and it takes me such a long time to get out of it. Everyone is different and some people might need a nighttime routine that fills their bucket. Whatever works for you.
Here are some ideas for your self-care routine:
- Craft (I love to crochet)
- Meditate (I haven’t figured this one out yet)
- Practice Affirmations
Self-Care is a Work in Progress
My self-care routine is a work in progress. I have proclaimed for most of my life that I am NOT a morning person. I love to sleep, especially after becoming a parent. There are still days I hit snooze and don’t get up when I want to so don’t expect perfection from yourself. We are all a work in progress.
What to do Next
If you want to learn more about time management, especially with kids being home and now homeschooling them, go check out Megan’s FREE Facebook group. She is a mom herself and has had to adjust her schedule and life with her daughter being home from school now, too. She is pretty dang awesome at what she does and I can guarantee you will love her and what she is going to teach you!
Some Other Things That Help Me
Another tool that helps keep me on track is this wall calendar. It is a school year calendar so you don’t have to start over in December with a new calendar, and it is pretty to boot! The squares are big enough to be able to write the kids’ schedules and my meetings and appointments. And if you are anything like me and like to use colored pens, these pens, ERASABLE, yes – erasable pens, are awesome! They write well and erase well after the ink is dry. I love to color-code appointments. It helps me know what is going on for the day with just a glance at the calendar.
Put Your Dang Coat On!
Now, none of this is going to help me to remember to put my coat on, but it is helping me take better care of myself and in return, take better care of my family. It is helping me be the best version of Wonder Woman that I can be.