I’m sure that almost everyone who has children can agree that once you have them, you prioritize them. As you begin your journey through parenthood, you begin you realize that not only do you prioritize your children’s needs over “everything”, but also yourself, which includes your physical needs and mental health. This act of “selflessness” is unfortunately the norm. I want to share my thoughts on why it’s one of the most important bad habits in our daily lives that I think we really need to change!!
After having my first child, I noticed how much my entire world revolved around him.
I came second. I literally put myself, my physical needs and my mental health on the back burner. I stop taking care of myself. Most days, I was exhausted, stressed out, and generally unsatisfied with how I was feeling. I felt as if I hit rock bottom. Now, add a couple more kids to the mix, and the time that I thought I had for myself went down the drain.
I use to go to sleep late and wake up synchronously with the kids, if not at the exact same time, I was up just a few minutes before in order to maintain some sort of sanity. I would be lying if I told you that I woke up energized and ready to conquer the world. I was overwhelmed, and anxious, and my level of patience continued to grow thin. I don’t know about your kids, but my kids wake up and are able to go from zero to one hundred within five minutes. It takes me at least 30 minutes to get going in the morning. Starting my day off this way was the definition of insanity. Things needed to change. I was tired of the early unpleasant mornings. It wasn’t my idea of how to set the tone for the rest of the day.
I made up my mind to start treating my personal time alone as though it was just as important as a doctor’s appointment. I scheduled my personal health into my day like it was an appointment that I couldn’t miss. I really had to take an inventory of what was actually important in my life and start prioritizing those things accordingly.
They say it takes twenty-one days to form a habit and ninety days for it to be permanent.
Once I rediscovered myself, made a plan, and scheduled appointments, I became so consistent that I began to fill my cup and it began to spill over into others. It didn’t take long for me to realize how much better I was feeling. My energy levels were higher, my stress level was so much lower (manageable), and I noticed that I had a lot more patience with those around me. Not only did I notice and feel it, but my entire family also did. I was finally setting the example that I envisioned as a mother. My kids started to ask to work out with me and cook with me, and honestly, it felt so good. It felt so good to know that they understood the importance of self-care. I’m not saying that this was all an easy thing to do. Life is super busy and finding the time can be difficult.
Having children and caring for them on a daily basis generally isn’t an “easy” thing to do. For many, managing their physical needs and mental health has become a lot more difficult, even with the readily available resources at your fingertips. Let’s face it, life is hard. I’m sharing all this because I care about you. I truly believe that caring for yourself is one of the most beneficial things you can ever do, not only for yourself but for others that surround you and see your beautiful smile. You have it in you, just like I do, to be that role model, that special caregiver for your kids in order to prepare them, and generations to come, for a healthier and happier future.
Looking for ways to get started?
I found it helpful to sit down with a calendar, pen and paper and write out my daily routine, all of the important must-do events and appointments and figure out when it would be possible to schedule some “you time” to be active, meal prep, meditate or whatever activity you’re looking to add into your routine.
Keep in mind the time you spend scrolling, watching tv, etc. and see if you can pull from any of that time.
Start small – even if you start with just 10-15 minutes a day to help you build the habit of what it is you want to do – that’s what is important. Then try adding 5 extra minutes/day each week – the time will add up quickly.
Most importantly, remember – we are human! Things come up and life can get really hard sometimes. Learn to give yourself grace when you need it and each day is a new day not dependent on the last. You get the chance to do it differently each day you wake up! Just keep going – if you truly want it, you can do it!!
WRITTEN BY JENNA MCKNIGHT