When I was little and something didn’t go my way, nothing cured my sadness faster than a good ol’ fashioned Mommy hug. At nearly 34 years old, I still have days when nothing short of a Mommy hug will make things better. But that Mommy hug is nearly 400 miles away now so I can’t pop on over or run to her in the kitchen to snatch up a hug. So instead I call her. Every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. I’m trying to scale back but it has been hard! Research has shown though, that talking with your mom on the phone is just as good as getting a hug from her in person. Pretty amazing, huh?
Mothers are expected to take care of everyone around them. It’s just what we do. But we forget so very often to Mother the most important person in our lives – ourselves. If we are not caring for ourselves, we are then not able to care for those around us. We are only able to care for those around us as well as we care for ourselves. It is especially important to remember to take care of ourselves when a Postpartum Mood Disorder is slinking about the house. Self-care is a very important aspect of recovery.
While hospitalized, the same nurse who so kindly told me I did not have to tell anyone where I was that weekend also emphasized to me how important taking time for myself was to my recovery. Go for a walk, go for coffee, breathe. Find your space and make it all yours at least once or twice a week to begin with. I started walking the first full day I was home. That lasted for all of a few weeks because I let life get in the way again. But while I was walking, I felt so much better. I loved being alone, listening to the birds, watching the squirrels, side stepping the bird poo, yanno, the back to nature stuff.
I also started making myself loose tea. There’s a ritual there – some cultures are pretty particular about it but really it can be whatever you want it to be. I also got out the good china and crystal even if just chowing down on microwave pizza and a coke. Dressing it up made it special. It made ME feel special.
So … let’s get to just talking. Share some tips with everyone. How do YOU Mother yourself? Are you Mothering yourself? If not, I challenge you to do at least one special thing just for you – and not feel guilty about it – this week. Go for ice cream, coffee, go people watch at the mall, go for a walk or to the bookstore or the library. Pick something that interests you, pick a day and just GO. You’re worth it and your family will thank you for the recharged Mama!
Pingback: Just Talkin’ Tuesday: Revisited | My Postpartum Voice
Thank you for posting this! It reminded me of how I am NOT mothering myself at all. I take horrible care of myself in that regard. I do so much for my husband and daughter I often forget about me. I’m having a rough time b/c my daughter acts like she’s gonna die if I even leave the room for 2 secs and she’s left w/ her dad. I’m not sure what the heck that is about. UGH!
Uh oh… I’m not doing this so well these days. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling the blahs a bit more…. Interesting to think about. I do enjoy evening walks, but I usually have at least one tag-a-long, if it’s not a whole family thing. Hmm…. I need to think of something to take care of ME.
Thanks for the reminder.
As a full-time working mom, I make it a point to leave my office every day at noon for an hour. I’ll go browse through the local bookstore, walk the aisles at CVS, walk a few laps around the office building – whatever strikes my fancy that day! It’s an hour I have to myself, to do what I want to do. I look forward to it every day.
I refuse to eat lunch at my desk – that allows for interruptions and makes me feel trapped. One hour a day is all it takes to get my sanity back!