It may have been the Lego piece I stepped on while getting a cup of coffee, or the rise of irritation in my chest that started when my head was being pounded on with an inflatable bat, but I had reached that point where it was time for a break.
When I became a mom, many things took a back seat. I dove headfirst into motherhood and never looked back. Now here I am thirteen years later, and I realized I wasn’t taking care of me anymore.
My cup was empty.
I stood in front of the mirror and apologized. “I’m so sorry for not prioritizing you and your needs.” Then, I got to work. Here are the five things I did to help me love myself again, and I hope they help you as well.
The first thing I did was to buy myself a journal. I wrote about things that weighed on me each day, about what I wanted for my life, things I wanted to change; just pouring out all that I had bottled in for so long. I never knew how therapeutic journaling could be until I started writing.
2. Make a plan
Next, I made a schedule. Yes, a schedule. I am a planner at heart so I started planning out exactly when I would take time for myself and what I wanted it to look like. Everything from working out to washing my hair. I wanted to ensure that I set that time aside not only for me but for my family to know these are times for mom.
3. Create new habits
One of the things I was slacking on is my health. I wasn’t eating well, drinking water, taking vitamins or exercising. I wanted to change that and create new habits in my life. I visited the doctor and worked with her to build a plan for my health that incorporated all of these things. I found out I was pre-diabetic and borderline for high cholesterol. If I hadn’t made the decision to change my health habits, I never would’ve known this, and would have continued down this path of detriment to my body and my health until it was too late.
4. Enjoy hobbies again
I used to love to read and to sew but I stopped having the time to do either of those things. With all of the hats I wear and all the responsibilities I have, I wasn’t able to enjoy things that I enjoyed any longer. A friend asked me about some of my favorite things to do, and I didn’t have an answer for her. So I changed that. I might not have time to read a novel or sew a whole wardrobe but try to incorporate it in when I can.
5. You can’t pour from an empty cup
These words rang true like never before. I was not the mom or wife I wanted to be anymore. I was irritable and touched out. I was giving and giving more of myself that I no longer had to give. And not just at home, but at work and at school. I was over it all. Taking the time to pour into myself, giving myself the time to recharge and refill allows me to give of myself and still be me.
You are important.
If you are like me, and maybe haven’t put yourself on your priority list in awhile, it’s time to change that. You deserve it.