We are stretched thin. We are giving. We are sacrificing. We tell ourselves it’s part of being a grown up. It’s being responsible and mature to put our children first. Or is it?
Before I really started to take self care more seriously, I used to be under the impression that it was all about pillows and softness and ease. I didn’t take the time out to take special care of myself because it felt selfish and indulgent. What it took a while for me to understand was that self care is simply treating myself the way I treat my children. It is caring for and nurturing my needs. Self care means being a good mother to me.
As mothers, we are loving and kind. We adore and cherish our children. We protect and defend them. We are intentional in the decisions we make about their lives. We say no when we need to. We work on setting and keeping clear and healthy boundaries.
It isn’t always easy, not by a stretch, but it is worthwhile and necessary. So is taking good care of you, Mom.
Self care requires that we view ourselves as a child in need of care and the parent who does the caring, both. I am ultimately responsible for the tough job of caring for and nurturing myself—not my significant other, not my actual mother or father, not my friends.
Self care isn’t indulgent or selfish, it is worthwhile and necessary. It means not ignoring our needs or judging ourselves. It is assuming I need to sleep well, eat yummy healthy foods, move my body, and, best of all, have fun—laugh, giggle, play!
When we are good mothers to ourselves we take it seriously, we pay closer attention, we don’t mess around. We are our own defenders. We know what we need and we and have the courage, wisdom, and discipline to find ways to get it.
How can we afford not to model for our children the practice of loving and cherishing ourselves?
Now a gift for you: I’ve been teaching self care through coaching women and in offering two online courses. I’ve created an e-book to guide us in our practice, The Woman Warrior’s Workbook: an integrative self care regimen. It’s available for free at this link.
Best wishes in 2013.
Eloiza Jorge, MA, CPC, is an educator and coach. A Montclair native, she can be spotted around town leading dance classes at the Y, picking up her kids from school, or running to teach a class at MSU. She coaches clients from her home office. You can find her online at deepeningwisdom.com