In the beginning, my acceptance of an UltraShape journey was purely a reflex. I mean, who wouldn’t want to say yes to blasting some fat away from your belly in an non-invasive and pain-free manner? But even though my initial whim was fairly thoughtless, having embarked on this journey has helped me to realize and discover so much more about myself. I can see now that I was stuck in a rut. I can see now the importance of putting myself first. While UltraShape is doing it’s part for me physically (I lost a full 1.25″ after my first session!), it has also been an excellent motivator and catalyst for making the changes necessary in my life to that enable me to continue working on a better me – long after my 3 sessions are over.
One of the things you learn pretty quickly as a mom is that your baby comes first. Even as you’re being stitched up and recovering from a pretty traumatic physical event, you’re watching your baby, perhaps even feeding them, changing their first diaper. Then it’s sleep. After the exhausting work of carrying and delivering a child into the world, you’re thrust into sleepless nights where you don’t sleep if the baby doesn’t. You go into pure survival mode and your every action is determined by their whims.
This is normal. This is natural. What isn’t natural is when we allow ourselves to become stuck there. Eventually, as your child grows, they develop routines. They become increasingly independent. It’s at this point where every mother needs a wake-up call. Someone needs to smack us upside the head and say “Hello! You made it. Now take care of yourself because your. needs. matter. too.” You deserve to nourish your mind, your body, your passions, your interest, your soul.
4 Reasons Moms Should Put Themselves First
“Just like on a plane put on your mask 1st. You can not help and take care of others if you are not ok.” – Beth F.
You won’t live with regrets. So many women wake up one day, their kids sent off to college, and wonder where the last 20-30 years went. These women have spent decades putting themselves on the back burner and are possibly staring down the barrel of a mid-life crisis. I don’t want that to be me.
“Abraham Lincoln said “if I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my ax.” Your kids depend on you to be strong, alert, and engaged, so it’s your job to take care of yourself first so that you can be there for them and not slogging through life in a zombie state.” – Jim M.
Habits become lifestyles. If you’re habitually putting yourself last it will soon become your life but if you make the time to create healthy habits, those will soon become your life instead. Taking that shower every morning, giving yourself time each day to yourself, outings with friends and picking up hobbies can easily become as much a part of your lifestyle as having the coffee you depend on getting through the day. As moms, we’re so good at doing these things once we have hit bottom, but wouldn’t it be easier to make them a part of our everyday life from the start?
4 Ways Moms Can Put Themselves First
Learn to say ‘No’. Saying no comes so easily to moms for some things. “No, you can’t have candy for dinner.” “No, you can’t skip brushing your teeth.” Yet we find it so difficult to say “No” to giving away too much of our time, to spreading ourselves too thin. Learning to say no is going to take practice and there are even recommended ways to say it. First, say it quickly. Don’t put off responding in the hopes that things will go way. Second, briefly explain why. No need to give every detail but simply explaining that you have too much on your plate goes a long way towards easing your guilty conscious and letting someone down gently. Lastly, if you need to, offer an alternative – a time when you’re less busy, a different project you would like to be involved with at a later date, or a smaller role.
Carve out time for you. This plays directly into creating healthy habits. Start small if you need to. Maybe you want to go to a class once a week or have an hour to yourself each night. Maybe you just want to have a monthly girls night or make time to do your makeup each day. Commit to choosing one new healthy habit to develop each month – because it takes 30 days to make something a habit.
“While not a fun thing Mom and Dad could schedule doctor visits and health checkups with the same vigilance they do for the kids.” – Susan D.
Get your family involved. So much of the reason we’re spread so thin has to do with giving so much of ourselves to our family. Here’s the thing moms. The world will not end if you make them more responsible for themselves. The older kids can pack their own lunches each morning. Your kindergartner can pick our their clothes for school each morning and brush their hair. They can pitch in on housework. The possibilities are endless and things like chore charts, lunch packing list and “acceptable clothing guidelines” can go a long way to making their independence stress free for you.
“Don’t wait to do housekeeping tasks after they go to bed. Do them while they can help, that way you get to sleep too.” – Jim M.
Ask your spouse for help. Sometimes they just don’t know where they fit into the equation. We moms tend to have things down to a science and even if we’re drowning, it can seem like we’re managing it all. Many times our spouses just need to be pointed in the right direction and they’re happy to step up to the plate.
So today I ask you, do you feel like you’re taking care of yourself enough so that you can properly and happily take care of your family? In what ways have you figured out how to make it all work? Please share, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!
This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and UltraShape blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.