I hope, dear mamas, there have been moments within the daily grind of your December to carve out some YOU time - some time to rest, some time to play, some time to just be. As I scrolled through my newsfeed this week, I came across a headline that stopped me mid-swipe. It simply stated mom care isn't self-care. Mamas, I'm not sure I've ever felt so seen. Those 5 words made me stop, read and do an inner happy dance. How many times do we equate basic hygiene or solo errands or cleaning the house as self-care?
All. the. damn. time.
Last Saturday I had some blessed alone time, like no boys, no husband, TV remotes to myself kind of alone time. Did I put my feet up and watch the Hallmark Movie Channel? Something tells me I don't have to ask for ya'll to know the answer.
If I'm being completely honest with myself though, I chose to wrap Christmas gifts instead of relaxing. I knew that in saying yes to one activity I was saying not now to another. But this is where it can become a slippery slope, dear mamas, because all too often we make choices that have us saying yes to something and no to ourselves.
It took a long time for me to come to this understanding and even longer to start saying yes to myself, to start defining what self-care my soul was in need of receiving and to start consistently carving time out of my life to rest, to play, to just be.
I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I dreamt of life spent with a pen in hand, turning my thoughts into words sent across the universe, all from a cozy cafe in Greenwich Village. I've journaled for most of my adult life and just like true friendships, my pens and notebooks were always there, no matter how long time between entries stretched.
When I became a mom though, I poured all my energies into being a mom, into my boys, into just keeping on keeping on. There may have been some time for self-care but I was so lost I wouldn't have noticed anyway.
And then in beginning the journey back home to myself, I made the very intentional choice to stop saying no and start saying yes to self-care, to meeting my needs, to me.
It's been a year since I created my blog, Confessions of a Good Enough Mother. I started it with the intention of helping my fellow mama bears see that they are good enough. I wanted to share the complexity of my experience in the service of connection, to let other mothers know they are not alone. It is not lost on me, however, that in giving to other mamas, I've really been giving to myself. I've come to discover over this past year, that sharing my story, standing in my truth, coming back home to my words is what nourishes my soul.
While sitting down to write this blog has become part of my routine at this point, I still find that I have to make a choice. In saying yes to writing these entries, in saying yes to myself, I’m saying no to meal prep or time with my husband or my children. I’m saying no to cleaning and organizing or even showering before nightfall. Some weeks it’s an easy choice and others, well, it’s not so easy.
I often feel pulled in so many different directions, as I’m certain many of you do, that I have to remind myself that I too am a priority. That it’s okay, despite what’s happening around me, to sit down at my kitchen table and give myself over to writing, to not jump up when one of my loves needs a snack or needs the potty, to not feel like I need to keep the peace between my boys and their dad, that it’s okay for me to carve out time that is mine alone. I have to remind myself that it’s okay, that it’s NECESSARY to say yes to me.
My dear mamas, it’s necessary for you to say yes to YOU. Sharing my experiences with all of you, my fellow mama bears, has truly become an act of soul-care and I'm filled with gratitude for all of you who have been supporting me on this journey. My wish for you, dear mamas, is that you have an opportunity at some point to come home to yourselves, to discover what nourishes your own soul and then do it. Choose yourself. Say yes. Then say yes some more.