Self Care. I believe in it so, so much.
Call me a grandma, but I don't believe we heard the term much when I had my daughter in 2009. Or maybe it wasn't used in the circles I ran. Anyways, self care. Taking care of ones needs to then be able to best serve those around you. I also think of it as the airplane mask - you must put on your own first, before you can help those around you.
So what does that look like for me? For a while, self-care meant I showered and got one bathroom break without a baby attached to me in the same day. Other times it meant I went to Target all by myself. Eventually self-care turned into opening IBB. At the time I had a chronic illness (more on that in another post) and was unable to commit to a 'regular' job. So, I invented a job that met me where I was - mentally ready for a new challenge that also suited a mom who stayed home with her baby and most days was too ill to get out of bed.
Looking back I had distinct self-care styles for each of the phases we were in. My little girl is now seven, and I'm still evolving my self-care. This year (thanks to an several amazing people in my life and a very-independent 7yo), self-care has gone to a whole level. I started practicing yoga in January, and this fall have been taking a watercolor workshop. Two things I dreamed of for years, now coming to reality.
But as I think about it, I wonder, is it the chicken or the egg? Did life finally get to a point where I can carve out this much for myself? Or did I finally get to a place where it became such a priority that I couldn't ignore my needs another minute? Maybe a bit of both, because I'm certainly not looking back at my 2009 self, wagging the finger that she should have just made room for a spa day. But maybe she should have pushed harder for herself, to find the way to carve out two baby-less bathroom breaks a day. It gets so easy to say 'I'll do it later. It isn't important. It can wait.' But the truth is, it can't!
All this to say, caregivers, make room for yourselves!! Make room for your needs! Make way for your desires and goals. You deserve it! You are worth it! Your family needs you, and the more full your cup, the more you will be able to share with those around you.
And with that, off to yoga I go. xoxo