This mom gig is not for the faint of heart.
It’s so incredibly challenging for us to get it all done: laundry, meal prep, spending time with our kids, spending time with our spouse, cleaning the house, racing off to after-school activities, work, and taking care of myself.
And if you’re a special needs mom like me, we add in IEP meetings, specialist appointments, doctor appointments, not to mention the time we spend avoiding and recovering from sensory meltdowns.
Something is going to give. And it’s almost always taking care of myself.
I don’t know about you, but in the day to day hustle of being a mom to three kids, I rarely take time to care for myself. There is literally not enough minutes in the day.
Life is overwhelming as it is.
How am I supposed to squeeze in a bath, or a glass of wine with a friend, or an early bedtime for myself?
But self-care for moms is essential. And I learned it the hard way this year.
I had all my balls in the air. I was juggling it all. I had already attended five IEP meetings to get my sensory kiddo adjusted to his new school. Work was going well, my other two kids were thriving, and my house was somewhat put together.
My husband and I even snuck away for an overnight date in the city.
And then I got a cold.
*This post is sponsored by Puffs Tissues. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own, please see my disclosure for details.
Nothing crazy. But I didn’t take the time I needed to rest and care for myself. I kept going at full-mom-steam ahead.
I felt awful, but I still had to mom. My kids needed me. Dinners needed to be made, the laundry always needs to be done and my kiddos needed rides to school.
I didn’t have time for my cold. So I ignored it and kept on attacking my overwhelming to-do list.
But then the cold quickly turned into something else. And by the time I realized I was way past Vitamin C and my oils helping me, I had landed in the hospital with full-blown pneumonia.
You guys, I was down for the count for two weeks. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t eat. I could barely speak.
Because I didn’t take the time to care for myself, I was empty. I had nothing left to give my family, my home, or my work.
And I was forced to finally rest and take care of me.
Ignoring Self-Care Put Me in the Hospital… This is What I’m Doing Differently.
Self-care is the new buzzword around the internet and everyone seems to be talking about it and touting its magic powers.
But as busy moms, we often dismiss it because we don’t have the time–or more realistically–we don’t prioritize the time for ourselves.
I know I didn’t.
But we can’t pour from an empty cup.
If we are mentally exhausted, or physically exhausted, we can not take care of our family. We can not love on them, take care of them, or play the third game of Candyland with them.
Only when we are our healthy and best selves can we the best moms and the best wives and the best at running our homes and careers.
And self-care isn’t always massages and spa days and nights out with our girlfriends.
It’s also saying “no” to things we don’t have time or energy to do. Or it’s going to bed early. Or it’s binge watching our favorite TV show while curled up on the couch wrapped in the coziest blanket we own.
But taking care of ourselves often comes with a large dose of mom guilt.
So we need a reminder or “permission” to build self-care into our to-do lists because taking care of ourselves is not a “nice to have.”
Self-care is a “must have.”
A Simple Way to Remind Your Mom Friends to Take Care of Themselves
A recent study* found that two-thirds of all people get sick at least once during cold and flu season.
So chances are, you’re going to get sick this season. And your mom friends are going to get sick too.
As moms trying to do too much in too little time, sometimes we need a good reminder to slow down to rest and take care of ourselves when we’re not feeling well.
When I got my cold, I turned to my go-to cold remedies. I love my Vitamin C and my oils and I can not live without tissues that don’t turn my nose raw from all the blowing.
But I forgot the missing component. I forgot the rest.
So now, when I feel a cold coming on, I slow things down. I pause my to-do list and put non-essential items on the back burner.
And I remind my girlfriends to do the same.
My go-to way to gently remind my friends to rest and slow down is to drop them off a little care package. It includes my favorite Puffs Plus Lotion tissues and snacks and Vitamin C juice. But it also includes my favorite videos and magazines and cozy socks.
Because this basket is a physical reminder that they need to slow down.
It’s “permission” from one mom to another to take it easy and to put ourselves first for a little while.
It’s a love note to them, telling them that it’s okay to put on the fluffy socks and put their feet up and binge watch movies.
Because the laundry can wait. The kids can eat cheese sticks and cereal for one meal. The floor can be dirty and sticky for an extra day or two.
But time to heal and recover during cold and flu season can’t wait.
As moms, taking care of ourselves isn’t a luxury we need to feel guilty about. It’s essential to our family’s well-being that we are well rested, mentally strong, and physically healthy.
So in case you need it, I’m giving you “permission” to slow it all down.
Put your feet up.
Take time to heal and move past the sick.
Do what you need to do to get through cold and flu season as fast as you can.
Just make sure you have your cozy socks on and soft tissues next to you.
What to include in your Mom Friend’s Get Well and REST basket:
Puffs Plus Lotion tissues
NyQuil or DayQuil
Magazines or a good book
Juice or smoothie
My Family’s Favorite Tissues:
When I get a cold, I blow my nose dozens of times an hour. And my dollar store tissues weren’t cutting it. The skin under my nose was raw and hurt worse than my head.
I sent my hubby out to get America’s #1 tissue brand, Puffs Plus Lotion tissues. The lotion in the tissue was a lifesaver because it soothed my irritated skin that was caused by the thin, rough tissues I had been using.
I could finally blow my nose without cringing.
I’m seriously never going back to a raw and red nose and I don’t want my girlfriends to suffer either. So I always include a box of Puffs Plus Lotion tissues in every Get Better and Rest basket I drop off to my girlfriends.
*The Cold and Flu survey was conducted by Clarus Research Group, and surveyed a total of 1000 general consumers. The survey was implemented between the dates of December 15, 2017 and December 18th, 2017