Co-Authored with Dr. Gina Hassan
You know the scenario. Since becoming a mother, every day necessities, such as sleeping, eating and showering have suddenly become luxuries. With the never-ending task of caring for and nurturing your baby and your family, finding time for yourself often feels harder than ever.
For many mothers, self-care is not an easy task. And when we are unable to meet our basic needs tending to our deeper emotional needs becomes trickier.
As mothers and women our attention gravitates towards focusing on the needs of others. In fact, pausing to reflect on what we might need or want may rarely occur to us. Like an all night radio station that never goes off air, there may be a steady stream of very important tasks to accomplish with self-care never or rarely making it to the top of the list.
It's all too easy to get swept up into the noise and endless "to dos" on our motherhood checklists. But, when we allow ourselves to get distracted by the demands that surround us, we can lose connection with ourselves. By putting one foot in front of the other without ever pausing to reflect, we are likely to end up tired, depleted, resentful or lost. We may feel like we are living our lives on autopilot without intimately engaging with ourselves, and those around us.
Yet, when we take time to reflect about what our intentions are and what we really want/need to prioritize, we are much more likely to lead a satisfying and engaged life. In other words if we tend to our metaphorical soil, the sustenance of our soul, we can better provide for our loved ones without depleting our resources to the point of offering empty calories.
So this Mother's Day and every day tend to yourself and tend to your soil. Reflect on your soul needs and remember the Buddha's saying: "A mother best serves her child who serves herself."
And if you find self-care challenging, keep in mind these simple phrases:
"When you care for yourself you have more to give to your partner and children."
"When you care for yourself, giving to others can be nourishing rather than depleting."
"Tending to your needs allows you to be more present with your loved ones"
"Self-care is important for your emotional, physical, and spiritual health."
"By tending to your needs you are teaching your children the importance of healthy habits."