Why is it that women, and especially mother, put ourselves last on the priority list? I am guilty of taking care of everyone and everything else first, before even daring to spend a moment on myself. Upon occasion, this has included feeding or bathing myself (oops). Then, when I do spend a second on myself, I feel guilty. But my question is why?
As givers and nurturers by nature, we women give and give and give until there is nothing left to give, and then we find a way to give even more. I feed my children first and eat their leftovers. I make sure they are properly washed and dressed, before tending to those basic needs for myself. I won’t let my daughter leave for school without her hair being properly combed, but somehow it’s ok if leave for work with barely running a brush through my own hair.
One day I woke up and asked my tired, hungry, disheveled self, “When did this become acceptable?”. I looked at myself in the mirror and decided right then and there that enough was enough!
Then I got to thinking…
When you’re on an airplane, the flight attendant giving the safety presentation tells everyone that in case of an emergency, secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Right there, on an airplane, in an EMERGENCY, you are given permission to take care of yourself first. Perhaps it’s high time that that permission is granted to us outside of emergencies.
Here are my words of advice to the women out there running on empty…Stop pouring from an empty cup!
Busy mamas, this is for you…
To the mom who feeds her children first, and eats their leftovers….take a moment, heat up those leftovers and savor them as a gourmet feast.
To the working mom who barely runs a brush through her hair this morning…keep your favorite lip gloss or lip stick in your purse. Put it on when you park your car and walk into work with your head held high (tangled hair be damned!).
To the super mom who goes to bed without washing her face because she’s so exhausted at the end of the day…Grab a wash cloth. Run it under warm water. Place it on your face. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Count to 10 and wipe the food smudges off your cheeks. You’ve earned it.
To the work from home mom who didn’t get a second to shower today (or yesterday)…Grab your favorite scent (essential oils or perfume). Apply it generously, please.
To the new mom who wore her pajamas all day…Grab yourself a pair of leggings (they are super comfy and forgiving to almost everybody). Put them on and wear them proudly. Leggings were invented for a reason, right?
You cannot give all that you can when you are on empty. Fill up your cup. Start setting aside time for self care. I am of the belief that taking care of YOU should be part of taking care of OTHERS.
What is your favorite way to refill your cup? Be sure to leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.