With the holiday season in full force, most of us have been focusing on putting together the best Christmas decorations that we can manage, the most delicious menu we could imagine, and the most exciting gifts that we can purchase.
We do all of this just to see a smile on the faces of our loved ones, and seeing them being so happy makes us forget about all the turmoil and the grueling tasks that we go through to achieve that picture perfect holiday.
However, while having a holiday plans discussion with a friend the other day, both of us realized that no matter how much focus we put on our family during the holiday season, we forget about a key member as well as their wellbeing and health in the process.
We were, of course, talking about ourselves: the mothers and the showrunners of the family who put their needs on the backburner even without realizing it.
And that is where I started thinking about all those times I advised another mom about what she should be doing for self-care and why it is important, while very subconsciously yet clearly refraining myself from taking my own advice.
That discussion led me to talk to other mommy-friends in my circle, and we all came to a stark realization: we look at ourselves through a lens that often tends to ignore us.
In order to not let that perspective take the better of you and make sure that you receive the best self-care just so you could be at your best for your family, here are a few tips that I gathered from those discussions.
Do Not Overwork Yourself
Whether it is the holidays or just any other part of the year, you like any other human being or any other member of your family need to have a balance between work and relaxation. Make sure that you are making a conscious effort to maintain a healthy balance between these aspects and not pushing yourself to exhaustion. Take some time out to rest, just like how you would advise your kid to do in their everyday life.
Do Not Ignore Your Health
Another thing I noticed in those personal discussions is how often we ignore our health and the precautionary measures associated with them. While we get our partners and our kids to regular health screenings, doing so ourselves is often pushed back with to the old “I’ll do it later” ideology. This behavior isn’t just restricted to mommies with a big family either, but also to single moms who push back crucial appointments such as those with a testing clinic. Whatever you do, make sure not to overlook this aspect.
Do Not Prioritize Yourself Too Low
While it is the sign of a good parent to put their children’s needs first before they do anything for themselves, there has to come a point where the line is drawn.
For instance, if you have been working with a problematic car for years in the hopes that you will change it one day while having your partner and kids get newer models year after year, then it is a sign that you are prioritizing yourself too low on the family chain.
Be kind to yourself and make sure that you get equal treatment within the other members of your family.
Do Not Feel Guilty About Working
The thought of being judged about not giving my best to my work while doing so for my family, and not being a good mom to my kids while I exceled at work always nagged me.
It was only recently that I discovered that it wasn’t just me who had gone through a few personal situations on these fronts, but almost all of us do so on a frequent basis – while dads are never held to that standard.
Keep a clear head on your shoulders in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and if you have to work hard to achieve a certain place in your career without neglecting your kids even if you cannot be there with them every moment of the day, then do not feel guilty in doing so.
Don’t Be Afraid of Asking for Help
For a surprising number of moms, the thought of being independent in raising their children is so overwhelming that they often tend to refrain themselves from reaching out for help from friends and family. This feeling can often cause us to feel alone, even when we are not alone in doing so. Make sure that you trust your ability to parent your child but also be confident in yourself enough to know exactly when to ask for help.
These easy yet profound approaches could very well go a long way into helping you take care of the one person who needs to take care of others: you. If you are not at your best, then your family gets disrupted. Make sure to exercise some much needed self-love from time to time.