The Importance of Self-Care

Let’s face facts. When you’re a mom you are incredibly busy. Your kids need your love, care, help, & attention. If you’re married, you are also a wife. Your spouse also needs your love, care, help, & attention. Unless you have a cook and a maid, as the mom it usually falls on your shoulders to prepare the meals, clean the house, do the laundry, and a myriad of other household chores that vary by circumstances.

No one ever said it was easy being a Mom. No one ever said that being there 24/7 for everyone – even when you’re sick – was effortless. Being a mom requires a great deal of focus, love, and energy.

My husband, daughter & I. Christmas, 2015

I am a mother to a 17 year old daughter, a soon to be 11 year old dog, & a 3 year old cat. I am married so I am also a wife & I run a household. I am also a businesswoman & have run my own business at since 1998. I am also a professional artist as well as a published author & artist (The Egyptian Lenormand, published by Schiffer Books, 2015).

Moms have so many things going on in their lives that we seldom find any time for ourselves. Our “self” gets lost in always doing for others. It is fulfilling to be there for our spouses & children. I consider being a mom as one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) blessings of my life. Sometimes, despite how grateful I am for my child, husband, dog, cat, and home I lose myself in the shuffle.

I read a post on Facebook by my good friend, Rosemarie. She has four children. Her oldest girl is attending college, her second oldest is in high school, and she has two young boys in elementary school. Her hands are full every single day, just as the hands of a mom are full everyday.

Rosemarie posted that she was feeling not herself. Tired, worn out, perhaps stressed, but she brought up a very important point. She said she needed to return to her spiritual center. She had to find time to focus more on herself so she could replenish her soul.

Rosemarie wondered if she was being selfish.

As a very busy mom and business person I empathized with Rosemarie immediately. I have been in her shoes many, many times. I commented under her post. This is my comment:

“This is NOT a matter of being selfish. You’re a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and all the other roles you have in life. In order to do your best at fulfilling your obligations to each of those roles you have to be feeling your best. This requires you spend more time on yourself.

“Nurture yourself by doing those things you enjoy doing, things that feed your soul. When we constantly give to & take care of others we get drained. This happens to us moms most of all. We are always doing for others & we forget about ourselves & everyone is under the impression that Mom can handle it all & never needs any help.

“This is why it’s important we help ourselves by maybe taking an extra long bubble bath once in a while. Go for a walk out in nature all by yourself so you can better attune to the earth’s energies. Do those things you enjoy doing. Make time for yourself. That’s not being selfish. It’s called being WISE.  You are a very generous soul, and as such, you’re constantly giving, but by so doing you’re allowing others to drain you. Find something to do to replenish your energy levels.”

Once I posted that comment, Rosemarie took my comment and reposted it as a new post. This is what she said to preface her next post:

“I had to repost this from my friend Nefer, her words struck a cord and I hope by sharing, other moms out there can feel lighter as I do.”

Why do us moms feel guilty for needing (note, I say NEED, not want,

Mom post 1-8-16 Rosemarie & her boys
Rosemarie & her 2 lovely boys.

which are two completely different things) some time to ourselves in order to replenish our batteries? Why must it be viewed as a “bad thing” when a mom needs to put more effort into herself for a brief time? Most of all, why does anyone think this is a selfish attitude to have?

Yes, it will take a bit of time away from your kids/husband/pets/house/work/career, but think of it this way. That little special treatment you give yourself will help you to feel more YOU. It will help you to feel better, stronger, and more capable of dealing with your everyday responsibilities. Doing little things for yourself will help you to be more present when others need you.

Many of you are probably saying, “but, Nefer, there aren’t enough hours in the day! By the time I’m done doing everything I need to do it’s time to go to bed.”

I hear you. That’s how my life USED to be in the past, but not anymore (on most days). I have a trick and I share it with you.

Make a list of the things you enjoy doing that do not require much time. Here are some examples listed in ever-increasing amounts of time required to get them done:

  • share a drop of essential oil with both wrists & slowly inhale
  • light a scented candle or incense and slowly breathe in its scent
  • drink a cup of coffee/glass of wine/soda
  • play a game on your phone (be sure not to get too tied up in it)
  • open a window (or better yet, go outside) & listen to the sounds of Nature for a few minutes (perhaps after putting essential oil on your wrists & as you stand outside drink that cup of coffee/glass of wine/soda – multi-tasking is something at which all moms learn to excel or we lose our minds)
  • play with your pets for 10 – 15 minutes
  • listen to uplifting music for 10 – 15 minutes
  • time yourself and read a book for 15 minutes
  • watch 15 – 20 minutes of a favorite show off your DVR
  • take a 30-minute UNINTERRUPTED bubble bath
  • take a walk alone in nature (30 – 60 minutes, depending on travel time)

You see? Just off the top of my head, based on things I enjoy doing I am able to come up with a list of 11 activities. Do the same for yourself.

The trick to fitting these activities into your life is this:  do only one activity a day, but be sure to not allow a day to pass before you have done one of these activities, even if you only have time to do it just before bed. Also, be sure no one will interrupt you. Inform your family, “I am doing this for me. I will be busy for x-amount of minutes. Please do not interrupt me unless your pants are on fire.”

Believe me, this works! Now, with very young children they don’t understand what Time is yet, so in cases that involve little kids I recommend timing activities that require more time while they are napping or be sure another adult is supervising and can prevent the little ones from interrupting your VERY IMPORTANT “me time.”

Once you begin to practice fitting in at least 10 – 15 minutes a day of precious “me time” you will discover that you feel better. You’re more yourself, in touch with your center, and therefore you are more equipped to focus on others and be the best Mom that you can be.

Remember, there is NOTHING wrong with pampering yourself a tiny bit each day. In fact, I strongly believe it is required in order for a mom to feel happy and fulfilled with herself, instead of constantly living her life through her children, spouse, & pets. When you are there for yourself just a few minutes everyday that equips you to be there for everyone & everything else the remainder of the day.

Be kind to yourself. Your family will thank you.


~ Nefer

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