I love to travel. Being on an airplane never gets old to me. I’m one of those who still pays attention as the flight attendant gives the same ol’ instructions that are clearly written on the finger-smeared, bent up emergency pamphlet on the seatback. One thing in particular that always intrigues me is when the flight attendant admonishes you to “put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help someone else put on theirs.” The first time I heard that, I instinctually thought how selfish a suggestion! What if my child is with me?! I would make sure his oxygen mask was on first! Then I realized…
I am no good to my child if I’m passed out on an airplane.
Self-care, you see, is not selfish. It’s self-honoring.
Most moms would give their very lives for their children. And many do. They don’t do things they enjoy. They let themselves go physically. They don’t spend time with people who uplift them. They forsake old hobbies and interests. They remain in destructive relationships “for the kids.” Society, unfortunately, has underscored this faulty thinking by convincing every mother that she must be a superhero and self-proclaimed martyr in order to raise fully functional children.
I had my first child at the age of 17, and in my last post Dealing with an Out of Control Child, I discussed how I had allowed other people’s advice and opinions to color my boundaries. Very early on, I realized I had to take time for me. I was still young, and it was important to me to spend time with my new husband, go to the movies with my friends and not feel like I had to go on every preschool field trip.
Are You Living in Guilt?
Many women live in constant guilt because they don’t feel they are doing enough as moms. I want to scream, “Enough!” God never asked you to sacrifice your life for your child. He sent his Son to do that. All he asks you to do is to love your child, raise him/her to know and love God and to be the best example you can be. To that end, girl, take care of yourself!
Do you find yourself feeling frustrated and angry all of the time and don’t know why? It happens. The same way our kids have their meltdowns over seemingly unnecessary things, we have our meltdowns too! TLSM Featured Expert, Dana Che, explains there is often a deeper meaning behind it in her video “In My Feeling Bag.” Maybe you are overwhelmed. Maybe you are overworked and underpaid. Maybe you are just tired. The solution is usually simple: analyze why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and then practice some self-care!
Simple Tips for Self-Care
If you are not practicing self-care, you may feel overwhelmed at where to start. Here are a few suggestions.
- Put the kids to bed an hour earlier and take a long, hot bubble bath or shower with candles all around
- Go eat at the most expensive restaurant you can afford
- Buy the dress that makes you feel beautiful
- Leave the kids with a trusted family member or friend and take a long walk along the beach or a nearby park
- Turn off Kids Bop and turn on your favorite music. Blast it! Your kids will think you’re nuts, but they’ll soon be singing along
- Ditch the deadbeat boyfriend
- Find your dream hairstyle on Pinterest, and then find an affordable stylist in your area to make the magic happen
- Get lost in your favorite novel or Netflix show
- Leave the chores undone until tomorrow
- Take a long drive where you can just think and dream (with your eyes open, of course!)
These are just a few simple suggestions of how you can incorporate self-care into your day. I’d love to encourage you to take a weekend away at least once a year like I do, and if you can do that, do it! If not, however, start where you can. Remember, you can’t save anyone else if you are running on fumes. So, girl, go and take care of yourself!
MEET OUR FEATURED EXPERT
Dana Che is an inspirational speaker, author, blogger, relationship coach, and host of the online talk show Real Relationship Talk who is passionate about seeing people walk in relational wholeness. Over the last 10 years, Dana has journeyed with all types of moms as a mentor mom and coach. As a speaker, she has served audiences both large and small at women’s conferences, business events, schools, churches, moms’ groups, and youth conferences sharing her story as a former teen mom and other topics like building authentic relationships, purposeful parenting, finding purpose in pain, and more.
Dana holds a B.A. in communication from Regent University. She shares her life with her husband and high school sweetheart, Shaun, their four amazing children, and their “multi-cultural” dog in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA. For more information or to book Dana to speak at your next event, visit http://danache.com.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. Our primary focus is in helping churches and communities launch single mom’s ministries and have done so more than 1,500 times! Our support groups connect 71,000 single mothers each year to a local church. We are a one-stop shop for all things single mom ministry related. For more information, visit https://thelifeofasinglemom.com.