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When I wrote the title, How to Actually Put Yourself First as a Busy Mom, I questioned my words immediately. I wondered if we really could put ourselves first while still wearing all of the Mom hats that we so carefully balance? I truly think we can. And, here’s how we can start.
When my daughter was born, my whole world changed (as I’m sure yours did too).
Looking back, I always put her first in those beginning years. Nothing mattered more than my new role as Mom.
Now that I’m almost six years into motherhood and I have added another child in the mix, I realize that the newness of motherhood fades. Now, I feel rooted in motherhood instead of floating. Owning it instead of being overwhelmed by it. But my role as an individual, as Katie, is never going to change. So, we can’t forget ourselves, friends, we just can’t!
While the demands of Motherhood aren’t likely to change, here’s my tips to get things done as a busy Mom while simultaneously taking care of YOU.
Eat the Frog.
Mark Twain said that you should eat a frog each morning because the rest of your day is bound to get better than that. I can’t say that I disagree (ew). But, of course, Twain was being metaphorical. What he really meant was that we should start off our day right by doing what we absolutely hate/avoid doing every day. Because everything will be uphill after that task is over and done with.
As a busy Mom, I often put off picking up my areas in the house (like my desk) until “later” (which really means never because later I’m busy doing something else). I’m not doing myself a favor. According to the book, Eat That Frog by Bryan Tracy, we actually experience endorphines from finishing a task to 100% completion. Doing something that you hate first (and completely finishing that task) actually benefits our brains. <— that’s one simple way to take care of ourselves ladies while getting things done!
Bonus: We aren’t left thinking to ourselves “I still have to do…xyz” throughout the day.
A few examples of “Eating the Frog” as a Mom:
- Planning/Prepping meals for the day
- Cleaning toilets (this is what a friend of mine hates doing the most)
- Getting out of bed (when the alarm actually goes off!)
Prioritize Your Health.
I think long and hard about the snacks and foods that I make for my kids. But, I’m guilty of not thinking about my food. From a few bites of leftovers for lunch to scarfing down the left over apple slices on my kid’s plates, I can go a whole day by patch working my meals. This needs to stop. It’s not good for anyone.
I’ve added a few goodnessknows® snack squares to my purse just for this reason.
The cranberry, almond, dark chocolate snack square is my personal favorite (The apple, almond & peanut, dark chocolate snack square is a very close second! But, I’ll be trying the peach & cherry, almond, dark chocolate snack square next time). The snack squares are in bite-size portions made with real fruit, nuts, and chocolate so that I can eat as much or as little as I want. And, giving ourselves access to a bit of chocolate is a simple way to prioritize ourselves, am I right?!
You can find these squares at Walmart near the registers!
Enter for a chance to win one of two $500 gift cards ~ you all, this is exciting! It’s only running for three weeks, so jump over there now!
Write Things Down.
Our brains were not designed to remember everything. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “Paper is to write things down that we need to remember. Our brains are used to think.” If there is one change that you can make right now, it’s to add a pen and paper to your purse. Write things down that you need to remember so that your brain is free to think about other things (like #4).
Focus on Your Passions
When my son was born, he threw us into a tailspin of demands. I never wanted to call him colicky, but he certainly fit the description. I slept in one hour increments for over 14 months. I remember thinking, when will I feel human again? But, I took that time to focus on my passion for photography. Somehow learning about light and how to take gorgeous pictures of my rarely sleeping baby brought joy to a time that was very trying and utterly exhausting. Remember what gets you excited and passionate about life and make it a priority. The benefits of focusing on a hobby are immediate!
Why You Should Put Yourself First as a Busy Mom?
I think most of us realize that we have to put ourselves first. Just because they tell us on airplanes to put on your oxygen mask before putting it on anyone else, doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Nine times out of ten I’ll be the person trying to put the oxygen mask on my kids first!! But, I think that we know that we need to put ourselves first because we truly feel better when we do. We are of no benefit to ourselves or to others when we are burnt out and overwhelmed. If you’re like I was during the first year of life with my son, reach out for help. Talk to friends and family, join a local community group for Moms, or join our community of Moms on Facebook. It helps to stay connected and to remember that “this too shall pass.” When we take care of ourselves and ask for help, we are teaching our children to do the same. I truly believe that is one of the best gifts that we can give to our kids.
Be sure to check out Goodness Knows squares and see where a little goodness takes you!
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