2018: A Year to Be Kind to Myself
Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. -Eleanor Brown
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. -Psalm 139:13-14
I’m not one to usually go into a new year with a resolution, but this year is slightly different.
Our family has a big change coming our way with a baby due in March.
My mindset for this next year will mostly be on surviving and getting sleep. I know well what lies ahead with a newborn baby coming- lack of sleep, forgetting to eat, lots and lots of diaper changes, breastfeeding highs and lows, and five-minute showers soon become a vacation.
Honestly, it’s difficult for me to look at my year ahead and add “one more thing” to my to-do list when I already know my life will be changing quite a bit. I’ll be thankful for any moment of time to have an adult conversation, do something for myself, or just get out of the house. I’m excited for what lies ahead with another baby, but I know it will be a lot of work.
Mom-life is tough. It’s difficult to find time to pursue interests outside of daily responsibilities, to go work out, spend time with friends, get my hair done, or find time to disconnect and just treat myself. But it’s important.
In this last month, I found that I dreaded opening my closet and getting dressed in the mornings. With a growing pregnancy belly, fewer and fewer clothes in my closet felt comfortable enough to wear, and most of my clothes no longer fit.
Each morning, I was determined to find clothes that fit without having to buy something. But with winter in full swing, I couldn’t get by with wearing overly large t-shirts like I could when I was pregnant with my son over the summer months a couple years before. I needed sweaters, pants, and long sleeve shirts that would help me make it through this final trimester.
Inside, I felt so guilty about buying clothes that I would most likely only wear for a few months. It seemed like a waste in my mind.
It’s as if I got to this point where I didn’t want my needs to matter. Everyone else’s needs were placed in this separate category of importance, while mine were shoved to the side as just something extra, as insignificant. So, I continued to try and squeeze into clothes for a couple more weeks.
In frustration, I caved and talked to my husband about spending some money on clothes that would actually fit me- which of course he was fine with. A few days later, I couldn’t believe what relief it brought to actually have clothes that fit. My mornings were easier and I felt better about getting ready in the morning.
After realizing how silly I was being for not buying clothes sooner, I really thought about what I was demonstrating to my family about my value…
Am I demonstrating that my needs matter? Am I trying to show that I’m “super-human”? That I can “do all”? That I never need a break? Or that I never need anything?
I think it’s all too easy to do this as a woman, especially in motherhood. Weeks, months, or maybe even years can go by before we realize what we’ve been putting off- valuing ourselves and acknowledging our needs.
Taking a break for some “me-time” is a reminder that I matter. I’m valued. I’m human just like everyone else. I’m not a woman that can do all things and be all things for all people- I need rest, and I need time to take care of myself.
With this in mind, I’m hoping to take better care of myself in the new year.
To give myself time to take care of myself.
To take a time out to relax and pamper myself.
To be willing to ask for a break in order to do something I enjoy.
I don’t have a set schedule for how often I will be getting some “me-time”, but I do want to set up a weekly check-in through journaling.
I’m hoping to write down where I had time to relax in the week or where I did something nice for myself. Where did I feel refreshed and renewed? What did I do to reconnect with myself as a person? What did I do that was fun?
One of the simple ways I already planned ahead for this next year was by signing up for ipsy.com. It’s a monthly beauty subscription that’s tailored to my likes, skin tone, and hair color, and the products are delivered right to my door. I know it will be difficult to try and buy beauty products for myself in this next year, so this will be a nice monthly gift that arrives right on my doorstep. This is an easy way for me to pamper myself for only $10 a month.
I’m also hopeful that my husband will help keep me accountable. I know he finds me to be a more enjoyable person when I feel more like myself and not just a machine that takes care of everyone else. And I definitely prefer feeling like myself as well.
Moms are women created with one of the most important responsibilities on this earth- raising little people. And this wonderful, messy, and tough job was given by a Father in heaven who loves and desires us to value ourselves. Because he sure values us!
And what a relief it is to come out on the other side feeling relaxed, refreshed, and renewed…