Posts Tagged ‘self love’

Taking Time for Self Care

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Taking Time for Self CareSelf care–such a basic concept but something so many of us moms stop once we become moms. We tend to shift our focus away from ourselves and instead focus on everyone else. That’s part of being a mom right? The fact of the matter is that if we don’t take care of ourselves then we probably won’t feel well enough to take care of the people we love in the best possible way. I was totally guilty of this!

Since it did happen to me I can be the first to admit that carving time for primary care can be really hard. Especially if you’re a working mom that is riddled with guilt about being away and then wants to do nothing more than spend time with their kids. Been there, done that.

So how exactly do you do that when your daily schedule is full? It can look very different for everyone depending on your interests. It doesn’t really matter what it is you’re doing as long as whatever it is makes YOU feel good and nurtured.

It took me a little time to figure out what I really wanted to spend time on that would make me feel like me again. We don’t want to spend time doing things we don’t really want to be doing in the name of “self care” because if you’re not really enjoying it you’re not really taking care of yourself.

A great thing to do is to make a “Primary Care Menu.” A whole list of things you can do, or want to try to nourish your soul and get you that special glow that you can only get from doing something you love. Some will probably require some alone time, some are things you can do once the kids are in bed. Find what works for you so you can stick with it.

Here are some of the things on my menu to give you some examples. Some are already a part of my life, some are things I want to bring back into my life and some are things I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t gotten around to yet.

Take an essential oil bath

Meditate

Journal

Do some yoga

Have a dance party

Take a knitting class

Play tennis

Read an uplifting book

Take a Jazzercise Class

Color in a coloring book

Scrapbook

Now that you’ve got some ideas, come up with a list that works for you and put it up somewhere you’ll see it every single day. Make it a priority to do something on your list every single day–even if that just means a 5-minute bath (without a small child!) or reading a couple of pages of an uplifting book.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor and online fitness coach. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception to those trying to get their grove back after pregnancy to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mom and baby.

Teaching our Kids Self-love

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Teaching our kids self loveLove–it’s such a huge part of life. We all want to feel experience it and feel it. We spend so much time and energy focused on falling in love and loving others and easily forget that one of the most important keys to inner happiness is to fall in love with ourselves. We want our kids to be confident, to feel great in their bodies, to know that they are amazing little beings capable of doing whatever they want- we want them to love themselves as much as we love them. But are we doing a good enough job teaching them self-love?

Their little eyes are always watching us and even when we think they’re not listening you’ve probably been surprised a time or two at what they’ve overheard you say. As parents our first responsibility is to be a fantastic role model for our kids because they will do as we do, not as we say! So think about this–how much do you love yourself? Can you look in the mirror and embrace every part of yourself and say, “I am totally awesome, and I love myself.” If you can’t, then the best way to turn that around is to start believing it and get your kids involved. Get all of you in front of the mirror every morning and look at yourself right in the eyes and tell yourself  “I love you!!” then have your kids do the same.

We also have to do as much as we can to take care of ourselves. Nurture your love for different things; let your kids see you doing things that you love. Help your kids find things that they really love to do and make it a priority that they get to nurture that, whatever it may be, often! Self-love is as much about nurturing our passions as it is taking care of our bodies.

Taking care of our bodies is a huge way to love ourselves. If you look in the mirror and aren’t happy with what you see your kids will notice that. If you moan and groan every time you get on the scale, toss it out! Make an effort to lead a healthy life. We only get one body; it’s our responsibility to treat it right. It should be your most prized possession. Lets teach our kids that we don’t eat healthy food and exercise to lose weight or be skinny–we do these things because we love ourselves enough to make sure we are healthy.

Love yourself more than you every thought possible and your kids will follow your example by loving themselves. A great thing to do if you have a hard time with this is to change your mindset. So much of how we feel about ourselves has followed us from childhood. If that’s the case with you get a picture of yourself as a child, look at that picture every day and tell that little person that they are perfect and that you love them. We create our own stories, if you don’t like your story just create a new one and eventually your body will believe your mind.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor and online fitness coach. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception to those trying to get their grove back after pregnancy to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mom and baby.

 

Why I Love My Post-baby Body

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

why i love my post baby bodyBefore having babies, I had a terrible attitude toward my body. No matter the size or shape, I was never proud of the body I had and I went to great lengths to shame myself into hiding or masking what I had. After dieting and obsessing over every bite that entered my mouth, I ran and tried the fads out there and never found a cure for my own displeasure.

Then, I got pregnant with my first baby boy. I was suddenly aware of my body, aware of how it functioned and behaved and wanted to fuel it with real good food to help that tiny bean grow. Suddenly, it became less about my looks and more about my health–and for that I am eternally grateful. Now, six years and three babies later, I find the love and respect for my body has increased. I adore my body today in a way that I never would have six years ago.

My weaned breasts are floppy and deflated from their rich, milk filled glory. They no longer look great as they did before children, yet they managed to sustain my children’s life for years on end. They’ve done their job, they put in hours and hours of good hard labor nourishing my little guys and helping them grow. I’m proud of my breasts and their work, and even proud of what they look like now.

My stretched out belly, let’s be honest, was never flat or close to it. It’s always been chubby and full but today it is more marked and stretched than before. I’m very much proud of my love handles, my strong abs that bounced back after babies. These abs are a work in progress, yet they have made a wonderful resting place for my babes, allowing them to bounce and climb all over my cushy tummy.

I remember seeing my swollen ankles the days right before my third baby came. Preeclampsia had made them swell to epic proportions, looking more like swollen pufferfish than ankles (the lack of shaving sure didn’t help!). My toes were sausages, my feet, tamales. Yet today, those same wonderful ankles, feet and toes chase and kick and play with my boys. The keep me going all day and allow me to keep going strong.

Let’s be real about it all–I wobble, I jiggle, I am squishy and roly-poly. I have a thousand flaws and stretch marks, but every one of those are marks of what makes my body unique to me and what I do. I may not look like a supermodel, but I bet you they don’t garden, run or roughhouse my boys like I do.

I may not be a size 6 or 10, or even a 14, but I am very proud of the strength, beauty and health aspect that my post-babies body has given me. I pay attention to health, to balance, to setting a good example for my boys to know what healthy is. And I try to show gratitude for what I’ve been given on a daily basis.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom to three crazy boys ages 6, 3 & 1. She enjoys knitting, cooking and trying to wrangle her crazy kids. She lives in Portland, OR. 

Loving Your Postpartum Body

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Loving Your Postpartum BodyAs moms, we’ve all been there. You get pregnant. You have this amazing belly that everyone wants to touch. You wear cute maternity clothes and elastic pants. This is the life! You allow yourself to have that piece of cake or coveted latte, because you know that a few more pounds won’t hurt. Then, it happens. You have your baby and for some mysterious reason, you are not the same, emotionally or physically. It’s not an easy thing to love your postpartum body. As I write this blog, I am currently 5 months postpartum and 10 pounds over my pre-baby weight…still. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Remember Where You’ve Been:

It’s so easy to focus on the stretch marks, saggy belly, and oh so wide hips after you have a baby. I remember feeling like I had a deflated tire around my waist after my daughter was born. The second time around, there was that silly tire again, only this time it came equipped with its own set of stretch marks. Remember, you grew a baby. Your body gave life to an amazing miracle. Focus on that. It took you nine months to gain the weight, so it will take time. This is of course easier said than done. Focus on taking care of your family. Breastfeeding your baby will aid in burning those calories. Spend time making memories with your children, not regretting your pant size.

Remember Who You Are:

When you have a child, you become more than just a woman, you become someone’s mom. I recently turned 30, and I can tell you that I do love myself at 30 much more than I did at 20. Moms are fun, free-spirited, amazing people. It’s not a title to take lightly. Find local moms groups that you can connect with if you feel like you are losing yourself. Spend time investing in hobbies you enjoy like reading, exercise, or watch your favorite television series. Have your spouse watch your kids and take a day to go shopping for your new curves. Even with baby weight hanging on, we all could use a new outfit. I love stores like Clothes Mentor, because they sell nice, used clothes at affordable prices. Spend some time getting to know the new you.  Sip your favorite hot tea or coffee and just relax. You’re a mom now. Wow.

Remember You’re a Work in Progress:

I would be lying if I didn’t say I wish I could fit back into my size 8 jeans today. As I type this in my size 10 jeans, I feel a longing for those pants that almost fit comfortably. But I know they will fit again. Give yourself time. I remember feeling amazing around my daughter’s first birthday in my new body. Of course, I was pregnant again a few months later, but it felt good to be able to wear my clothes again. Maybe you have new bigger breasts or curvy hips post-baby? Embrace them!  Buy yourself a new, fun bra.  I plan on joining the local YMCA here to get myself motivated to lose the rest of my weight, but more importantly, I want to be healthy for my children.

We only have one body, so we need to be kind to it. Babies make us moms. Our postpartum bodies make us beautiful.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. She would like to be back at her pre-baby weight by summer, but she loves flavored lattes.