self-care - Boston Moms

Hey, mama! Yeah, you. Stop what you’re doing for a minute. Take a nice long breath. In, and out. I have a question for you.

When is the last time you practiced a little self-care? When is the last time you were able to take care of your needs without thinking of the needs of others? 

It feels like from the moment pregnancy begins, selfless actions commence. Am I drinking enough water… for the baby? Am I getting enough exercise… for the baby? Am I eating nourishing food (you guessed it)… for the baby?

How does something so small take over in such a big way? And why do we, as mothers, always put ourselves on the back burner to care for others? Is it nature? Or something more?

I feel like I’m constantly in a war with myself — I know I need to take care of my babies, my house, my job, and my life… but what about me? I always forget to take care of me. And I don’t mean “lock the bathroom door so no one can get in” or “drink a bottle of wine so I forget what’s going on in my world” kind of care. I mean the kind of care that rejuvenates me. The kind that gives me life. The kind that fills my cup. Because, after all, the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” And you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.

So as the holidays approach, I’ve decided to make a promise to myself: I will take care of my needs first, so I can take care of the needs of others too. I will be good to myself, so I can be good to others too. I will make myself happy, so I can make others happy too. I will fill my cup, and you should fill yours too. 

So schedule that massage, mama. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Go for a long walk. Alone. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Get a manicure/pedicure. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Take an extra long hot shower (or bath!). That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Binge-watch a new show that you want to see. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Practice yoga for an hour, uninterrupted. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Schedule a hair appointment. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Give yourself a facial, complete with cucumbers on your eyes. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Go for a run (or a swim, or a ride, or whatever else you like!). That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Read a book. With or without pictures. As long as it’s your choice. Because that’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Take a nap in the middle of the day. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care. 

Pay for an extra half hour of childcare so you can rest, exercise, or just turn off the noise in your mind. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Talk to other mamas. Go out for coffee. Get dinner. Grow your support network. That’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

Do what you need to do to recharge, refill, and reinvigorate yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s self-care, and you deserve it, mama. You deserve it.

Sarah grew up in Rhode Island and now lives in West Bridgewater, making brief stops in Quincy, Fall River, and East Bridgewater, along the way. She made the leap from Rhode Island to Massachusetts way back in 1999 when she decided to pursue a teaching degree at Boston University. She chose her career in 1987 and is currently teaching high school English to 10th and 12th graders, fulfilling a 6-year-old’s dream at the age of 22, a proclamation that often brings forth snickers from her students. She became a mother for the first time in 2016 to her daughter Cecilia, then doubled down in late 2018 with the birth of her second daughter, Adelaide. She currently lives with her husband, Jason, their dog, Nanook, their cat, Lanky, and six chickens. They share a home with her parents, who live above them and also provide the most amazing childcare for Ceci and Addie. Sarah couldn’t live without her family, her insulin pump (shout out to other T1D mamas), and Starbucks iced chai lattes. She could live without angry people, essay grading, and diaper changing.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Such a wonderful advice Sarah! Would you have resources or recommendations on establishing a selfcare routine: frequency ?

  2. Thank you, Myriam! I’m all about starting small. Headspace is great for meditation. I try to do a 10 minute restorative yoga every day during my lunch break. I schedule in my bike rides and my runs and I make sure my partner knows what I need and when I need it. It doesn’t work out every time, but I do something for me for at least 5 minutes every day. Good luck on your journey!

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