Friday, May 3, 2013

Take Care of Yourself

As a wife and stepmother for 26 years and a full-time mom for 20+ years, I understand the strains and stress of parenting and fulfilling all the wife's duties in the home. Parenting is a full-time job, whether you work full-time, part-time, or are a stay at home mom. And, depending on the needs/responsible-ness of your husband, being in charge of home duties/finances may also fall heavy on the wife.

Sometimes in the daily grind, we are rushing around to take care of everyone else in the family, and we wives/moms forget the importance of taking care of ourselves first. 

I've heard this quoted many times:

In fact, for me anyways, I have had to re-evaluate my relationships within my family.  There were some unrealistic expectations, some unhealthy habits, and even some misconceptions of each role that we played within the family. Things had to change (and we are still working on this) for our family to be a healthy and successful one.

Interesting thought:

 But change isn't easy, is it?

"Why is it hard for many of us to do things for ourselves before we do for others? Maybe we believe the "good" woman sacrifices herself for her family and, increasingly, for her work. In terms of our relationships, women often feel they're responsible for everything—which is not a complete misperception," says nationally syndicated columnnist and life coach Harriette Cole. "We are the ones who usually lead the way. But somehow we get from there to the idea that the world won't work if we don't help it along." 

 "If you always put someone else first, there's a tendency for others to depreciate you, to lose respect, because respect comes from an understanding that that person has her own wishes, dreams, and desires," says Ethel S. Person, MD, author of Feeling Strong: The Achievement of Authentic Power.
will i ever shower again as a new mom? Your Baby Booty
As Christian women, feelings of what's expected, or of being a "godly wife" can often cause us to feel guilty for putting our needs before others. Amazingly, even putting God (who should be above any relationship) before our family is sometimes looked down upon. I know this is something I am still coming to terms with.

"Self care is not generally supported by our culture, and some people equate self care with abandoning responsibilities or being self centered. Women often receive rave reviews for taking better care of others than they do themselves. For example, we might hear, “Isn’t Sarah remarkable; she puts everyone’s needs above her own.” Or “That, Lisa, I don’t know how she operates on just five hours of sleep a night; isn’t she extraordinary?” As a result, many women are suffering near epidemic levels of physical, emotional, and spiritual fatigue.
I believe that taking time for yourself allows you to be a better wife, mother, friend, and employee."

Here is a great way to start:
  1. Go To Sleep. Lack of sleep causes weight gain, depression, wrinkles and a short temper. Try to sleep 8 hours a day, but never ever let yourself get less than 6. Turn off that show you Tivo’d and get some rest!
  2. Get Your Blood Pumping. Everyday, weather permitting, go for a walk for 20-30 minutes. Put the kids in a stroller and load up on bikes. Find another Mommy in the neighborhood to join you for adult interaction. Just a bit of exercise will boost your health, happiness and your bottom!
  3. Pray. Researchers have proven time and time again that prayer is strongly associated with lower stress levels. If you are someone who has not tried prayer, I strongly recommend giving it a try.
  4. Reach Out to Your Friends. We are designed to love and support each other. Women with close friends, with whom they can safely share their emotions and thoughts, are much happier. So get talking: over coffee, on the phone, or online. It is imperative that you have a support network of loving friends.
  5. Look in the Mirror. I know, it is not fun, but take a few moments to examine what you see. How long has it been since you gave yourself attention? If it has been longer than you like, it is a perfect time to get this part of life in balance. Schedule a haircut, put on sunscreen and take a peek at your spring wardrobe. For lots of wonderful ideas check out the Fussy and Friends Fight the Frump series. There are hundreds of great ideas for taking care of yourself.

What is your opinion/are your feelings about taking care of yourself, first (after keeping your relationship with God a priority)?


  1. I appreciated your post today. I'm meditating on a similar one called "Moms Shouldn't Always Eat Burned Toast." I think we do our families a disservice when we always allow our needs to come after theirs. They get self-centered, ungrateful, and fail to recognize that mom is a person with feelings and needs too. As you can tell, I'm still pondering the subject, but your post gave me more to think about. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm visiting today from Hungry for God; Starving for Time and glad I did.

  2. I agree 100%. Sometimes it is so hard, just to go to bed early and leave the dishes undone or the laundry stacked to the ceiling(I have a huge pile staring at me right now :). I think most moms are very hard on themselves, trying to be "perfect". Really, when we don't take care of ourselves we aren't being good stewards of our bodies. Stopping by from 1-minute Bible Love. Thanks so much for sharing! Hope to see you at True Aim.


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