Maybe it was the morning I forgot to open the garage door before backing out or possibly the afternoon my OB/GYN prescribed me a pedicure and a night out with my husband instead of medicine. There were too many instances in this past year that clearly showed that mama was under too much stress and desperately needed to make some changes.
Looking back at Maria’s post in January, I could be the poster child of what happens if mommy doesn’t say yes to yourself once in awhile! What I have learned this past year is that I am no good to anyone if I do not take care of myself. I don’t know about the rest of you mamas but I often put myself last for everything. My doctor appointments always get canceled when something more important comes up for one of my kids. My much needed exercise is viewed in my mind not as a necessity but rather a luxury. I don’t know why I don’t put as much value to these things as say, ballet class for my daughter, but it has become a nasty habit. A habit that needs to stop.
So I made some changes. I took a leave of absence from my job for one. I realized that the almost 2 hour drive each morning was not beneficial to any of us especially since the time in the car was putting stress on my back and causing nerve issues in my right leg. It was super scary to leave a job of nine years in a leap of faith that something closer would be available or that we could make ends meet for awhile without me working. However, I knew that I could not continue doing that commute year after year without letting the stress of it get to me. With this new change I also vowed to do the following things:
- Remain up to date on all my doctor appointments/preventive care
- Incorporate exercise into my schedule – not as an extra, but as a necessity
- Take a half-hour each night to just relax
- Not to feel guilty getting my own personal stuff done on those rare moments my children are busy playing together
- Use a personal day for just me!
I have learned the hard way that taking care of myself is not being selfish. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”
What are some stress relievers that help you be a better mama?