I have a confession: I’ve been a neglectful wife and mother for far too long, and it’s time for a change.
You know who I’ve been neglecting? Myself.
As one might deduce from the most recent two things I’ve posted (Avoiding Antibiotics in Favour of Natural Remedies? Read This Cautionary Tale First and Using Natural Remedies to Beat Bacterial Infections: 5 Important Things You Should Know), I could probably use a little self-care these days. Those posts were, shall we say… borne out of my current experiences of late. Ugh.
Also, like many in the throes of birthing and raising small humans into functioning members of society, I am tired. I am often overwhelmed. I burn the candle at both ends, and I function on minimal sleep. Our littlest monkey (21 months) sleeps through the night… occasionally.
(To be fair: we’ve been on a roller coaster of mysterious food sensitivities that we’ve found have affected the kiddos’ sleep.)
Chris and I both work our tails off to attempt to bring home enough bacon each month to keep us well-stocked with caesar salad (because fake bacon bits are against our religion). And also the dolla-dolla bills, y’all. Ya know – for groceries and rent and stuff. Being self-employed: a blessing and a curse, amiright?
We don’t have much margin in our lives. You’re familiar with the concept of margin, right? The blank spaces on the edge of a page? Or a way of living with some time to breathe, unscheduled, uncommitted, and free – a slower way of being that rejects the notion that faster and more equals better and greater. That’s what we want, but haven’t been able to really grasp as of yet.
All of which leads me to something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: self-care. What does it mean? Moms especially have this awful and amazing habit of putting themselves last so often. Embracing a servant heart is a beautiful thing, but when you fail to care for yourself for long that you are worn out and eventually just crash, everyone loses. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the oxygen mask example – my hubs is a pilot, after all. And it’s cliche but true: we must care for ourselves if we want to be able to serve others in the long run.
Burnout, depression, apathy, overwhelm: these are all very real and present struggles that I have faced in the last six years. What I’ve realized, however, is that they don’t need to be a way of life. It is possible to find that margin in your life that allows you to breath, to live a little slower. It takes some intention and some strategy, and sometimes some outside help. But it can happen. Yes, even for you.
In the last few months as this has all been percolating in my brain, I’ve been coming up with some new plans and actions for restoring peace and margin to my life. It has been far too long. At the root of much of it is self-discipline, which has always been a struggle in my life. It’s something I’m addressing as well.
Announcing: a joint blogging series…
So, I’m refusing to ignore this or put it off any longer. I need to take care of myself better, and it starts now. I’ll be blogging weekly about this topic for the month of April, along with a few of my dearest blogging friends, on these four topics:
1. Know Thyself (April 2, 2014)
This week we’ll talk about what it means to know your own needs. We’ll dig down deep and ask ourselves what we need as unique individuals. What’s your personality? What makes *you* tick? I’ll explore the question of what self-care would look like for me specifically, and I invite you to do the same.
2. Health & Spirituality (April 9, 2014)
Our physical health and our spiritual health are probably the most common ways to care for ourselves, and perhaps also the most neglected. We’re going to get serious about our needs for physical health – through diet and exercise – as well as our spiritual health (whatever shape that may take for you, depending on where you’re at).
3. Peace in the Home (April 16, 2014)
Nerd alert: this is an area that I am super excited about! This week is all about family routines/schedules, organization and decluttering, simple living values, and home decor. When I am surrounded by peace, reasonable levels of orderliness, and a beautiful aesthetic in the decor, I feel calmer and more at peace. I am absolutely itching to get some order in place in my home – I don’t know about you… but it’s way overdue around here.
4. Taking Time for R&R (April 23, 2014)
Yup – this one’s just what it sounds like. Remembering and making time for the occasional indulgences in life, whatever they may be for you. DIY facials? A hot bath by candlelight? A bar of dark chocolate and a cup of tea? Whatever it may be – we are going to talk about carving out those precious times on a somewhat regular basis so that we can be refreshed and revitalized for the wild and beautiful lives we lead.
… and a link-up!
We want to extend an invitation to you to join us! If you blog, write a post on the weekly topic – on your blog – and link it up each week. If you don’t blog, then share your thoughts in the comments section. We’d really love to hear from you… and more importantly we hope to inspire you to embark on a journey of self-care in your own life.
Here are the bloggers who will be joining me each week:
Erin of The Humbled Homemaker
Nicole of Gidget Goes Home
Stacy of A Delightful Home
Leigh Ann of Intentional by Grace
Krissa of More Than Mundane
Emily of Live Renewed
Mindy of This Crazy Wonderful Life
And don’t forget to head over to follow our group board on Pinterest: Embracing Self-Care, where we’ll be building an incredible treasure trove of encouragement and resources to go with you on your journey.
So start those thoughts churning on the topic of “Know Thyself”. What do you need? Do a little self-assessment of where you’re at in this whole ‘caring for self’ thing, and report back. Take a step forward today, and tell us about it.
See you next week!