It is very common for mom’s to naturally let themselves go as they care for their children. No doubt our hearts are in the right place! However, we need to caution ourselves to think through what we’re really sacrificing. Are we putting forth our best efforts by sacrificing our own, simple needs?
I used to [and sometimes still struggle] with caring for my basic needs without feeling guilty simply because what I was doing focused on me. I needed to learn that it’s not selfish to take care of myself! God wants us to care for ourselves (1 Cor. 6:19). If he doesn’t want us abusing ourselves, would he want us neglecting ourselves? Some may vary on what they consider “needs”. So let’s begin with the basics.
- Get with God daily. This is the most important need that we have. We need His strength, wisdom, and direction every single day. We cannot get that if we are not connecting with Him, through prayer and His word. We tend to hear this over and over again. There’s a reason. Make it a priority to get with God daily.
- Get fully dressed. Flylady makes an excellent point to why she highly suggests “getting dressed to shoes“. It is motivating–especially the shoes part. She highly recommends shoes that lace up because they are harder to take off and are snug on your feet. When I am wearing my shoes, I know I am in “work mode”. At the end of the night, when my shoes come off, [typically after the children are in bed], I instantly relax. If you don’t like to wear shoes in the house, buy a pair that are for the house only. Trust me on this.
- Style your hair and face. When you feel your best, you’ll do your best. Simple as that. You don’t have to wear make up. A simple wash will keep you feeling fresh. Brushing your teeth counts as well. Don’t feel guilty for taking 5-10 minutes to blow dry your hair if that’s how it looks best. Take care of yourself.
- Exercise. Yet another dreadful task we never want to take the time for. This one may require a bit more selflessness if you don’t like to exercise [like me...ahem]. A simple walk is sufficient. Something to get your blood moving and energy up a bit. It doesn’t have to be long; 5-15 minutes. If you can’t get out of the house, consider buying a workout DVD. You’d be amazed at what exercise can do for your energy and mentality.
- Eat and Eat Well. It's easy for moms to forget to eat (or is that just me?). What's more is, sometimes we are so hurried or busy, we don't eat very well. This can bog us down, effect our mood, and thought clarity. It's important we eat nutritiously in order for our minds and bodies to function at their best.
- Rest. This is a tough one for moms! I think we often feel guilty for needing rest, but our bodies are not meant to run themselves ragged, constantly. We need regular physical, mental, and emotional rest. This helps us thrive as moms when we are in "work mode".
These are simple, daily necessities that every mother needs. There is no reason we should feel guilty for doing or needing these things. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we need to take care of ourselves.
What do you need to do that you are not doing because of guilt?