Thursday, September 21, 2017

Self-Care Ideas




  • Go for a walk
  • Go for a run
  • Sit on the porch
  • Sit in the quiet
  • Be outside
  • Sit by the water
  • Read
  • Workout
  • Watch funny animal videos
  • Play a card game or word game
  • Grab a coffee or tea, homemade or favorite coffee shop 
  • Pedicures and Manicures
  • Get your hair done
  • Watch your favorite show
  • Have a special treat
  • Journal
  • Bake
  • Get together with friends
  • Date night
  • Go for a drive

Self - Care ~ What Does Mama Need?

How many times have you heard the phrase, "Be sure to take time for yourself.  Self-care is so important, especially once you are a mom."  I can tell you I have heard it a lot and am hearing it more often.

What is self-care? How do I fit it in? What do you do for self-care? Do I really need it?

Let's start off with the last thought.  Do I really need it?  Yes, yes you do.  A little something everyday can go a long way in helping our moods, energy, relationships, parenting, families and more.  We are raising kiddos.  The younger they are, the more dependent on you they are.  We are always on the clock, even when we sleep at night.  If we consistently give and give taking care of everyone and everything around us (but ourselves) we drain ourselves and our reserves.  And yet, even when we do this, we still keep going.

At some point we get so mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.  You can not fill others around you if you aren't filled.  Take the time often to refill yourself, so that you can continue to fill those around you.

So, what is self-care?  Anything that fills you and your reserves up.  Anything that makes you happy and joyful.  Anything that makes you feel rested.  Anything that helps you feel calm and peace.  It can be simple or extravagant.  It makes you smile and laugh.  It can take five minutes, it can take several days.  It can be free or not.

What things fill you? Reading, devotionals, journal, being creative, hobbies, grabbing a coffee, working out, getting a pedicure, getting your hair done, sitting by the water, taking a nap, going for a walk, going for a drive, spending time with family or friends.  What things fill you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually?  Those are the things that you need to do often.

How do I fit it in?  Does it count if it still involves family or being with the kiddos?  Yes, it still counts.  Though, for everyone's sake, take some self-care time that is just you (it can help everyone out a lot in the long run).  Fitting it in will depend on what the activity is and how much time you need.  Obviously, somethings take a little more planning and time.  But, what is something you can do for five or ten minutes everyday?

I have chalked up having a specialty coffee on our way to a play date or activity as a moment of self-care.  Even though the kids are with me, it still refills me.  Even working out is something that I try to do most days and find that it too refills me.  A lot of it is perspective on it.  Also, while it may work for another mom you know, it may not work for you.  You have to find what is right for you.

Once I changed my perspective of what self-care was and how to fit in, even just five minutes a day, I began to understand the importance of it.  Yes, sometimes the laundry sits in the dryer an extra day or never even makes it to the closet.  No, my house isn't spotless most of the time.  But little by little those things do get done and I can still keep myself filled or at least not tapping into my reserves as often.

The hardest part I have found about self-care is not feeling guilty about taking the time for it. It is so hard to not let this get to you sometimes.  I find this to surface most often when I am truly out on my own.  It's about giving yourself permission. Give yourself the permission to set aside everything else and take care of you.  It's a tough thing.  Sarah Wehkamp over at Parents Who (www.parentswho.com) has a series of podcast episodes dealing with permission.  She breaks it down, let's you take it in, is open and honest, totally real about it all.  You can listen to the first in the series of podcasts on permission here: http://www.parentswho.com/pwp39/

Take a listen to get started, but stick around and look into the rest of Parents Who.  I highly recommend listening in on all things family, parenting, marriage and life.  There is so much there that one can relate too.

Even after giving yourself permission, the guilt still comes and goes.  But, each time it gets a little easier and the guilt a little less. 

Take care of yourself.  You need it, you deserve.  Those around you need it too.

If you don't know where to start for ideas, check out the Self Care section.  It has a list of ideas.  Some of them are what I do and some are ideas I have gotten from other moms.  If you have ideas to add, share them in the comments or send me an email (lizlauterbach@gmail.com) with your ideas and I will add them to the list.

How do you take care of yourself?



 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Under Construction

 
 We've done remodel projects before, this is nothing new to us.  But this time around we had two kiddos and a kitchen to be redone.  With the help of family and my hubby they got things going and through the toughest part.  Normally, I stay around to help out, but with two little kids, my help was best utilized by findign somewhere else to be.  Something that I had to be okay with.  I didn't really feel like I was much of a help, but having the kiddos out of the house for the week had a lot of benefits for everyone. 

By the end of the week, the kiddos were asking to go home.  I knew we'd be walking into everything being under constrction still.  Things were taking longer than we had anticipated.  But the kiddos and I were ready to be home.  Not that we didn't like being at the lake; it was simply that we missed daddy. 

We started the project August 19.  Today, a week into September, we are still under construction.  While the cabinets are in (all but one), there is no countertop, no sink, no dishwasher, and finishing details need to be done yet.  My bathtub doubles as a dishwaher, but at least the microwave and stove are working, and we still have gorgeous weather so we can cook outside.  Plywood and boxes make up my countertop, but in all honesty, as much as I want it done, it works for us right now and I am okay with that.


Today, I started making breakfast and had to step out of the kitchen for a moment.  When I came back i saw my two kiddos sitting at the dining room table playing.  The older one helped his brother into his high chair.  You see, before the remodel, the only sightline into the dining room from the kitchen was the doorway.  Now, the wall is gone and you can see straight through (which I love!).  While standing by the makeshift countertop watching the kiddos, I began to think. 

Aren't we in a state of under construction often throughout our lives?  As we grow and go through different stages, different seasons, it is like we are in remodel mode. 

My kitchen is under construction, and so are we. 

My oldest is 4 1/2, my youngest is almost 2.  Two years into two kiddos and I am totally feeling like I am under construction more often than not.  My parenting, my me, my everything around me is in some state of remodel when I think about it. 

I often feel like I have lost me since having the kiddos.  I am "Mom" "Mama!" "Mommy" all day long, I often loose sight on who Liz is.  Something I am working on.

My parenting is often chaging because my kids are changing (too quick sometimes) or because something different needs to be tried and I am trying to find the right fit.

Seasons change, projects come and go...where does that leave us as moms? as a family? as ourselves? or in whatever other roles we fullfill each day?

Though we are under construction often, where we have been, where we are, and where we are headed our always on our minds.  During these remodel times, these season changes, it is a good time to re-evaluate.  Look at where we are and where we want to head.  Take the time to figure out how to get there.  But also, take the time to slow down.  By slowing down, you can take the world and life in in a way that your kiddos do. 

Change is hard, but it can be good.  Going through these physical, mental, emtional, and spiritual construction times is what is need for us all to grow.  To reach our goals, hit the successes we have been wanting, and to learn.  No matter what age we are, we need to face these challenges.

Some of these phases are easier to take than others.  Sure, it can last a day, a week, a month, a year or more, we need that time.  While they may seem daunting, overwhelming, stressful, and more, it is that pressure that causes the most change and the desired outcome.  

You may not see it yet, the results of the remodel, but it will show it's self soon enough.  My kitchen already looks awesome and we like where it's headed.  Being finished will be the icing on the cake.  We work around the stresses of beinging under construction still by doing the things we love and making the most out of what we have.

Where are you under construction right now?  What do you need to finish?  Where do you want it to end up?