Motherhood is such a beautiful gift that sometimes we forget that even in its beauty it can be exhausting. Take it from a mom who has gone all-in on so much that it's left my body completely depleted and the woman in the mirror unrecognizable. It didn't happen overnight but somewhere between having my second baby and running businesses I completely stopped taking care of myself and suffered the severe consequences of that.
Finally a mother older and wiser than me pulled me aside and explained that if my cup was empty I was never going to be able to fill anyone else's. That conversation really hit me and made me realize I couldn't keep going the way I was going. I think as Christian mothers we hear "self-care" or "self-love" and it sends up some red flags but the truth is she was right I couldn't pour anymore creativity, love, wellness, or anything into my kids, marriage, or job if I didn't refill that well first.
Today I'm excited to share a few, biblical, ways I do this. You don't have to live a life that exhausts you or depletes you of joy, I promise you that’s not what God has planned for your life.
- Get in the word. I know I know how generic of a tip but how else do we expect to fill our wells and souls if we aren't in scripture each day. You don't have to devote 2 hours to a bible study each morning, somedays I only get 10-15 minutes in the word but I always feel better with that 10 minutes under my belt as I start the day than without them. God speaks to us through His word, never take the power of that for granted.
- Create a morning routine. New moms with tiny babies who cry for you 15 times in the night, maybe this doesn't seem practical but even if you can get up 20 minutes before your family, you'll be shocked at what this does for you. Everyone’s morning routine will look different but I'll share mine quickly. I set my alarm for 6am, which typically gives me at least 1 hours alone. I make my tea or coffee, open my bible, read scriptures, and pray. Somedays that takes up all of my alone time somedays I get time to unload the dishwasher and get breakfast started. Regardless it gives me those few moments to be alone and prepare my mind and soul for the day.
- Mark one day as "your day". Before you panic or roll your eyes saying there is no way you can have a day to yourself, hear me out. I don't mean a full day! Like all of my tips I'm just urging you to find pockets of time in your day for you. For me "my day" is typically Sunday evenings. My husband takes the kids outside or whatever and I take time to soak in the bath with a good book, paint my nails, do a facemask, just a little pampering to set me up for the week. It's not a 10-hour day at the spa (although that would be nice) it’s just an hour or two where I do few things that make me feel good and relaxed. For you this might be sewing, or baking, or going for a run...find what relaxes you and gives you a little joy.
- READ! I asked for a kindle for Christmas and didn't realize how much I would ever use it. Any little spare time I find I get lost in a good book or devour the wisdom from other moms. Waiting in the car during piano lessons? I read. Kids outside having fun? I read. Dance pick up line? I read. 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there and boom I've become a reader. Why do I suggest this? Because if you are anything like me when you have a spare moment you get lost in your Instagram feed and then look up and you've wasted an hour on nothing but scrolling.
- Which feeds into this tip: limit social media. I'll never say "as a mom you need to get rid of all social media" because the truth is I love it. I gain a lot of knowledge and creativity from social media but I know the harmful side of it too. Besides wasting time it can really create harmful self-doubting thoughts in our minds. From Pinterest perfect birthday parties to fitness it can just pick and pick and pick until you feel less than.
- Surround yourself with mothers who have been where you have been. Older, wiser, woman are really a gift from God. It's easy to lose of focus in the business of everyday life which is why I've found it so important to find woman who have walked this path already to seek guidance from. Find women in your church or in your family you can lean on and I promise it will make a world of difference.
Those are just a few of my tips, I can go on and on about this topic because letting my own well dry stole all of the joy from my motherhood and I want to prevent other moms from going through that. If you haven't read September's books "Why Motherhood Matters" I can’t recommend it enough. I still turn to it and I bought it the day it was released. It’s pages are filled with so much love and encouragement.
Here at September & Co we really want to help moms flourish and thrive in motherhood, not limp our way to the finish line. God gave you a beautiful gift when He made you a mother, trust that.