Mama Health: Motivation for Self-care

Mama Health: Motivation for Self-care May 29, 2012

Before we moved, life was complicated. My spouse was working in a non-accepting environment and I dreaded going to church every Sunday. But apart from that, I had never felt so healthy in all my life. My marriage was amazing, my parenting relationship to my kids was being transformed more and more, my confidence was growing by the day it seemed.

Since moving I’ve felt it slip a little. Moving is exhausting, and sometimes I was less than the parent I wanted to be. The week we came out to family, my body freaked out. I had sores in my mouth, and came down with the worst case of mastitis I’ve ever had. Telling family about the parts of our life that we knew they would not understand, was scary and exhausting. Under the following barrage of negativity, I found myself slipping some more.

How could I dare to be honest about things that family would be distressed by, wasn’t it selfish for me to refuse to pretend anymore? I suddenly started having days where I hated my body again, something that hasn’t happened in over a year. I started letting more and more time go by in-between showers, sometimes I realized towards the end of the day that I hadn’t really eaten yet. I think subconsciously I felt like I did not deserve care. It is still far too easy for me to slip into the old patterns of thought, after all I lived there for years, telling myself those lies.

You are a bad person.
You are not good enough to deserve love and care and approval.

You are not as important as everyone else.
You are a failure.
You are ugly.

I was starting to feel frustrated, I knew I had come so far in being able to value myself and yet, here I was fighting all the old lies again. It felt like all of my work had been for nothing. A couple weeks ago, I talked about this for like 5 nights in a row with my Hunnie, working through the patterns and trying to figure out what was going on. And eventually we hit on something that really helped me to realize that my recent negative thought patterns are not because all my work has been fruitless, I’ve just had a relapse. A relapse that is understandable since I spent so much time in the past thinking of myself in that negative light. I’ve just fallen off the wagon of self-care and self respect so to speak.

So I’ve begun the process of self care once again, telling myself that I am worthy of care, even when I don’t feel like it. Making sure I get into the kitchen and eat each meal, and letting myself go take a shower at the end of the day. I actually went back and read the series I wrote on Mama Health when I was first starting to take this seriously, and began to implement those ideas again.

Instead of telling myself that I am a failure or that I can’t do anything right, I have started to ask myself what IS going well. And there is so much that is! We’ve moved to a new place, finances are going OK, our new schedules have been working fine, we are making friends and becoming part of a new community. All of the paperwork involved with moving back to our country of origin and claiming citizenship for our children born abroad has been resolved. We got phones, we got library cards, we got the car imported. And after filling out countless applications and going for several different interviews, I officially have a job now that is near bye, has flexible hours, and I feel very confident that I can succeed in.

Life is good. We are doing awesome. We are not failures.

I’ve started to ask what exactly makes ME feel happy, what gives me peace. Some of the things on the list are so simple. A house that is fairly clean, time spent with my children, time spent with my Hunnie. Creating good food, eating good food. Reading good books, listening to music. Taking the time to soak my feet or stop and smell some flowers. Getting outside, being creative, snatching those moments of quiet during my day. Why should I deny myself any of those things? Caring for myself benefits me and the people around me. It is worth it!

What are some of the ways you take the time to care for yourself?

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