Self-Love for Motherhood

The common perception of motherhood is one of being always present and available to the children. It is easy to abandon all other activities once the children arrive. But self love is critical while raising children.

“Once you become a mother, you all of a sudden realize if you don’t love yourself, and take care of yourself, your children are going to suffer,” says Bethany Williamson. “You cannot give from an empty well.”

You cannot give from an empty cup

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  • 6 categories of self-care
  • Tons of ideas to test with your family
you can't give from an empty cup

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Physical movement as self-love
Taking care of yourself does not necessarily mean taking time for yourself alone. Part of self love is physical activity. Taking a walk with your children is time well spent. It is an opportunity for you to get some exercise and spend time with your children. Share the wonders of nature with your children. Collect rocks, gather leaves, watch a spider spin a web. Older kids sometimes feel more comfortable talking in this setting. A walk after school each day, or after dinner is done, is an investment in you. If you are lucky enough to live close, walk your kids to school. This gives you both mom time and alone time while getting the exercise you need.

Food as self love

Another part of self love is getting good nutrition. Take the time to plan your family’s meals in advance. This is a one time project. Identify 14 or 21 meals that you can make that are quick and easy. Make sure they are foods your family enjoys. Put them on a rotating calendar so you don’t have to think about it ever again. Give yourself the luxury of a home delivery grocery service so you don’t have to go to the store. Nourish yourself and your family by giving them the gift of healthy foods.

Alone time as self-love
Yes, you should take some time alone for yourself each day – even after you have had children. This is for several reasons. You would tell your children they need to take time for themselves. How can you expect them to believe you if you haven’t been modeling this behavior their whole lives. Your alone time can take several forms. Figure out what activities feed your soul. Pottery? Water colors? Sewing? Meditation? Indulge yourself in this activity, at least for a few minutes a day.

Figure out what feeds your soul

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Gratitude as self love

Not enough can be said about the power of gratitude. Take time each day to identify things you are grateful for. You can do this alone, or with your family. Sharing your gratitude practice with your children is a wonderful way to model for your children. If you haven’t done a gratitude exercise, know that there is no “right way” to engage in gratitude. It can look something like this.

Not enough can be said about the power of gratitude. Take time each day to identify things you are grateful for. You can do this alone, or with your family. Sharing your gratitude practice with your children is a wonderful way to model for your children. If you haven’t done a gratitude exercise, know that there is no “right way” to engage in gratitude. It can look something like this.

· I am grateful that I have hot water for my shower.

· I am grateful for my washer and dryer.

· I am grateful for clean sheets.

· I am grateful for my children.

· I am grateful for the rain.

· I am grateful for laughter.

You can be grateful for things large and small. This can be a ritual before you get out of bed, before dinner with your family, or just before bed. Alternatively, you can sprinkle your gratitude practice over the course of your day.

Saying no is not a bad thing.

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Saying "no" as self-love
Saying no to things that do not serve you and your family is critical to self love. You cannot be your best self when you are overextended. Accept the fact that you don’t have to say yes to everything – or anything. With rare exception, there is someone else who can fill the bill just as well as you can. Let someone else take on some of those tasks. This will serve you in the long run. You will be more free to take care of your family. “Being” is just as important as “doing.” Just “be” with your family each day.

Take stock as self love

Find some time for yourself to take stock. What commitments do you currently have. Which ones no longer serve you? Identify and let them go. What commitments do you find yourself breaking time and again. Has it been 6 months since you’ve been to the gym? Is this the third year in a row that you made a New Year’s resolution to meditate every day? Recommit to loving yourself by engaging in activities that interest you and feed your soul. Determine where you can carve out 10 minutes – just ten minutes – for meditation, exercise, or whatever it is that you keep promising to do and not doing. Stop being a perfectionist about how a “proper workout” or a “proper meditation” requires 30 minutes or more. That is not true. 10 minutes a day will do wonders for you. If you later find you have time to do more, add that in to your daily routine.

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Keeping the well full

You cannot give from an empty well. You owe it yourself, and your family, to keep your well full. Take some time to evaluate what is feeding your well. Does it need to be enhanced? Love yourself enough to feed your well just a bit more each day.

Download the self care for families checklist

Self Care For familes

Download the Checklist now

  • 6 categories of self-care
  • Tons of ideas to test with your family
Interview with Bethany Williamson

Listen to the full interview with Bethany Williamson. She discusses her battle with adrenal fatigue, and how she changed her life and her focus to lead a happy, healthy life. 

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