I was recently listening to Deb Flashenberg’s podcast Birth|Yoga|Babies. She was talking to Hunter Clarke-Fields about mindful parenting. When they talked about the importance of self-care Hunter said, “And I don’t mean just going out to get a manicure.” She went on to explain that self-care as a parent means listening to yourself and paying attention to your needs. She talked about taking a few minutes EVERY DAY to sit down, follow your breath, and tune inward. *Light bulb moment!*
This comment really resonated with me because I find I’ve misinterpreted what it means to practice self-care as a stay at home mom. My idea of self-care has been to pretty much forget about myself all week, and then on the weekend take an hour or so to do something alone like get a manicure, go to a yoga class, get a haircut or get a massage. While all of these activities are fabulous and have their place, I have found that getting out for that hour or so wasn’t really reinvigorating me.
When I heard Hunter Clark-Fields talk about self-care as a daily practice it made sense. While it’s not always realistic for me to sit down quietly for 5-10 minutes and meditate alone, I do find there are parts of the day where I can slow down and tune inward. For example, when I am nursing or giving Emily a bottle before her naps and bedtime there is a calm and quiet I can plug into.
The last few days I have taken those quiet moment opportunities to close my eyes, tune into my breathing, and scan my body to see how I’m feeling. While this seems like such a simple thing to do, it has made a big difference in my mindset and perspective. I realize I don’t need to “suck it up” and forget about myself all week. If I even take a few minutes to really breathe and cue into how I’m feeling, I can reenergize and be more present.