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As I got ready to take off on yet another trip, I watched a flight attendant demonstrate flight safety procedures for the hundredth time.

“Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting those around you.”

It’s hard to imagine attempting to saving myself before my children but the truth of the matter is if we lose cabin pressure and I don’t get mine on first I may not even stay conscious long enough it to help my children.

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The sky isn’t the limit for this lesson. It can be applied to my everyday life. How often do I put my children’s needs before my own, and at what cost to myself?

If you had an hour to yourself how would you spend it? Working out? Eating? Taking a nap? Reading a few chapters of your book? Catching up on your show? What is self-care to you?

I feel like these sporadic “breaks” don’t happen as much as I’d like them to, but when they do it’s always a toss up with what I want to do with that precious time. Straightening my house is almost never an option I opt for. Usually my mind is screaming “NAP!” but I like the productive feeling of my other options more. Hey, watching a show on my DVR and deleting it totally counts as being productive.

It’s funny how a “relaxing” night to me usually involves my laptop open with work and my cold dinner in front of me and I’m excited to work on 20 things before bed while I catch up on my favorite shows after the kids are in bed. Often this results in me staying up way too late and being short of energy the next day.

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This summer I’m hoping to kick this habit and get back to my earlier bedtimes. That means a more focused and productive morning before an afternoon of play. I’m also hoping to add back in my morning workout sessions. Remember when I lost 40 pounds? Yea, I gained that all back. My thighs are crying in my jeans so it’s time I get back to my better habits including taking my kids to the gym and eating better. Not only did I feel better about myself I actually felt better overall. Somehow more positive, energized, peppy (I guess all those endorphins!). Taking care of ourselves is no joke.

If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Happy wife happy life. They were onto something when they came up with these quotes signifying the importance of a happy and healthy mom in the home.

I’m frequently reminding myself to slow down and focus on the important things in life. Not overworking myself, but spending time with my children who are growing so fast. Connecting and falling deeper in love with my husband. Making our home a place filled with light and love. And beyond that… Taking a step back alone, to hit the reset button.

Lately for me this means a quiet bath with a book, or a few minutes in the morning to pray and stretch. Some time in the evening to relax with my laptop closed.

I intend to spend a lot of time having a lot of fun with my family this summer, but I also intend to give myself a daily break too. I deserve it. I need it.

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As parents we give so much to our children and taking care of them, but it’s so important that we take care of ourselves too. Take care of ourselves so we can be refueled, and refreshed to take care of those little people who need us most.

I’m curious what you do to take care of yourself. What is self-care to you?

Sometimes self-care means taking care of issues we’ve been putting on the back burner. A pain that needs to be checked out, or routine precautions like wearing sunscreen. Make sure you’re reading the labels on your medication and using your over the counters correctly. For more information about drug facts visit Know Your OTCs. You can also watch this inspiring video with tips to kickstart your self-care.

 

Photo credit: Allisa Latham Photography. Thanks so much friend for capturing some special moments between me and my little blessings!

*I believe it’s so important we take good care of ourselves so we can live long happy healthy lives, which is why I wrote partnered with KnowYourOTCs on this essay.  


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christina says:

wonderful read….bedtime is bedtime and when my kids go to sleep i love to craft. for a while after my son was born i stopped but recently i picked it back up and i knew thats what this mamma’s been missing all along and it feels so good to be doing what i love again. sometimes when my son takes his nap i have my daughter join me and she loves to craft too. we just sit there in silence, crafting. its a joy to my heart that my child can appreciate that too

Latonya says:

Self care for me is getting some alone time. I am an introvert by nature and this doesn’t go away simply because I have a family. I often go to the bookstore or coffee shop alone on Sundays. It is nice to get out by myself. I have a goal to read at least one book a week. I have read two this week. 🙂 I work out for 30 minutes at least three times a week. Yesterday, I went for a run, and that felt nice. Coloring is one of my favorite ways to relax. I color a few mornings each week.

Mari says:

Ha, funny that I’ve been doing self care way before it became a “thing”. I never bought into the sacrificing myself for my child theory. Twenty one years later my daughter is a wonderful young woman and I am a healthy happy woman and mama. I believe in alone time and setting boundaries. I believe in kids sleeping in their own beds and mommy and daddy alone time. I believe in lots and lots of conversations and communication and picking your battles. All those things in balance helped me on my parenting journey. Great share mama xo

Jacquie says:

My focus is always on my kids and what they want versus what I need. I turn 40 this summer and I have promised myself that there will be more fun things for this mom to do! Concerts, traveling with and without my kids, date nights! I need to do a better job of taking care of me so I can be a better mom to my amazing kids! They deserve it and so do I!

Commandroid says:

If you had an hour to yourself i will go out with my best friend, but become a mother that means i don’t have myself time. i will spend my time with my child, cause i believe they will grow better with parents accompany.

Renee says:

Awesome post, Jennifer. Women in general and mothers specifically tend to forget about self care but wrap ourselves up in caring for others. We even give other people excellent advice about caring for themselves but then ignore our own advice!! (I know I’m guilty of this.)

Anyhow, to answer your question, I am blessed to have a really flexible work schedule. So a couple of times a month, I’ll treat myself to a movie on a weekday while the kids are still in daycare. I’m going to do this next week, in fact. And thanks to your daughter’s review, I’m going to see Alice Through the Looking Glass!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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