If you’re a mom, then at some point in time, you’ve likely thought to yourself, “Help! Everyone needs me all the time and I have no time for myself.” Maybe you feel like you have to please all the people all the time right now and you’re always the last priority. You’re not alone.
If you have young children at home, this thought probably happens often. At least it did for me when my older two were under the age of four. I felt exhausted from filling all the needs all the time.
These days, I find myself pulled in different directions taking care of needs for everyone but in a different way. Instead of filling cups of milk and chopping food into tiny bites, I’m consoling one about friendships or grades, while helping another with Algebra, and then my preschooler will inevitably throw a tantrum.
As moms age, change, and grow, so do the needs of our children. This seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. We can’t stay the same because our kids don’t stay the same. As parents, we need to adapt and grow alongside our children to not only be in a place to properly take care of them, but also so that we can show them how to properly take care of ourselves as adults.
There are lots of ways to grow as a person. Life experiences shape and mold us. Learning new skills or adapting to new situations at work do the same thing. Consistent reading and learning are crucial to our growth as individuals.
For a long time, I didn’t do any of that. I was so occupied with life as a homeschooling mom that I neglected taking care of myself. While I’m far from perfect, I am happy to say that I’m making strides in this part of my life. One of the things I’ve started doing that has made a big difference in my overall well being is saying affirmations.
Most of us probably know what it is to affirm something or someone. But how often are you affirming yourself? We do this all the time with our kids, friends, spouses. You’re doing so great! I’m so proud of you! Way to go! But how often do you say those things to yourself?
I’m not an expert on crafting the perfect affirmation, I’m sure there are classes for this. But here’s what I’ve done that’s been helpful for me and maybe it can be helpful for you, too.
- Think of parts of your life that you’d like to improve upon.
- Craft a positive statement that can help focus your mind in the right direction. Phrases that start with “Don’t…” are not good here. It needs to be positive, such as “I will” or “I am.”
- Write up to five statements that, if you truly believed them, would help you succeed and grow in that area of your life.
- Read them out loud to yourself looking in the mirror as if you’re a friend trying to convince yourself of what you’re saying. Or close your eyes and picture yourself as if they’ve already come true as you say them out loud.
- Put these statements – they’re now called affirmations – somewhere you’ll see them often or put them on your phone and set a reminder/alarm to say them to yourself out loud at a regular interval.
- Re-evaluate your affirmations every so often and make sure they’re achieving what you want to achieve. Remember, they’re YOUR affirmations so if you’re not feeling positive about yourself and your goals after reading them, or you’re not making strides in that area of your life, then tweak and try again.
These statements don’t have to be mind blowing. One of mine is that I’m a good mother. There are a lot of days when my head trash is telling me otherwise, so I need to remind myself of the truth. Another one of mine is that I am a good role model for my girls. Instead of beating myself up about what I am not, this helps remind me of what I am.
How often should you say these affirmations, you ask? I say mine every other morning. There is a repeating reminder on my phone to do it before kids wake up. Some people say that you need to say affirmations twice a day to really have them seep into your brain and take hold. My thought is that we have enough things in our lives that we have to do. This is something we want to do. So say them as often as you want to, but they should be said often enough that you remember what they are throughout the day.
The point is to create a story in your head of positivity. Beat out the head trash that so often consumes us and feel good about taking care of you, Mama. You’re worth it.