I have recently fallen madly, head over heels in love with a piece of equipment, my Peloton bike. No, this is not an advertisement for Peloton, although I certainly could rave about their product in its own blog. It is about how this bike led me to discover the piece of my well-being I was missing as a working mother of three active, lovely, ornery children. I learned how to carve out ME time, 5 days a week. This seemed like an impossible feat previously, but in fact, I could not have been further from the truth.
The ability to carve out self-care as a professional mom is presented as an impossible, self-centered goal. Yet, that is a lie that we are led to believe. We are encouraged to wave the white flag when we cannot find the time for self-care, for renewing of the mind, for quiet time, for a hustling workout. It is a lie from media, generations behind us, and even current relationships that we all have.
I encourage you if you are burning it at both ends, as a Mom, a wife, a professional, a sister, a friend, a mentor, a volunteer, you must identify how to replenish your tank.
Ask yourself this, how might I be able to pour into my family, my profession, and my relationships if I scheduled time for myself? Non-negotiable time for myself, when the pandemic began, I hit a wall of having to identify that time and space for myself. All of the events, games, church, family commitments came to a halt and I clearly saw the void that I had ignored for several years, which was taking care of myself. Pouring into exercise created freedom, encouragement, motivation, and self–love. I fell in love with creating boundaries for my time. I fell in love with the discipline. I really fell in love with 30-45 minutes of time to myself 4-5 days per week.
The common question is how, how do you fit this in.
When do you fit this in? I encourage my fellow Moms to really pay attention to their day. Look where you are wasting your time. Calculate that wasted time and eliminate it. For me, I stopped scrolling. I also reduced my morning work routine. Albeit, wearing a mask in healthcare every day certainly aided this. I cut back on make-up and perfected a look that truly added no value to me. I also got up a half-hour earlier and went to bed earlier. I learned how to be a morning person. I learned that because with the time that 45 minutes of alone time started my day in a headspace that sleeping in did not.
I also taught my children in this season an incredible lesson. I verbalized to them that self-care is an imperative part of me being my fullest self. It is crucial for me to fill my tank in this way to pour out to you. They also witnessed me prioritizing fitness. All three know that when Mom is on her bike, you do not disturb her.
I put on my air pods, clip in, and sail away to a zone I cannot get to on social media, snoozing in my bed, indulging in an extra glass of wine, even playing with my children. After 10 years of being a mother, I finally learned how to prioritize myself, first. You, my friend, can do the same thing. You, my fellow mother, should do the same.
Written by: Cara Schagemann, RN, MSN, WHNP-BC