2010 was a tremendously difficult year for me, and now that I have a fresh new calendar to work with, for the first time ever I am trying to set a serious New Year’s resolution to eat better. You can read my Resolution along with others including Natalie Morales and Amy McCready on the TODAYMoms blog.
I know that is not an original resolution, but it is a serious one. I have been so stressed out about family issues that I feel myself moving closer to my own health tipping point, so that I can no longer get away with cutting corners in the areas of self-care that I do have control over. That’s not easy, because with all the stress I have been experiencing comes stress eating….mmmm, Starbucks peppermint mocha lattes, you are my friend. (That is one of the habits I need to snap out of!)
So I am celebrating the New Year, really feeling like it is a chance to turn a corner, write on a new page, wake up again and see the world with fresh eyes.
What are you looking forward to for 2011? And has anyone else noticed the proliferation of articles about how bad last year was, instead of fun end-of-the-year wrapups? To choose one of many, here is Dave Barry’s “Why 2010 Made Us Sick.”
I had a chance to talk to WebMD this week about self care. Check out Gina Shaw’s Web MD piece, A Woman’s Guide to ‘Me’ Time: How to find the time for yourself and why it matters. I was able to get in a few good quotes! Here is my new favorite message: “If you can’t do it because you feel like you deserve it, look at it this way: You are a first responder. An emergency can come up at any time, and you should be as well rested and restored as you’d want your ER doc or EMT to be,” Tiemann says. “And besides, taking care of yourself will make you a better parent and partner. You’ll be more fun to be around and more responsive to your family.”
I’ve always hated the iconic image of a mother juggling the baby, keys, and briefcase. (In my opinion it was only original once, on the cover of Allison Pearson’s book I Don’t Know How She Does It.)
But I am posting this crazy photo here precisely because IT IS AN IMPOSSIBLE image. We don’t have six hands yet we continually set up unrealistic expectations as if we do.
Right now I feel like I have to make a 9-1-1 emergency call on behalf of all the Moms in America. I have covered a lot of topics as Mojo Mom but I have a continued interest in mother’s self care because I have not seen the needle move very far, if it all, on Moms’ Self Care Reserves in the seven years I have been talking about it. So many of us (myself included, I will admit) find ourselves on square one, trying to find time to eat a nutritious meal without gulping it down, and getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. (Now my friend “Momma Zen” Karen Maezen Miller can tell you how to come to terms with the fact that we are always on square one, and how to work with that, much more eloquently than I can. I will accept my own limitations on that topic and recommend that you read her!)
It helps to talk honestly with other women about this issue. My Courageous Parents Confident Kids collaborator Renee Trudeau is a wonderful expert on the topic, providing lots of great advice, motivation and inspiration, as well as guidance on forming your own Personal Renewal Group. And recently I have connected with a new kindred spirit, Dr. Christine Carter of the Greater Good Science Center at U. C. Berkeley. Her new book Raising Happiness covers the science of raising happy kids, including the fact that parents’ self care is an important foundation for any family.
Christine has offered to give a copy of her book to one lucky MojoMom.com reader. Leave a comment either here or on my Mojo Mom Page on Facebook, telling me one specific rejuvenating and kind activity you will do for yourself over the next week, that is, before Memorial Day Weekend, and I will enter you in a drawing to win a free copy of Raising Happiness.
You can also check out recent Mojo Mom Podcasts with Christine Carter and Renee Trudeau.
I am renewing my Mojo Mom message that a mother’s self-care and TLC must be a top priority for every family–not just on Mother’s Day, but every day! This week I had the chance to share this message with the TODAY Moms blog, and the TODAY Show promoted it to a top story on the front page of their website. This is very validating because truly, if I could sound a 911 emergency call nationwide for mothers practicing self care, I would do so right now. We are running ourselves ragged and there is very little left for ourselves to enjoy, and little reserve for emergencies, either.
I wish I only had to give Moms one reason to take care of yourselves, namely that you are worth it. But I have found that most women need more convincing than that. So read the post and let me know what you think. If you like this, stay tuned for my Mojo Mom newsletter going out next Tuesday, because I am sending out my new Top 10 Courage Boosters to my whole list. This is designed to help get you to take new steps in caring for yourself as a wonderful, valuable Mojo Mom.
This week I continue my podcast conversations with Courageous Parents, Confident Kids book contributors, talking to Renee Trudeau about the absolutely essential need for mothers to practice self-care. Renee knows that it’s not always easy to practice self care–we each live that challenge every day, and Renee provides a warm and wise voice to help support and guide us. What I love most about Renee’s work is that she is committed to helping each woman unlock her own potential and talents, and showing us how to work together with other women to bring out the best in each of us.
Listen in to this week’s show:
Renee Trudeau has written extensively about self-care in her book “The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal,” and her training that teaches women how to form and facilitate their own Personal Renewal Groups. Podcast host Amy Tiemann has also written about self-care as a core principle in “Mojo Mom: Nurturing Your Self While Raising a Family.” So these two have a lot to talk about!
Listen in to find out why mothers in particular have a hard time claiming their own self care as a top priority, why it’s really important to learn how to do so, and how to get started. Then make sure you register on MojoMom.com to reserve a free digital download of the new book that is a collaboration between Amy, Renee, and 12 other experts, “Courageous Parents, Confident Kids–Letting Go So You Both Can Grow.”
Sign up now and we’ll send you a free digital download of the new book when it’s released on April 19, 2010.