The Mom’s Dilemma

Late nights.

Early mornings.

Cranky kids.

Low energy.

Feeling like there’s no time.

Busy schedules.

Sound familiar?

If you’re a mom, it probably does.

Keeping a household running while being responsible for keeping your children healthy and happy is no easy task.

(If you’re a dad reading this and are already finding yourself saying something along the lines of “Hey, I do just much as my wife does around the house! It’s hard for me too!” Cool. Good for you. Sincerely. I’m a super involved dad too, but this isn’t about us right now.)

When it comes to eating better, improving your health, or losing some weight, as a mom, you have a lot stacked against you. And one of the biggest things might be the guilt that can come along with taking time to take care of yourself.

Do you feel selfish for taking time to go to the gym? You’re not alone.

Do your friends or family put you down for spending time investing in yourself? Again, you’re not alone.

The process of being a healthier person isn’t exactly an easy one. It gets even more difficult when you add in all the responsibilities of being a mom. And then, when you sprinkle the guilt and judgement of others on top…geez, this is getting challenging isn’t it?

Out of all the obstacles that could potentially be in your way, I think that guilt and feeling selfish are often at the top of the list.

Let’s look at a few ways to help you combat that, and get you into a mindset that looks at self care in a more positive light.

*Working with moms to help them have more energy, lose weight, manage stress, and feel sexy in their own skin is the bulk of what I do. If those are things you would be interested in as well, click here. It’s a brief, 3 question survey. Fill it out, and I will be in touch very shortly to discuss how I can help you be a more confident, healthy, and happy mom.*

Lines In the Sand

Let’s start off by looking at potentially the most challenging thing to tackle-family, friends, and their stupid opinions.

Dealing with family and friends that speak negatively towards your efforts to be a healthier mom is definitely challenging.

“Shouldn’t you be spending that time taking care of your kids?”

Have you ever had someone say something like that to you? Many of my clients who are mom’s have. Funny how none of my clients who are father’s hear that one.

People are good at putting their expectations, assumptions, and insecurities on you. The expectation is that you should spend “x” amount of time taking care of your family…usually an arbitrary amount of time that means nothing. The assumption is that by spending time taking care of yourself, your family is in some way suffering for it. And the insecurity is that you’re doing something they wish they had the courage to do.

So what do we do with this?

Cut them off.

I know, easier said than done.

Friends that are bringing you down for making positive choices…are they really friends? Family members that don’t want you to be healthier…do they really want what’s best for you?

Now maybe you can’t cut them off entirely. I understand that. But at the very least, you need to set firm expectations for what will and wont be allowed when it comes to discussing your efforts to be a healthier person. Draw a line in the sand. Let those people know that until they can be supportive and encouraging, you will not be engaging in discussing topics like your nutrition or exercise habits with them.

You don’t need that negativity in your life.

Setting Examples

As a parent, it’s easy to forget how often our kids are watching us, and learning from the examples we set. We can tell them as much as we want, but it’s our actions that really speak to them.

This is important to remember when it comes to feeling guilty about taking time to take care of yourself. You are showing your kids that making time to exercise, prioritize sleep, and prepare nutritious meals is important. You are modeling self care to them. You are showing them that you are worth the time and energy it takes to be a healthier person, and in turn they are picking up that they are worth giving that time and energy to themselves as well.

If you’re modeling poor self-care to them, and showing them that everyone else is more important than you are, there’s a good chance they are going to duplicate those same behaviors when they are older. I think we would probably all agree that we don’t want that for our kids, so show them that, just like you, they’re worth it!

Self-Care Is Family-Care

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Have you ever heard that expression before? Essentially it means, if you have given everything you’ve got, you have nothing left to give.

In the last 11+ years of training clients (a good percentage of those being moms) I have noticed that most moms tend to be givers and doers. They put themselves at the end of the line for pretty much everything.

When I begin working with a new client who is a mom, it’s not uncommon for them to mention how tired they are, how they feel like they have no energy, and how they feel like they have no time. Why? Because they are often giving their all to everyone else in the family, and have nothing left to give to themselves.

If you resonate with that, let me ask you this…can you be the mom you want to be if you’re tired, have no energy, and no time? My guess is not. Because that’s like trying to pour from an empty cup.

When it comes to being a mom who is making efforts to be healthier, it’s important to remember that self-care is family-care.

A mom that is worn out, and exhausted is not going to be able to take care of her family as well as a mom who is well rested and full of energy. A tired mom will be less patient than a mom who got some solid sleep.

Taking care of you is taking care of your family. These are not separate things, rather they are all rolled up together. Mom 2.0 is better at mom-ing. It’s as simple as that.

It’s easy to let the guilt and expectations of others impact our decisions. But, there’s no guilt in being healthier. There’s no guilt in taking care of you. Let that go, and embrace every step of the self-care process.

You’re worth it.

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