Have you ever thought of yourself as a Chief Education Officer (CEO) of your family?
You pick out learning activities, agonize over school choices, ponder extra tutoring, and enrich your home environment. You are a CEO and your family needs you!
But to be the best Mom as CEO, you have to make time for yourself. A little me-time goes a long way. More than you think. And your family will be so glad you did. Because a happy, patient parent equals a happy, peaceful family.
5 Me-Time Essentials
1. Form Healthy Habits.
I used to work late into the night but the lack of sleep contributed to my stress and poor health. A good night’s sleep is just as important as healthy nutrition and exercise. And, if you can do all three, even better! I’ve been picking one thing to focus on – last fall it was cutting out sugar. Now it’s getting more sleep. You can do that too. Remember, you don’t have to do it all, just do one proactive thing for your health.
2. Say no.
It’s time to stop doing so much. You and I don’t need to be super-mom; we need to be healthy-moms. Say no before you get stressed out. Maybe it’s saying no to extra volunteering or trying to cook from scratch every meal. Don’t feel guilty. Think of it as an essential ingredient to being an amazing family CEO. Saying no to busyness means you can say yes to more patience with your kids.
Don’t you think that sitting quietly when there’s a ton of stuff to be done is so hard? Me too! So, I use a system called Zen Frames with my phone. It’s guided meditations and glasses with LED lights. This I can do because I just have to listen and follow along. And it’s only 20 minutes. Other friends have recommended Deepak Chopra’s meditations.
Reading a fiction book lets me take a mini-vacation. I get to enter a pretend world, even just for 15 minutes. I highly recommend it. (Plus it shows your kids that you value literacy!!) Currently I am reading The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani and The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
5. Make Time for Friends.
I know it’s hard to find time for friends but it’s our friends that keep us grounded. They know who we are apart from our role as mom. Even if it’s only an hour once a week, have your own friend play date. Take a walk (remember those healthy habits?), meditate, visit a bookstore, have a cup of tea, run errands . . . do something together, in person. You’ll feel refreshed and renewed.
Last year, being too busy, too stressed, too sleep deprived, and generally just not taking care of myself triggered a nasty auto-immune virus in my body, causing fever, fatigue, and brain fog for almost 9 months.
If I could rewind and live differently before I got sick, I would. I realized too late that self-care is like the oxygen mask on the plane – we put our own on before we help our kids.
Now I’m doing better and have a new outlook on the necessity of me time. Now I know I can’t sacrifice this valuable time. Now I know that to be my best self for my family I must take care of myself. (Too bad I had to learn the hard way though!)
Let me be a cautionary tale. Prioritize yourself. You’re the Chief Education Officer of your family. Taking care of yourself benefits everyone – you and your family. Your family will thrive because you, the mama-leader, are strong, healthy, and happy.
You are so worth it!