Motherhood threads itself from one milestone shift to the next and a mom passes through the steps in a stride of various paces. One goes from the aches of pregnancy growing to the newborn trenches of limited rest propelled into the changing chapters of age ascending and school-aged schedules running its course. Self care is a continuous topic of how to cope within these changing stages and now within this stance of pandemic social isolation, one is facing challenges never traveled before.
Mothers working outside of the home and within the home are now forced into a position of fight or flight to get it all done within bounds, and it is a global difficulty of how to integrate any level of self care amidst it. Families intentionally choosing an education module are all thrown into an unknown homeschool environment and the expectations each one picks up differs from home to home.
It has been one week of investing in the mental strength of my home since the cancellations and shutdowns and formulating some semblance of rhythm in this space we are bound to during the social distancing timeframe has been a “fight for it” type of peace. We have been investing in the fun aspects of things we have been waiting to do and crafts/art/drawing/baking have been the top priority of our list.
The concepts of not knowing how long nor the layers of impact it will have on most is difficult to process yet the truth of self care remains that if you do not put on your life mask first then you will not be able to save the rest. I feel it’s imperative, even now, for us to dip into the creative side of our thinking in how we can best show up to keep the peace within our home.
I have compiled a list of investing into self care you need, Mama, as you navigate this homeschooling, work from home, limited hugs, social distancing chapter.
- First off, we are in a pandemic, so as you stand your children in line for their supplements, natural remedies, health routine, make sure you are part of that lineup as well.
- Drink your water – half of your body weight in ounces and invest in that space of keeping your mind and body energized through hydration.
- I see the many schedules circulating around homeschooling, etc. and I learned quickly that you know the pace of your home and your first priority on creating a routine is setting your peace. Write out a rhythm of focus with your children and give them the allowance to contribute to what goes on the list. The schedule will give you a guideline but the minutes have loose edges around them to give space for the laughter and the connection that is taking place in intentional quality time.
- LIMIT, LIMIT, LIMIT social media scrolling, news media coverage, and articles galore being shared around. You can be knowledgeable of the situation without giving way to fear and panic by overconsuming the what-ifs.
- Pull up that friend’s online workout or group for accountability and do it with them! Go for a WALK, social distancing of course!
- Give a notebook to your children and begin one yourself and create space for writing prompts together to document the places of connection and gratitude you are receiving in this homebound time. Some days may highlight the crazy details happening, but it is a way to show up to the things that you can do in this space.
- Invest in early rises where the house is quiet and a WARM cup of coffee/tea of your choice greets you with quiet time reflection. This time is a sharpening tool for my spirit as I show up to needs from my tribe during the day with more readiness and a heart eager to extend outward.
- It is ok to set kids up with technology time during the day or a designated bed reading time for a timeframe for you to have ‘mom room time’ and give yourself space to breathe and to recoup. You are still a giving, loving, and attentive mom as you need breaks of being needed constantly.
- Social distancing gives way to hardly any alone time from your home, so take time to get in your car and simply drive. Put on a favorite music station and just let the day unwind as you drive around and just breathe. You can park in a favorite restaurant/place parking lot, call a friend or sit in silence and just feel like you have gotten out of the home!
- Rain, shine or whatever – step outside with your kids and either give them an umbrella, rain boots or scavenger hunts and free play. Bring with you a chair and a book and let them run within the space and let yourself dig into an engaging story for a bit.
- Set up Zoom/Facetime with friends/loved ones and give yourself the live connection shared together.
- When kids go to sleep, run a bath, light candles, set the tone for relaxation and pour in some Epsom salts and BREATHE.
- Write a card to someone and give yourself the gift of encouragement as you bless someone with positive words in the same position as you.
- Stay attuned to your mental health and reach out to a trusted source if you need some processing through all the many emotions traveled during this time.
- Set work zone timers, if you are working from home, where you engage kids in a certain activity and you work on your needed list of productivity at same time.
- Give yourself GRACE, GRACE, GRACE – how many times can I write that word for you, GRACE! You have never been here before, and it is ok to not jump into it all both feet stable. You will most likely have some shaky stance and it is still full of protection for your family.
These are uncharted territories for us all and I am with you in these trenches fighting for the peace that will push us through this with strength. You carried your little one with strength until this moment and you will keep on leading them with grace as we make it through this time.