Last week, I realized the importance of self-care for me as a mom. I kept going and going until I just found myself feeling frustrated. Something was missing, I couldn’t pick myself back up.
With my New Year’s Resolution being about loving myself even in my imperfect moments, most of the time, I am consciously working on loving myself and remembering to trust in God in His plan for me and my family.
This was a harder moment that had built up over time. With being newer to finding my faith, I thought I was a failure to God for not always feeling consistently content and loved. Why was I feeling this way?
Now I know, there are triggers and moments or seasons in our life when it can be harder to hear God and we may fall off the love wagon. These are the times when we need to stop, reflect, reach out to God, and love ourselves.
P.S. This post was inspired by our self-care exercise from Lesson 4 of my Momtography class with Beryl Ayn Young and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Photography almost always lifts me up because it allows me to focus on the beauty in the chaos of motherhood.
Manual Mode: 1/200, 2.8, 1600
My first self-care picture (over exposed) on a sunny day, taken by the window at my kitchen table.
Manual Mode: 1/200, 2.8, 400
My second self-care picture (I feel inspired just looking at it). What a great reminder this photo will be to love myself! I needed to check out Beryl’s Camera Settings Flow Chart to remember to adjust my ISO on a sunny day!
My AHA moments
White Balance on my camera! This has allowed me to take pictures of my kids even in the evenings and during shady times of the day in the house (perfect for snuggly pictures). Like this one below.
Focus! Yes, learning that I can change my focus settings allows be to control where my camera focuses! Like in this picture, being able to focus on the sign far back behind H and M.
Here are some ideas to help us love ourselves as moms.
So, learn from me and remember:
Pray for help and guidance…Come to God as you are, in your current state and He will reveal to you…You are loved and Yes you are worth it!
Read scriptures that remind you…You are enough because God created you just who you are and put you just where you are. He will give you the rest and strength you need. I found this wonderful article at “The Purposeful Mother” with 11 bible verses that remind us we are loved! Here’s one she listed.
“Give thanks to the Lord our God as His love is everlasting.”-Psalms 136: 26
Be Kind to Yourself:
Speak kind words to yourself….Remember you are a child of God and He loves you so so much! He gives us grace on every moment, and does not expect us to be perfect. Look at a picture of yourself as a child and tell that young girl that you love her. You won’t be able to help yourself, but to believe in that little girl you once were. I put a little picture of myself as a child next to my bathroom mirror to remind myself to love this sweet girl God created and who still lives inside me.
Schedule yourself a quick pamper! Yes, I know a day at the spa would be wonderful and more power to you if you can get away to the spa:) It’s hard for me to leave the house, so making sure I paint my toes (usually pink) makes me feel pampered. Oh yes, and a hair appointment every 2 months. Just find your thing and put it on the schedule!
Focus on the GOOD you do everyday. It’s easy to believe we do nothing all day, especially when the house gets messy in 2 minutes (even after 40 minutes of cleaning). I started taking pictures of the little good things I did throughout the day, anything from sweeping up goldfish, to cleaning under the trays that nobody sees, to playing on the messy floor with my toddler. So much of what we do as moms can feel like nobody notices, so we may believe none of it matters. This exercise reminded me that the little things I do MATTER!
One little good thing I like to do is…1 on 1 reading with each of them during rest time. Even though it is just 10 minutes each child, it MATTERS!
Ask yourself…What’s important to you that helps you feel loved and cared for? What can you do for yourself? I love to journal in a prayer journal. I love to sing, dance, and paint a little too. Some of these things I can overlap with what I do with the kids and sometimes I just love to do them alone too. I need time to hear myself and hear God.
Ask for what you need…Our husbands and loved ones cannot read our minds and cannot tell how what to do for self-care because we each have our own needs and desires in life. We need to reflect and figure out our own needs.
Your Atmosphere, Self-Care:
Make the Atmosphere you like...for me it’s lighting a candle and opening the shades on the windows. I also have one small thing I do for the house every day (on a good day), so I can feel like I did something for my home too. I love inspirational signs like the one I focused on in the background below, “Live by Grace, not Perfection”.
Put on some soothing music...KLOVE always lifts me up and helps me remember I am not alone when I struggle and God is right there with me, loving me through life’s ups and downs.
Make Time for yourself.…This could be early in the morning before the day begins or after everyone goes to bed. Even if it’s just 5 minutes of prayer, 15 minutes of a morning dance or workout
Most importantly…remember your WHY for Motherhood:
Look in your Kids’ Eyes. Take pictures of the way your kids look at you when you laugh with them, tickle them, or say their name, or while you do something special that’s “your thing” with them. I was able to capture some pictures of how my kids look at me when I say their name here below. My big WHY is showing my kids they are loved!
A Prayer to Lift You Up in Love:
Thank you God for my children and for blessing me to be a mom.
Help me to see my gifts and offer those gifts to my children and my family.
Give me the strength I need to continue mothering on a tough day.
Help me to forgive myself for mistakes and see the good I do for my family, so I can spread that good to my children, my husband and others.
Protect me from the enemy’s lies that I am not enough.
Give me a shield, protecting me from fear, guilt, and worry.
Guide my heart in hope, faith, and love, Lord God.
Help me to ask for what I need in a loving way. Help me to find refreshment in your love for me.
For I will seek your love light in everything I do and know that I matter because you say I do.
Thank you that I can trust in your consistent love for me, even in my imperfections.
In Jesus’ Name We Pray,
I hope if anything you see we are all in this together. God loves you! Let me know if any of these tips help you love yourself!