Day 1: Learning to Honor Your Needs

When I became a mom for the first time I had many challenges. First I had a postpartum hemorrhage (a dangerous amount of blood loss during childbirth) which left me bedridden for the first month postpartum and very weak for months afterward, then postpartum depression crept in that first year, chronic insomnia, financial stress, and all this while being in the middle of graduate school in Oriental medicine.

In my first two years as a mother, I had a lot going on that contributed to a state of deep exhaustion. It was a really difficult time and I felt I was missing out with my baby boy, this propelled me to figure out how to recover my energy deliberately.

In this mini-course, I will share with you some of the steps that I have taken to create sustainable energy and help you find your own blueprint for vitality.

Take Time to Care for Yourself

As mothers, we generally put our own needs after those of our children or partner, and we feel guilty for needing time to nurture ourselves. Putting aside our needs for our family or other obligations is an automatic and unconscious process. Taking time to care for ourselves, however, helps us to be better mothers, enjoy our lives, be closer to our partners and do better at our jobs. The big hidden bonus is that we also model to our children how taking care of oneself is done.

If we ignore our needs time and again, we enter a “pushing” mode of muscling our way through our lives. We will go and go until we burn out. We may get sick or depressed and only then take some time out for ourselves, but it is short lived since we’re already at the end of our rope.

The shift that needs to occur is to believe that honoring your needs is an act of love that benefits everyone. To know in your core that your wellness is the bedrock of health for your whole family.

If you are having a hard time giving yourself permission to honor and care for yourself, then most likely, it is a belief about what it means to be a “good” mother that is getting in the way. On day 5 I give you a worksheet that will specifically help you to make this shift. However, you can start by exploring what do you believe it means to be a “good” mother. Does it include your own well being, having your own needs met, and if not why?

Tools to try:

  1. Journaling
  2. Reading books about motherhood written by moms
  3. Counseling with a professional with a sensitivity of motherhood issues- (see our community contributors for resources)
  4. The BARD process developed by Martha Beck in her book, Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny
  5. Use Affirmations: The following affirmations are simple tools to help remind yourself of the importance of taking care of yourself. Put them on the refrigerator, post them next to your mirror or set a reminder on your phone — I put them in my wallet. They help you to give yourself permission to care for yourself.

Self-Care Affirmations

  • “I renew myself daily.”
  • “My family thrives when I have great energy.”
  • “I make the world a better place when I am balanced and taking care of my needs.”

Day 1 Summary

  • Explore what you believe it means to be a good mother.
  • Learn to honor your own needs.
  • Use affirmations as reminders.

The Next Step…

Tomorrow I’ll show you how to go deeper and build conscious practices into your busy life as a mom. You’ll also get a great recipe for a nutrient-rich superfood breakfast that will give you a slow release of good energy to start your day.