Dear Exhausted Mom,

 

Do you ever forget to take care of yourself in the midst of all your exhaustion? Or do you feel selfish if you try to take care of yourself? If so, you are not alone. As women, we are constantly conditioned by society, media, and even family and friends that our most transcendent goal is that of Nurturer. And when we become mothers, this cultural expectation is exponentially exaggerated.

As women, we are constantly conditioned by society, media, and even family and friends that our most transcendent goal is that of Nurturer.

This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. The role of Nurturer is wonderful and supremely important — in fact it is crucial to the survival of our species! Problems arise when Nurturers forget to care for themselves. Always doing, giving, and caring for others can be seriously exhausting both physically and emotionally.

But, I don’t have to tell you that; however, I do want to remind you that self-care is essential to maintaining your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. I may not need to tell you that either, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded. Trying to keep up with society’s expectations of “The Woman Who Can Do It All,” women tend to overload themselves with responsibilities, in turn getting overwhelmed as we struggle to meet everyone’s expectations, even the unrealistic ones.

…women tend to overload themselves with responsibilities, in turn getting overwhelmed as they struggle to meet everyone’s expectations…

Speaking of expectations… are you setting sensible expectations for yourself? It’s imperative that we realize that there is only so much a human being can accomplish in the course of a day, week, month … a lifetime. What does your To-do list look like and how practical is it?  Trying to keep up with unrealistic expectations, even only the ones we set for ourselves, can make us feel like we’re hamsters desperately spinning our little legs off on our exercise wheels but getting nowhere. It’s difficult to celebrate even small tasks well-done because we see it stacked against the tasks yet to complete. This is a desperate and exhausting cycle.

If we don’t take the time to replenish our own inner resources, we won’t have the energy to properly care for others.

The bottom line is this: we can’t take care of other people when our own inner lives are in turmoil. If we don’t take the time to replenish our own inner resources, we won’t have the energy to properly care for others. Taking care of ourselves makes us mentally and emotionally stronger, which is always a good thing. Giving love, care, and support is a wonderful and even noble goal, providing we learn to love, care, and support ourselves.

With love from your fellow mom,

CLC Signature

Clan Allen circa 2012
Clan Allen circa 2012.

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