Well-Being 101: Busy Moms Need Day Care, Too
Why is this Mother's Day different from all the others I've been around for?
Because this year, I'm a mom. My unexpected bundle of joy is an 8-month-old named Abraham, funny and smart and remarkably good-natured. And still, he's a handful, and I find myself obsessed with his needs, constantly thinking about all the things I could be doing, should be doing, to keep our son healthy, happy and calm.
Is he eating enough? Sleeping well? Is he getting out for walks and unstructured playtime? And when he's inside, am I giving him enough attention to keep him feeling safe, loved, cognitively challenged?
It's a selfless 24/7 full-time job, this motherhood thing. And our Abraham is just a puppy, 100% poodle -- no "oodle" hybrid -- the color of autumn.
So this Mother's Day, I'm super sensitive to what it means to dedicate yourself to the well-being of another, how hard it is to peel off time for yourself, to do the things that keep you healthy, happy and calm.
Which is why the rest of this column focuses on a new book called "Self-Care For Moms," written by Sara Robinson, a mental skills coach who helps busy moms find balance in their lives, and time in their days, to nurture themselves.
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"Being a mom is exhausting," Sara writes, "which makes taking care of yourself that much more important to your overall well-being. But it's also really hard to make self-care happen."
Really hard, but totally necessary. And feeling guilty for taking the time, for making the time, to keep your own mind and body in balance is the opposite of self-care. It's self-destructive.
"What gets in the way of your self-care?" Robinson asks.
(Now would be a good time for you to answer. We can pause.)