Self care and motherhood. Is this an oxymoron or do they go together like two peas in a pod? I’m 3+ months into motherhood and I’m voting the latter. But how and why should I take care of myself when I have a newborn? Isn’t Kovy the priority? Well, yes. But this is where it gets tricky. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Either way, you need them both.
The HOW: To me, I’ve learned to be multi-functional with my time. That doesn’t mean multi-tasking. That wears the poop out of me (even though there never seems to be a shortage of poop with a baby). I can actually feel my head getting fuzzy when I try to do too many things at once. By multi-functional, I mean creating an opportunity that can serve many purposes. An easy example might be our changing station. Matt and I change Kovy on the floor, which means we have to get up and down from the floor. Watch this video to see how we set it up. While he’s laying on his back or tummy, I have the opportunity to lay down too. Do I need a restorative pose as I lay next to Kovy? Or should I wake up my body by rolling around like him? What do I feel like stretching or moving?
The WHY: If I’m not taking care of myself, what is that teaching Kovy? How does that influence him? If my hormones and stress levels are totally out of whack, how does that affect my breastmilk quality and production? And if I’m not taking care of my physical health, I can more easily injure myself when carrying him or picking him up.
I think this goes for any human being of any age. If you proactively invest in your holistic health, you’ll reap the benefits down the line. You’ll pay much less in the future in money, energy and time.
Here are just a few of the ways I like to practice self care while balancing motherhood and my work with AYT lifestyle. You might notice a theme throughout, much of my self care is blended with my AYT lifestyle work. That’s not a coincidence folks…
- I ALWAYS eat breakfast. Whether Kovy is in my arms, still upstairs with Matt or laying on a yoga mat nearby, I prep our morning smoothie or other invigorating concoction. If you need some inspiration, download our Wee and Free Recipe eGuide or search my blog for smoothie recipes.
- I practice SELF-COMPASSION. And I say practice, as it’s sometimes a challenge for me. But boy, I enjoy my day so much more when I’m kind to myself. I’ve accepted that even though I might be a perfectionist, that doesn’t mean I have to be perfect.
- CREATIVE EXPRESSION. This is why I’m writing this blog while Kovy spits up on my shoulder. Man, I’m always misplacing those burping cloths. Writing fuels my soul, whether it be journaling, blogging or doodling in my notebook.
- While Kovy chills on his play area with homemade hanging doodads, I sit next to him at the tatami table (a low rise Japanese table) MAKING JEWELRY. What started as a fun hobby in 7th grade with my best friend Rachel Roellke, hand making gemstone jewelry has grown into a passion and business for me. Putting happy energy into natural gemstones that already resonate with their own energy properties is such a balancing experience for me. How balancing? It satiated my creative spirit and balance me during my strict and structured time training for the Olympics. And those were some tough days where I was in need of a LOT of balance. Have you seen my most recent handmade pieces on this website? These blend my love for natural gemstones and healthy living.
- I find NATURE. I keep getting this quote on the tag of my Yogi Tea (what a clever idea, by the way) that says something along the lines of if you truly love nature, you will find it everywhere. And it’s true. I may be in a suburban neighborhood, but we go on daily walks and search out the hummingbirds, plants, shading trees, blooming flowers and rocks to step on. Here’s how I go off roading in our suburban neighborhood. There’s something about being outside that soothes both me and Kovy. We chill out. I guess you could say we find our zen. I definitely think we’re meant to be outdoors more, surrounded by earthy things. Not just Kovy and I, but all of us.
- I KEEP EATING food throughout the day. Yes, it takes preparation when going out and about. Yet it’s totally worth it to me. And for Kovy, since what I’m putting in my body is going into his body. By prepping and making my own food for the day, I know what I’m putting in my body and don’t get stuck either with nothing to eat (eek!) or having to get something that’s super expensive or totally lame (aka not good for my body). I post many of my recipes on this blog (ahh, serving my creative expression while eating good food. 2 in 1 fun!)
Well, I’m going to practice self care and finish my blog so I have time to prep my food before we all head out for the day. I have to stop myself when writing, as I’ve been known to go on a tangent or two (say, what?). Let’s be honest, there’s countless ways to practice self care as a mother or any human being. How do YOU like to practice self care?
Okay, I’ll add one more. I MOVE MY BODY. Instead of doing a full 30-60 minute yoga or other fitness session, I break up my movement throughout the day. Did I say this is actually BETTER for your heath and body? Yep, it’s true friends. Anyhoo, one of the ways I get my moving in (and practice self care) is while changing his diaper or during his floor time. I move with him! I try not to poop with him though. Ha. This is why I started filming Diaper Sessions, mini workshop-like sessions for me, you and anyone who’d like to move well and mindfully! I’ll leave you here with Diaper Sessions #3: “Tummy Time” to awaken your core and back extensors:
Hey, these images look pretty gosh darned similar! What do ya know, Joe!