Breaking all the rules.

I’ve always been a rule follower and now that I am almost 30, I’m realizing that it’s time to stop following all the rules, and start breaking some.

Ok. HOLD ON. Bold statement. Before you make any judgement, read on.

I don’t mean start doing anything bad or illegal — I just mean it’s time to go outside the box. Stop following the conventional way and start really making things happen by taking risks and following my instincts.

BUT first, the right mindset. Because that’s where everything begins.

What if you broke the rules and actually believed in yourself? What if you thought you were enough?

What if you thought you were a good mother? What if you believed that you were doing the best for your children?

Wouldn’t those thoughts be such a game changer in your life? Wouldn’t you actually feel good, confident, beautiful, strong, maybe even happy?

What if we started breaking the rules in this way? It seems like the norm is to constant feel defeated, inadequate, ugly, and unloved. We are so quick to telling ourselves these thoughts, but find it so difficult to speak loving thoughts to ourselves, our bodies, and our minds.

I do a questionnaire every week on my facebook page and this week I asked the mom’s following my page a two part question.

What area do you feel you struggle in the most when it comes to being a mother (ex: self care, exercise, diet, balancing work/children, etc) and part two, how do you practice self care?

The unfortunate part was that MANY mom’s admitted that they struggle in the area of self care, some went as far as saying, “what is that?” The general consensus was that moms usually put themselves last over every other priority in their lives. Why is that? Why do we not see our selves as a priority?

The moms that answered the second part of my question had some truly interesting answers that made me think.

One mama in particular caught my attention. She said, “to me, self-care is not a bath and a glass of wine. It’s being intentional about loving on yourself the best that you can, in your given moment. That’s how self-care becomes manageable as a mama and that’s how you go from suffocating and overwhelmed to thriving.”

Another mama chimed in by adding a comment along the same lines by saying that to her “self care is small acts throughout the day that show love to [herself], eating nourishing food, working out, getting outside with [her] son. When [she] switched [her] perspective and started seeing small acts throughout the day as self care, it didn’t feel like another thing [she] was supposed to be doing.”

Self-care really should be a priority for all of us, but mama’s in particular. We have incredibly hard jobs! Yeah, we may not get paid, but our roles as mothers require us to be on duty 24/7. We don’t breaks or paid time off. We are working around the clock taking care of everyone and everything that matters to us but we often forget to take care of ourselves!

And taking care of ourselves really is important. Think about it — you cannot pour from an empty cup. Meaning, you can’t meet the needs of others when your own needs aren’t met.

So what if we broke the rules and practiced self-care!

What if we took an hour to ourselves every night? What if we dedicated one day a week to doing something especially for us? What if we woke up an hour early just so we could get a morning workout in or 20 pages of our favorite book, or even just some silence to sip our morning coffee? What if we were intentional and made ourselves a priority too?

I’m going to be honest here. OK when am I not honest? Since becoming a stay at home mom, I’ve been finding it hard to balance taking care of the household, taking care of my daughter, running my business/blog, and everything in between. It’s seriously been one big chaotic mess lately. I’ve been trying to put my full time effort into all aspects of my life and it’s NOT working.

If I focus on my business, my daughter suffers. If I focus on my daughter, the house starts to look disorderly. If I focus too much on the house, I forget to take care of my husband. SOMETHING ALWAYS SUFFERS.

My mom guilt was seriously weighing me down but yet I was feeling so overwhelmed because I also wanted to focus on my business and gaining a following, but then nothing was getting done around the house and my husband was complaining. And all the while, I felt drained – mentally, emotionally, and physically. What was a girl to do?

I took a break off social media for one whole day and I spent the day being present and thinking of a solution.

The solution came after speaking with my good friend and wellness/fitness coach, Taylor Behringer. If you haven’t checked her out, please do! She is an amazing mama herself and is all about helping to empower women during pregnancy and postpartum. You can check out her website here!

We were talking about me never having any time to workout and how I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with trying to balance motherhood, self-care, and my business. I was telling her how prior to getting pregnant I was pretty fit – doing yoga and biking constantly, but ever since I gave birth, I haven’t had a single second to take care of myself, let alone exercise.

She brought up the idea that I shouldn’t be looking at exercise and self-care in the same way that I used to prior to getting pregnant. I had this rigid mindset and expectation of what self-care was supposed to look like, but in reality, I needed to be more open with my interpretation of it.

She helped me understand that exercise doesn’t have to mean taking a yoga class or going to the gym, that it could be just getting out and taking a walk with my little girl, or doing a baby-wearing workout routine, or exercising while playing with my little.

She had me thinking outside the box. I was so stuck inside, following the rules of what exercise was “supposed to be.” But she had me break those rules, look at it from a different perspective and break free of what I thought it should look like.

I’m taking it a step further and deciding to apply it to the rest of my life. I want to stop looking at everything in my life with expectations of what they are “supposed to look like” and just start living according to what feels good for me and my family.

I want to start looking at self-care without the expectation of what it’s “supposed to look like” and start taking time throughout the day to do small acts of self-care in order to recharge and replenish myself.

I want to change my mindset. Stop falling into the same excuses of “i don’t have time,” “I’m not good enough,” or “I don’t have what it takes.” And instead, tell myself things like, “I will make time,” “I was always enough,” and “I DO have what it takes!”

Let’s break the rules. Let’s stop following the same paths that we always have. Let’s think outside the box, mama’s. Let’s make ourselves the priority too. Trust me, you have time. Trust me, your little will thank you. Trust me, the housework can wait and it will get done.

You are important too. You are enough. You deserve to be taken care of by you too.

xx Mama with Grace xx

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Mama with Grace Shop. The link is at the top of this page! I just added a few new designs for my amazing mama’s and their littles! Thank you for all your support!

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