Saturday, January 28, 2012

Moms, Stop "Treating" Yourself and Start Creating Yourself

I'm sure you've heard the advice, probably dozens of times before. Be sure to treat yourself to some "me" time no matter how busy you are. It's likely the advice you heard was followed with a list similar to the following: read a good book, take a bath, call a friend, go shopping, go out with your husband or a friend, spend some time cooking/gardening/yogaing, ok that last one isn't a word but you get the point. Yes, these are all great things, but I just realized we have the advice wrong!

While we're in what I call "survival" mode with small children, we're grateful for a few minutes even once a week to do one of the activities listed above in order to bring a little more peace and calmness back into our chaos. I get that, but it's the equivalent of treating a symptom instead of treating the disease itself (please do not misinterpret this to think I'm referring to our children as diseases!). While taking a few minutes to take a bath or call a friend will bring you momentary relief, it will soon be gone and you'll be looking forward to the next break to regain your sanity.

Remember the days when you were a teenager, and you'd put on your music and spend hours working on a drawing/painting/pottery/poem/short story/skateboard ramp/etc.? You would get lost in something you were CREATING and completely lose track of time. That's what we mothers need to do again. Figure out what it is you are passionate about, where hours could pass and feel like minutes-and do that! Even if you aren't good at it, even if it doesn't make or save you any money, even if you have to spend money to make it happen.

Now your "creating" may involve something on the first list-my friend Kelly is a yoga instructor and it's so cool how she can take what she loves and is good at and use it to help other people (although she was still teaching classes with 3 small children, one being a newborn so we're not entirely sure she's human like the rest of us). You could look at the same class and see two different things-Kelly creating, and someone in her class "treating". Physical fitness is such an important thing and there are many benefits to yoga, so obviously I recommend it (if you can bend that way) but the student in Kelly's class should also be looking for a way in which she can create something for herself. 

I still love to read a good book, but creating something has relieved me of the constant need for "me" time. I still get just as much of it, and I enjoy that time as well, but it doesn't feel like I'm desperate for it any longer.

So ladies I ask you to please put down the bubble bath and pick up the paint brush, then share with me your creations!!!


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