Have we all seen the Jada Pinkett Smith video that was floating around last week? If you haven't, watch it - it'll take 5 minutes of your time.
In it, she speaks about the role of a wife and mother, and the importance of taking care of yourself. I couldn't agree more, and here's why.
If you don't take care of yourself, you will deteriorate. If you don't take care of yourself, you cannot take care of others. And often as wives, mothers, girlfriends, daughters, and friends in general, we tend to take care of others before ourselves. We are nurturers by nature, and that can be a draining role.
I think this is the best advice I've ever learned - yes learned - because it's one of those lessons that takes practice before you fully understand. It wasn't until I became a mother myself, that I really started to take notice. Friends, family, and even doctors were all of a sudden concerned with whether or not I was "getting out" enough. Although I knew they were alluding to notions of baby blues and postpartum depression, there was importance behind it. You need to take some time for yourself. You may not realize it because in the new role of a mother, you get so caught up in feedings, and sleep routine, and your own sleep - you're lucky if you get 5 minutes for a shower. But you can't keep going like that, without burnout. And furthermore, there's no reward for doing it. Nowhere does it say that "you shall devote your whole life to your family, and take no time for yourself, otherwise you're a bad wife/mother/woman"
When I was in my 20's, I devoted a lot of my time to my relationships, except at the time it didn't feel like work [(because of the endorphins of love and all that crap) P.S - if you're reading this and you're hovering around your 20's, do yourself a favour and be selfish with your time. Prince Charming there may not be the one you end up with. So go do something for yourself. Take a trip alone. Take a trip with a friend. Pursue your passions. Treat yourself to a movie. Get your nails did. - get comfy with yourself, alone.] When I got married, it began to take more of a concentrated effort - because that's just how marriage is - but it was still good because we had "us", and then we had our individual interests, goals, friends, and lives really. But then I became a mother, it was 2:36AM, and I had a little human attached to me, and nobody else but myself. At first it felt just evil, but I quickly came to love this lonely hour. It became a peaceful, surreal time of day just for me.
Once I embraced it, I started to get hooked on 'me time'. (It's funny how tightly we'll hold onto something [time] once it's rapidly taken away from us.) I'd try to leave home 1-2 times a week, whether it be to write, or get lost in a book at Starbucks, or go for a Pilates class - anything to indulge in myself. And I'd come back feeling rejuvenated. I liked myself more, had better conversations with my husband, didn't care if our place was messy - I was me again.
"So if I don't have a kid, but a bottle of wine instead... am I not entitled to some me time?" NO! This advice doesn't go for just mothers, but all women. (Sorry fellas, it goes for you as well, but most of you seem to be well verse in being selfish with your personal time) We value and nurture our relationships, but the most important relationship we should be nurturing is the one we have with ourselves. For our mental health, our emotional state, and our growth, it's essential.
So - what have you done for yourself today?