Before becoming a mom of two under two, I had never even heard of the term “self-care.”
Before babies, I also never had to be intentional about looking after my own needs—I just got around to them when I got around to them. No big deal. But when you have a baby (or two) it’s easy to keep putting your needs aside over and over again…and never getting around to addressing them. This became a serious problem for me when I had two back-to-back babies, especially because I suffered from postpartum depression. For me self-care has become an essential part of being a good mom—it’s what’s keeps me energized and happy.
In Matthew Kelly’s book Building Better Families(pg. 77), Kelly addresses four legitimate needs that we all have. These needs are essential to any person being able to thrive in life. I have used these needs as a roadmap to assess and address my wellbeing each day.
Your turn for a self-assessment. For each of the categories below, ask yourself: “Am I getting…?
√ Regular Exercise
√ Balanced Diet
√ Sufficient Sleep
√ Opportunities to love and be loved
√ Carefree time with children and spouse (playtime)
√ Opportunities to stimulate and nourish your mind
√ Silence and Solitude
The way you meet these needs might be slightly different from the way I meet my needs. For example, to meet my Spiritual Needs I make time to read the Bible and my daily devotional every morning before the kiddos wake up.
My husband and I have also had to work together to find ways for me to have my Intellectual Needs met. In this season, unless I make time to read and write (which often is only possible when someone else is babysitting) it doesn’t happen.
How are you doing? In which areas are you struggling? Is there a way you can be more intentional with your time, so that you can be sure these essential needs of yours are being met?