Sunday, May 22, 2011

GUEST BLOG POST: Joy and Exhaustion: In Other Words, Being a Mom by Diana Fletcher

What is it about being a mom?

It’s confusing and wonderful and fulfilling and aggravating. It’s fun, worrisome, oftentimes hectic and it can even be calming. (When they are asleep.)

It is all these things and more, but many times, we come to the conclusion that it is just plain tiring. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, being a mother can exhaust you.

In your effort to be everything to everyone, you may forget a basic truth and that is, in order to take care of everything and everyone you want to take care of, and in order for you to accomplish what you want to in your life, you have to take care of yourself.

When you do not take care of very basic self-care, you cannot truly enjoy your life. I firmly believe that we are meant to enjoy our lives. You are meant to be happy, healthy and free. If you take good care of yourself, you will live in a happier state. I am not saying that you will skip merrily through your days or have the perfect amount of patience, but you will approach your life in an entirely different way.

There are many serious issues in the world. There are many serious issues that we face as parents. We cannot change that. But what we can change is how we take care of ourselves and how we view the world.

Is it a scary place with only danger and worry? Or is it a place of adventure and wonder and learning that you can approach with a positive outlook?

When you take care of the basics of self-care, you look at the world with different eyes.

When you have enough sleep, your body is prepared for whatever you are exposed to physically, and your mind is rested enough to think through issues and react well in emergencies.

When you fuel your body with the proper foods, you will enable it to fight off viruses and you will feel physically able to keep up with the demands of being a parent.

When you drink enough water, thereby hydrating every cell in your body, your body will feel and be healthier. When you drink water, you are also hydrating the cells in your brain. This will also enable to think more clearly and be a sharper, more creative decision maker. (Proper hydration will also keep headaches away—added bonus!)

When you make sure you get some exercise each day, you will be building the strength that will serve you well in being a mom.

The trouble is, you may equate self-care with being selfish. I have had more than one women tell me that she is concerned that people will think of her as selfish and not a good person.

This is what I believe: If you live your life with integrity, if you act out of love and truly care about yourself and your family, you cannot go wrong.

Come from a place of strength and know that you are doing what is right for you, your family, and all relationships.

Just as you cannot control the world around you, you cannot control what people think. What matters is what you think.

The first step is making the commitment to taking care of yourself. Once you truly commit, you will begin to notice where you can make changes. You will begin to see how you can change or tweak your schedule to allow for more sleep. You may notice that you want to sit and have lunch and eat mindfully, instead of in front of the computer. You will recognize negative situations that you can avoid.

Most importantly, you will figure out what to say no to, and what you can say yes to. (By the way, as far as saying no, I guarantee that you will get better with practice!)

Saying no to being exhausted and giving in to everyone else, will be saying yes to all sorts of joyful, wonderful surprises!

Diana Fletcher is a Stress Reducing Expert Life Coach, Speaker and Author. She is the co-author of four books in the Outstanding Life series. Diana travels extensively for speaking and makes her home in Murrysville, PA where she lives with her husband and three children. Her most recent book, Happy on Purpose: Daily Messages of Empowerment and Joy for Women can be purchased at
©2011 Diana Fletcher

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