Treat others how you wish to be treated. It’s a common phrase that many of us will remember from our elementary school years. Perhaps it should be preceded by something along the lines of “Once you learn to love yourself, only then can you treat others how you wish to be treated.”
Parents have always given all that they have (time, affection, energy, etc.) to their family - it’s in our nature. But what happens when the tank runs low and you simply have nothing left to give? What happens when you have so much work piled up on your desk, only to come home and find that there is laundry to be done, dinner to be made and young children pulling on your pant leg begging for attention? We feel pressured. We become stressed. We begin to doubt our capability in managing it all; and understandably so, since that’s a lot for one person to handle.
But before you lash out at someone in the household for seemingly no reason, or begin to feel down on yourself for not being able to juggle everything like those blogging mothers on Instagram appear to do so, take a breath. In fact, take a few. That is perhaps the best decision a leader (and that’s exactly what a mother is to her kids) can make: to take a moment for themselves.
Each day you’ve filled your schedule with things you want to accomplish for yourself as well as a list of to-do’s to fulfill as a mother. But you owe it to yourself to carve out a small chunk of time (even as few as 10 minutes) to focus on only you. Maybe it’s taking a brisk walk to clear your head after work. Or a set of stretches in the morning before fixing breakfast for your ravenous crowd. Look at those 10 minutes as a form of meditation: a time to center yourself and really tap into what it is you need.
One of the key steps to accomplishing this small yet powerful tool of self-love is by making it consistent. As we mention in our book, Become A Viking Mom!, it’s important to explain to your kids why you need those 10 minutes (or however much time you have) and at what time of day. This way it becomes a predictable act, and soon they will come to recognize that, for example, ‘every day after Mom brings us home from school, she then sits in her garden for 10 minutes.’ It may be difficult at first, but with time they will soon learn to respect this moment you’ve set aside for yourself.
More than ever, we all feel that time is limited, but so is our energy as we perform various roles in just one day. Look at these 10 minutes as a way to refuel. It’s for your own good, and for a better, more balanced family life.