Those who know me well know I'm a planner. I use Google Calendar daily (sometimes down to the 15-minute mark), love knowing the plan for the day, and am a classic 'J' on the Myers-Briggs personality test.
Our kids are now 5 and 9, and while I've never had a definite, "Our family is complete," moment, my husband and I had talked it over and felt done with having kids.
Imagine my shock this past December when my cycle (also very predictable) was a day late...then two days late...then 3, 4, 5, 6 days late. I was sure it was just around the corner. I was irritable and definitely had a new zit forming. PMS, right? But after a week of waiting, I asked Greg to buy a pregnancy test...
and the rest is history.
Well, maybe not so smooth as that.
I felt All The Feelings. Shock, dismay, disbelief, derailed.
Every vision I'd had for myself and my family for the next years - altered.
Every long term hope for my coaching business - changed.
All the peace I'd made with my postpartum, mid-30s body - disrupted.
It's not just that I thought I was done having kids. I'd already gone through the mourning process over my "baby" (our 5 year old) growing up. I made peace with his last year of preschool. I prepared to send him to kindergarten. I sorted through all the toddler clothes and baby gear and - finally - began to donate them. No more babies. It was gonna be okay.
So what now?
Though it's taken many weeks and a lot of processing, I am able to see the invitations God might have for me in this season.
In my planner-ly-ness, I sense an invitation to be open to adventure.
In my desire to control, I sense an invitation to let go and loosen up.
In my need to have others see me as responsible and "normal", I sense an invitation to take comfort in the fact that there's no one "right" way to make a family.
I can't convey what a comfort it's been to get through 1st trimester and start sharing our news. I forgot how isolating it is to carry such a huge secret, be sick to your stomach, feel out of control of your own body and yet not have your closest community know what you're going through.
And that includes you, Brave Self Care community! I'm excited to share this journey with you. So glad you know.
Side note: I'm normally a sweet tooth but have had all kinds of savory cravings over the past couple of months, including egg salad, salsa and eggs (and turkey, apparently in the mood for protein!), furikake popcorn and tacos.
My appetite is not the only thing undergoing major change. My energy levels, my priorities, my visions for the future are all in flux. Stay tuned for more tips on how to care for yourself in the midst of transition!
Final note: Because baby is due mid-August, THIS is the time to work with me! I'm focusing NOW on onboarding new clients so they get my best over the next four months before baby arrives. After Friday I'll have room for one or two more clients. Could that be you??
You're a good candidate if:
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form if that describes you. We'll set up a time to talk to give you the information you need to decide if being coached is the next right step for you. And there's no pressure! Sometimes this conversation plants important seeds for the future.
With love from my family to yours,
As a self care coach, I regularly talk to moms about how I can help them find time and energy for themselves so they can respond to tough things that happen with their kids. I can't tell you how many women I speak to who have an immediate reaction - "YES! This is so needed!"
But as much as moms long to have the results that coaching can give them, making the leap to signing up for a coaching package often feels daunting. The women who could most use my services are the often the ones who feel the most blocked from making a choice to invest in themselves.
So what makes it so hard for moms to invest in themselves? Here are the top reasons I hear.
#1: You hesitate spending on yourself.
As your kids outgrow their clothes and their wardrobes become threadbare and stained, you get so much pleasure looking for new clothes for them. It feels like guilt-free shopping, hunting down the best shirts and little pairs of leggings.
But for you? Sure, you hate the way the seat of your jeans sags, but do you really NEED to replace them? If you're really only going to see your kids and the occasional FedEx delivery person, it just doesn't seem worth investing in. Who's going to notice besides you? You're just a mom, after all.
It's one thing to be wise with money.
Stinginess, on the other hand, comes with a steep price tag.
Being stingy toward yourself means being withholding, miserly, and cheap in regards to your own joy. Stinginess towards yourself has some nasty side effects. Sure, you're saving money in the short run, BUT...
A prolonged period of not spending money on yourself - IF done out of stinginess - can lead to feeling deprived. And that's the opposite of the contentment we all want to cultivate in our lives.
#2: You worry that buying intangible things is a luxury.
You know you're due for a haircut - but it's easier to put it off.
You daydream about getting a housecleaner - but your grandma never used one.
It would be fun to finally take a class for yourself - but it's way easier to justify your son's gymnastics lessons. They help his development and it's important for him to learn good sportsmanship.
There's just something about intangible stuff, or services, that can be hard for moms to buy for themselves. You may think you can get by without it or worry about if the expense would really be worth it, even if it's something you've wanted for a while.
You are a multi-dimensional person with multi-dimensional needs.
Happiness, spiritual growth, and free time cannot be purchased through Amazon Prime. Though they can be harder to justify investing in, experiences actually make us happier than things, and can truly add value to your life.
Paying for a meal subscription frees up mental space over what's for dinner. A grocery delivery service gives you back time. And a simple haircut can help you smile at your reflection in the morning. Though it may be harder to measure the benefits, services can provide real value.
#3: You feel like you should be able to handle your life without paying someone to help.
There's a myth out there that a good mom should "have it all". Photogenic kids and a spouse who's still crazy about her, meaningful work that allows her time to make dinner every night, and the ability to effortlessly "bounce back" to her pre-pregnancy figure.
In our individualistic society, not only is there pressure to have it all, but it can feel like good moms do it all alone. We rarely celebrate our "village", the people around us who help us do life and raise our families. Nannies are left out of Instagram feeds, having a housecleaner may not be the first conversation-starter with dinner guests, and going to therapy isn't something you might broadcast to the world.
I spoke with one mom who told me, "Probably one of the main barriers [to investing in myself] is the feeling that I should be able to easily handle my life - like asking for help or time to care for myself is admitting I don’t have what it takes."
Life is hard. Good moms get help when they need it.
There's no shame in getting help where you need it most.
My clients have told me,
"I know I need help; I'm stuck and need a different voice to help sort through my 'stuckness'."
"On my own, I am completely inept at actually turning anything into reality. I feel that I need a coach, a push to really flesh out what's holding me back and how to move forward."
"What kind of self care can be done where I live, has no buyer's remorse, caloric intake or hangover? :) Give me that!"
When we work together, my clients find self care that works for THEM, so they can have lives they don't need a vacation from.
Together, we're re-writing the narrative to show that moms CAN invest in their joy, get help when they need it, and that life is more about shiny, material things.
I hope this post has helped you see that there's a cost to being stingy with yourself.
My hope is that you will be as generous toward yourself as you are with your kids.
Take steps to invest in what will truly add value to your life.
Which reason above resonated with you most? Why?
What reasons did I miss?
Do you hesitate to invest in yourself because it will mean getting your spouse on board?
Do you not contribute as much financially to the household income, and feel restricted by what you can 'rightfully' spend on?
I'd love to know! Take a moment to join the conversation with a comment. I read each and every one.
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