take care: self care for the modern mother

August 29, 2018, Michaela Evanow, 2 Comments

These days, the glamorization of busy and full and accomplishment seems to top slowness, softness, self care and self love.

Just the other day I shared about hustling and slaying, and the language that is often used on social media. As women, we may subconsciously absorb what we perceive is every other mother’s reality. We need to do it all: raise children, build businesses, make money, make meals, and somehow still remain creative, in shape, confident and capable.

There is a very real pressure placed on women, nowadays and heavy value placed on success (for both men and women). You need to do it all before you’re 35. If you don’t have children before you’re 35, you’re considered old, but if you don’t have a career by the time you’re 35, you’re considered to have wasted your time.

Trust me, this is the vibe that is out there and very real for so many women. They may not be talking about it openly, but it’s very possible that it’s the script running through their minds.

Burn out, anxiety, depression and stress are only a few of the ever present consequences of this way of thinking.

Go, go, go, is normalized and accepted as necessary to function in this day and age.

Katie Cross Photography

Katie Cross Photography

Katie Cross Photography.

When you really think about it, what’s the opposite of hustle? Laziness? Luxury? Rest? Wisdom?

I am not into hustling. Did you know there are 14.8 million #hustle tags on Instagram?

I’ve lived a lot of my life always looking forward to the next thing. And it’s catching up with me. I often feel like I’m not doing enough. Or doing too much. I feel mentally overextended as I try to keep up with what I think women are doing all at once: raising children, working, homemaking, starting side businesses and going back to school.

A bubble bath won’t fix this way of thinking, but it can help reduce stress, even just for 30 minutes. Taking time out, without distraction is often really difficult, but it helps me readjust my priorities.

Sometimes, a surprise parcel in the mail can shift your focus back to you. Sound selfish? It isn’t.

Maybe you discover a pot of body butter, handpicked by someone else, in that said package. Or a flavour of tea you wouldn’t normally reach for. Chocolate you’ve never heard of (I mean, that’s hard to do, people).

I discovered a sweet little company called Oh Mother Care Kits, that curates darling care packages for mums. One evening, when my husband was working late, I opened this little kit (it arrived four days prior and I didn’t get a chance to open in peace and quiet). So, as the summer sun drew the shades, I found myself a little giddy. Just me and a box of goodies! Right off the bat, I loved the packaging and how well it was presented.

One of my favourite gifts to give is a basket of items that I love to use. Teas and sweets and beauty products. But the cost can add up. And with two small kids at home, I rarely ever have time to do this myself. It’s always really lovely when someone else can do that for you, researching and sourcing products that are Canadian made, all natural and well reviewed.

I received the The Everyday Mommin’ Care Kit. It’s obvious that these care kits are thoughtfully curated. I really did notice how much attention and love went into packaging my box. The best part? It’s a fair price for what you receive–which is 8 full sized items and then some. In my parcel, I had dry shampoo, rose toner, spritz, tea, chocolate, body butter, exfoliating body scrub, lip balm, bath salt soak as well as some encouragement cards, bee friendly wildflower seeds and recipe cards. I had not heard of most of the products, which is rare for me, so that in itself was a delight! It was a great chance to experience some Canadian made products. I’ve already got an order in for the dry shampoo!

These boxes would make gorgeous presents for a new mother, a bereaved mother or during pregnancy (100% think that pregnant women need more love).

Bonus for my readers: Take 15% off an Oh Mother kit with code EVANOW15 at checkout.

Ultimately, self care is more than skin deep.

It’s a great starting point, to force yourself to slow down, but I truly believe that self care can be unique for each woman. For me, one way I can take care of myself is by writing, but in order to have energy or creative juices to write, I need to feel motivated and rested (hmm, maybe that’s why I haven’t been blogging regularly?) It’s also being creative, embracing myself wherever I am at, taking photographs, reading books, researching books, finding new books to read, finishing books (I sense a pattern here).

It’s also organizing and cleaning up areas of my house that have become cluttered. It’s purging things I don’t need. It’s spending time in the garden (and these days, even weeding is self care–I’m surprised).

Once I built a foundation of things I loved to do in my spare time, I found it easier to organically engage with my needs, instead of feeling stuck or bored. I used to feel stuck for years. When we had nursing care for Florence, I would simply go out and shop, wandering around aimlessly, running errands, and wasting time. But I honestly did not know how to take care of myself. I have just learned how to do this, really. And sometimes my old habits creep up again, and I find myself just doing things, instead of nurturing my inner needs. It’s hard work, finding your way back. But I’m glad that I’m finally recognizing how important it is for me to thrive.

Motherhood is tough work, and depletion can come fast and hard if we don’t learn to slow down.

So, here’s to slowing down and savouring.

Thanks to Oh Mother Care Kits for inspiring this post.

2 Comments

  • Reply Jolie Lambkin August 29, 2018 at 8:27 AM

    This is helpful right now, timely as the fall brings a rush of new activities that MUST be done, MUST be signed up for, MUST be put on the calendar. Ugh. I can feel you digging in your heels and resisting this imagined need to do everything all at once. It’s reassuring to me that other mamas recognize that capacity is real and a gift to understand & accept. 💕

    • Reply Michaela Evanow October 5, 2018 at 9:05 AM

      thanks, Jolie! Such a sweet comment from a sweet mama! xx

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