Here are three things I’ve learned about self-empowerment that are worth considering as you hustle through your busy life:
- Make self-care a priority.
I don’t care how many times you’ve heard this, it’s true: unless you establish some time where you can take care of yourself, you will get sick, compromise your work, and unintentionally undermine your parenting.
It happened to me during my divorce. Extra stress plus extra work plus extra kid guilt knocked me down hard, and I was sick for almost a year! No matter how strong and healthy you are, modern life has a way of catching up to you. It could be as simple as taking 20 minutes each night to lie on the floor and breathe slowly or a morning walk by yourself. Make a self-care promise—your brain and body will thank you!
2. Build a mom tribe.
Too often moms are depicted as warring factions: nursing versus non-nursing, vaxxers versus anti-vaxxers, etc., but don’t believe the hype. Of the many thousands of moms who’ve come through ESME’s chat rooms and Facebook groups, the majority are supportive of one another regardless of their differences.
Having a group of moms to call when you are in crisis or need advice builds a foundation of empowered parenting. Whether you turn to your tribe to cry together, laugh hysterically, or brainstorm, you will always feel stronger. Knowing you are not alone in the parenting journey is essential to your well-being. So go out there, and find your tribe!
3. Do what you do best without guilt.
True empowerment comes from doing what you love with passion and efficacy. Too many of us get crushed by trying to juggle each facet of our lives perfectly—it can’t be done. Or we feel guilty and ashamed that we aren’t living up to a particular mom standard. Instead, acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses so you can play up your strengths. For example, are you a terrible cook but great at arts and crafts? Instead of aiming to be the mom who always has a home-cooked meal on the table, be proud to be the mom who exposes your child to boundless creativity.
Are you a zombie in the morning and a night owl? Use the evening time to organize lunches, sports equipment, and other kid-related tasks. I always do a couple hours of work after my kids go to bed, but I’m super grouchy in the morning. I could feel guilty and disempowered all day; instead, I own the fact that I’m productive at night. Much of our emotional well-being is fueled by how we frame our contributions. Feeling worthy has a big payoff in all aspects of your life. So go do you!