Self-care during the holiday season is almost impossible with all the things on our to-do lists. But, getting run down over Christmas is a very real risk if you don’t carve out a little time for yourself. Relaxation has never been easier with an at home massage with Mobile Massage YEG!
Recently a friend gifted me a book she has been reading called Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I had no idea who Rachel Hollis was, but once I paid attention, it seemed that she was everywhere. Thankfully my friend caught me up and gave me a copy! If you haven’t heard of it the book is based on 20 lies that the author once believed about herself, personal stories on each topic and how she worked through them to achieve happiness.
Photo Credit Maria Flores/Epiphany Design Concepts
“This retreat is like Summer Camp – For Moms!” ~ Maria, Mom of 2
I joined a few friends last year at the Summer Breathe, Women’s Retreat. The retreat took place by Winfield, Alberta at Pure Awareness,about an hour and a half west of Edmonton. To say this place was beautiful is an absolute understatement.
There are all kinds of challenges being a mom.
Whether you’re a SAHM, have a part time job, full time job, or are self employed, doesn’t matter. The biggest ones for me working full time, are balance and self care.
I have been lucky enough to become accustom to having a whole lot of free time to spend with my kiddos in the summer but this summer will be different. I have full time care for my kids Monday to Friday so I’ll be working a lot. I’m still working though, its not a break. And while my plan is to absolutely make the most of my weekends for family time, I’ve also had the opportunity and forethought to plan some me time.
The pressure on a mom is unlike anything I believe. There is the old motivational quotes about diamonds being coal that did well under pressure. They turn out to be these beautiful things because so much pressure has been put on them.
I don’t know about you guys, but I think I would settle for a pretty rock found on the beach instead of a diamond. Worn smooth by the ever changing flow.
As women we have come so far. Even from just a hundred years ago. A Beyonce says in the song We Run The World, “we smart enough to make the millions, strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.” Now I’m not one to argue with the Queen B herself of course, but this is the exact problem.
So much pressure to do it all.
- We should be great mothers.
- We should be awesome kick ass business runners.
- We should be gorgeous.
- We should have clean homes.
- We should be patient, kind, loving, understanding and strong.
- We should be amazing cooks and bakers.
- We should be top notch crafters.
- We should be able to mend worn clothing, sibling rivalry and broken hearts
As my teachers say “Stop shoulding on yourself”.
Mamas, we shouldn’t have to be all of these….. We don’t need to be. As much as our children may think we are superheros, we are not. Mere mortals. Mortals with metal, emotional and physical exhaustion.
But we continue. The pressure to do it all. Have it all. When is enough? YOU ARE ENOUGH NOW.
If we can take a moment to look at all the things we pressure ourselves to do and what honestly gives you love and what is something you “should” be doing maybe we can find a sweet spot somewhere in between called happiness?
A poem by Eckhart Tolle I find most women (myself included) love:
The pressure to do never stops, even when your schedule is empty, with every loose end tied up, even when you’ve guided every project to completion and you know you’ve earned the right to relax and relish in your achievements, at least for a while – but the pressure won’t let you rest.
The pressure is never satisfied like an animal with an endless appetite that devours every activity then hunts for more. It’s with you as soon as you wake up and keeps nagging and nudging throughout the day and sometimes keeps you awake at night whispering “there’s still so much to do,” reminding you of what you didn’t manage to do today and what waits to be done tomorrow.
The pressure to do convinces you that all this activity is necessary that the present only exists to serve the future, that moments are empty spaces that must be filled. That time is an enemy and your life is a constant battle and every achievement – even every completed task – a tiny victory.
But you don’t have to let that pressure push you – maybe you’ve done enough already. Maybe there’s nothing more to do apart from what is necessary. Maybe further achievements will only dilute what you’ve already done.
Stand firm and resist the impulse. Stand back and let the momentum fade. Relax and let the pressure pass you by, then guide yourself gently back to standstill like a train that slows and finally comes to a rest.
Then your life will open up like a landscape all around you and time will expand until there is no time at all, only free-flowing unbroken space.
Then the pressure to do will give way to the ease and grace of being.
By Francesca Roznicki
“I feel like I’m reaching a place where I don’t really want to focus on losing weight. I know I don’t look awesome. I know I’m overweight. But I feel like I don’t hate the way I look enough to make it a priority. I don’t want to get bigger. But I just wanna eat what I want and not feel guilty about it. Is that insane?”
This was the text message that started it all. That started the shift. That started the fall back to myself.
I sent this message to my husband on a Thursday afternoon and part of me was worried he would come back with something that would challenge my ability to go down this new path. I worried he may say something like “you just gotta keep at it” or “you’re doing great” – something that was supportive but also made it difficult for me to “give up”
But instead, he came back with a response that supported my fall down the rabbit hole of body-positive, self love.
He simply said “nope. I feel the exact same way”
And so that’s where it started.
For years, I have been thinking I loved my body.
For years, I have been thinking because I don’t stand in front of the mirror pointing out my flaws, that that meant I liked myself – never mind the fact that I actively avoided looking in the mirror when coming out of the shower.
For years, I thought because I followed weight watchers- which touts that it is a lifestyle change, not a DIET- that I was changing my lifestyle. I wasn’t dieting.
But I think I also knew that this wasn’t true. I joined weight watchers for the third (Fourth? Fifth?) time, after my youngest son was born in 2016. And a year and a half later, I was only down about 10 lbs – when I wanted to lose 50. I struggled over and over again to “be on track” to “stay committed” and yet nothing seemed to work.
Even though I know that my weight watchers leader talked about loving your body through the journey, self-love at any size etc. I felt like I didn’t “hate” my body enough for that to stop myself from wanting to eat whatever I wanted to eat – and then the guilt would set in and I would religiously track my foods and struggle to find my willpower for 2-3 days before, inevitably, The entire cycle would start over. This went on for well over a year.
I was so tired of the cycle. I was sick of the guilt. I was sick of wanting to just love my body, but feeling like I couldn’t because it wasn’t “perfect”
So after that text message exchange with my husband, I started seeking out all the body positive, body love messages I could. Pinterest was a great start – lots of inspirational quotes, which lead to book suggestions and blog writers I would love to follow. An hour later, I canceled my weight watchers account. And that night, we ordered Chinese food and I enjoyed it guilt free – for the first time in years. Food without guilt. What a concept…
So while this journey is so new for me, I wanted to share it with others so you can join me on learning to love your body. Below are some suggestions on how to start the body love process – books, hashtags etc. And please, reach out if you have anything to share. I am by no means an expert – but I’m learning and I’m committed to loving my body and helping other women learn that their bodies are worthy of love – just as we are.
Reading suggestions (what I’m reading now)
- The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells
- Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls : A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker
Hashtag suggestions (what I’m looking up on Pinterest and Instagram)
Some of my favourite quotes (what I’ve pinned on my #bopo Pinterest board)
Francesca Roznicki is a married stay at home mom of two boys living in Edmonton, Alta. She has always had a passion for writing but found it hard to commit to regular writing after her kids were born. One day she decided that “starting where she was” was the most important part and now she happily shares stories of her life, crazy mom moments, recipes and more on her blog “Bloom and Bliss”