I was coming in dead last. It was hard to even say out loud. That didn’t make it any less true though. When it came to making sure everyone was alright, I was forgetting to check in with who should be number one – ME. My husband and kids were my priority and it was getting to the point that I just revolved around them. I adjusted myself to their schedule and needs. I was trying to be everything to everyone and leaving nothing on the table for myself.

I got tired of coming in last on my own list. I'm getting back to me with baby steps.

I know as well as anyone that my needs matter. I know that self care is a priority and still, I fell off. I was dead last on my own list. Ouch! Once I was able to let those words escape my lips – now what? Once you know the truth, you can’t un-know it. So I had to sit with it. Then I had to figure out how to change it. Figuring out how to make myself a priority again. Ugh! I’d done this before. I’d been here before. I had a plan before. I was doing fine. Then, not so much. That’s the thing with self care, it ebbs and flows at times. I step in and out of alignment. When I’m on it, LIFE flows better. My husband and kids are good and so am I. So, why is it so hard to stay there?

For me, I think it goes back to the year I had last year. It was a hard year for me health-wise. I saw way to many doctors and had to take it easy more than I like. So, in many ways I put myself first because I had to. My well-being was at stake. Still, I’d do too much trying to make up for what I felt I was lacking with my family. I’d push myself too much in an attempt to be fair to everyone else while not being fair to me. Now that I’m doing well and nearly back to my old self, I feel like I’m making up for lost time and bending myself to the needs of everyone else. No bueno!

I got tired of coming in last on my own list. I'm getting back to me with baby steps.

I was speaking at a conference last month and the topic turned to self care. I said that it seemed like self care was mostly something we talked about once we became moms. When I didn’t have kids I didn’t talk about self care, I just did it. It didn’t need to be discussed. I was really good at checking in with myself and being honest about where I was and what I needed. Then I did those things. I made the things I needed a priority. It’s why I was in the gym at 6:30 am everyday. It’s why I made time on the weekends to go walking in my fave parts of the city. I always had a Jamba Juice in the summer or a tea latte from Coffee Bean in the cooler months. I spent time with my friends, I took classes that were interesting to me – just because.

Then things get complicated. There’s more to do. More people to consider. Time constraints and sometimes, just flat out – excuses. I’m slowly working my way back to a place of “just do it”. Right now that looks like me diving into reading again. I just to tear through books one after the other. That stopped. I’m back at it again and on my fourth book this month. Here’s a few that I’m working my way through currently. I’m also making maintenance a priority again. That looks like me spending part of my morning getting a pedicure. That looks like making hair appointments a consistent thing instead of a thing I do when my head looks like tumbleweed. Ok, it doesn’t get that bad but you know what I mean!

It’s all about the baby steps. They add up. When I’m a more balanced, happier woman that shows up in all the other titles I juggle. I show up as my best self because that how I feel. They say you’ll keep getting the same lesson until you learn what you’re supposed to from that lesson. I’m not happy to say that this is one lesson I’ve had to repeat. You? I have a few small ways (cuz I’m all about baby steps) to jump start any self care practice. Just five days of taking it one day at a time so our practice becomes our new normal. Check it out if you’ve been stuck repeating this lesson too!

What’s self care looking like for you? Have you found yourself bending for the needs of everyone else? How do you keep yourself a priority? I’d love to know! 

9 comments on “Coming in dead last and OVER it”

  1. Yes! I have four kids and my own care has always come last because for years, one of them always needed something, especially as one has special needs. We mamas have to watch out for our own needs so we can be sure to continue to do everything else.

  2. Finding some time for yourself is so important for parents. Like you say, even if its just a few minutes to read a book now and again, its got to be a priority

  3. I’ve been ignoring basic self care. I need a way to get back to nurturing myself. My biggest struggle is eating regular and wholesome food. I take the fast way or skip meals all together. I don’t even have kids!

  4. So true! I’ve never been great about self care, but I was way better before I became a wife and mother. I have really been trying to motivate to do better for myself, especially when it comes to exercise. I really want to model a healthy lifestyle for my daughter!

  5. This post is really motivational.For me,yes I need ‘me time’.I need to stay good.But,with the kid,it is hard to find relaxing time for me.It can be a weekend when husband is at home or early morning when all are sleeping at home,I try to find some time for me… 🙂

  6. I have 2 toddlers and I can absolutely relate with you. Caring for myself has been last on my list. But I’m trying, baby steps, to do one thing for myself each week; even if it’s just as simple as leaving a hair treatment for 5 minutes which I used to do for an hour before I had kids.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  7. Oh my goodness, yeah I’d never thought of it like that before. I didn’t have to practice self-care before kids, because I had all the time in the world to just do it.

    Really interesting way of looking at it, it’s definitely something we need to make time for in our lives.

  8. word! I just did the same (hold my well being sacred) 12 months ago and my life has never been the same. I have a few individuals who think its being selfish and selfcentered…. but I agree with them…

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