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Sharing is Caring:

Self Care with Kids IS Possible -

And Here's How...


Hi and welcome to a new episode of The Mompreneur's Work-Life Harmony, I’m Iva.



and I'm Desiree. 



And we are here tonight, talking about major concern that many of our listeners have been asking us about, and that is self care. What does it entail, how to do more of it, if at all possible? And can you really squeezing between being a mompreneur and taking care of little ones? It also seems to be a hot topic of debate, as of late. So Des, what does self-care mean to you, and is it something that has positive or negative connotations in your mind?



Well, before I think self care to me sounded all like, all you know, it sounded more of like a luxury thing something that I couldn't afford at my current time and situation. As in like, you know, diving into a bubble bath and lighting some candles and taking a glass of wine with me. Yeah, that's not gonna happen right now or like, you know, heading out for an hour to go get a massage somewhere, or sit in a salon for two hours and get my nails done, you know.


For me, at the beginning, this is what I thought self-care was like: treating myself to something. But for me that shifted very very soon with, first of all, through many, many conversations with you, but also really thinking about when, like, it being in this whole motherhood gig where you  just don't have to have time. It seems like you're doing everything for everyone else, whether it's for your kids, if it's like making sure your, you know, your spouse's happy, the houses clean.. and you come very short when it comes to taking care of yourself. So I was like, It's okay. I'm fine. I don't need to. But the longer I thought about it as well, and I swear it's through many conversations with you, where I'm like, "Yeah, it's true I need to take care of myself", so I can also take care of everyone else better.



Yes, that is, you've really hit the nail on that one, because I also believe that if we want to be showing up fully into our different roles and as you say, taking care of everyone around us. Even our spouses, for that matter, sometimes, we really need on the best baseline that we can manage. And that resembles the number one rule of flying, according to the security guidelines we find on a plane, which is put on your oxygen mask first. And if we're not putting our oxygen mask first.



Oh yeah you're right



Yes, so if we're not putting our oxygen mask first, then there's no way that we can be showing up with our little ones or with our spouses or in any area for life to fully do what we want to do and to and to show up in, In a way that is productive and purposeful



That's really good. I never actually thought about it that way. It's true, we need to put our oxygen mask on first, before we help the rest of the family. See, there is a good point behind that.



To your point, you know what you started off saying with those images of self care being tied to getting a massage or like a nice manicure or going out for, I don't know like a nice get together with with your girlfriends or, you know, those sort of very specific types of treats that mean a lot to us and that they really seem to energize us right? Because it seems like we step out of our everyday life, and begin to do something different and nice for ourselves, for a change. So I do think that this notion of self care, might, might be a little bit, you know, taking into two different directions if you will. 


So, there's that type of self care, which is exactly that _it's like a treat. Like a once in a while, type of thing that just, you know, gives you that that extra energy that you needed, or it makes you step out of your routine, or it's like a little treat that you give yourself because you're making. I don't know, some big project or you have like a milestone to reach and you're like "Oh, when I get to do this then I'll treat myself to this" right? So this is that type of self care which is more like candy, you know, like a nice piece of chocolate cake that you treat yourself to once in a while. But I think that we are aligned in the sense that self care also goes into a more regular type of direction, like a more consistent type of direction, that we should be taking for the most part, and goes more into the eating your salads and your veggies every day, you know to keep yourself healthy, which is, which is more like self management.


And probably not necessary self care, because it might have different connotations. But at the end of the day, it's something that consistently we should aim to do, and hence why we're saying, the need to put on our oxygen mask first, because on a consistent basis, is how we managed to self preserve and self regulate. So that it's not one day we are on the verge of collapsing, and then we have a massage and then you probably keeps us going for two days, but  then, you know, we're back on the same level of energy where we're feeling it and we're retired. But if we're consistently having that self management in the background, we're able to fully show up, day to day in  that consistent baseline. 



That is so true. Sometimes we just discount, all of these crucial moments in our day where we don't even notice, we don't notice them anymore. Did I sleep well enough? Did I go to bed at a decent hour to you know give myself these extra hours of sleep? Did I eat good food? Or did I just reach for the junk food just for the sake of not having time? Did I spend  the day with positive people, you know, was I surrounded by good energy or just feeling like you're in a place were you belong as well? It's, it's very true, sometimes we take these things for granted or they're just so much on autopilot but need to, especially on these everyday things, take extremely good care of us just like we will take good care of our children. We need to do the same for us. Because I feel like that, as long as my little one's okay, it's okay.  I'll be, you know, it doesn't matter what I eat, as long as he's okay to feel like that too, sometimes.



Yes, you sacrifice yourself in that sense. I will slave away to make the perfect nutrient-dense meal for them. But then, I'll end up, you know, eating a yoghurt ... I will sustain myself until I'm able to eat again today.



And I just remember like the voice of my best friend always in my head saying, "Des, you need to make sure you get proper sleep; you need to sleep. I can't believe you're still up!"  because she's in a different time zone. And she actually like I get a message from her when she still sees me online really late saying "You're supposed to be asleep!" Like, yes, yes, yes I know. And it's true. And she says "Please take care of yourself" and I know what she means. Now, It is a form of self-management. I really like that word. I love how you put that because, yeah, self-care a lot of people just translate that wrong, like you're not supposed to have time for self care on your time of raising little ones, but we need to, it's essential.



Yes, and if it helps to put it within a context, then I would say that self management should be a day-to-day affair for us moms and mompreneurs, regardless of where we happen to be at that moment in time or in that stage of life. Because we need to be able to show up daily and consistently for our loved ones. However, that self-management, that daily self-management that we should keep at all times, can be sprinkled here and there with some self-care treats, right? That are more into the, Oh, you know, tonight I'm relaxing and I'm watching a movie and sipping a glass of my favorite drink. Because there certainly are some moms that don't consider their self-care routine to be compatible with raising little ones, or at that stage of life where you're raising a very young family, and you feel like you don't have time for that.



Yeah, that's how I felt for the longest time. Totally. And then it changed. And you know what? I remember one of our conversations, not too long ago, where we made that click, you know, and I don't know what we were discussing, but we said "Okay, no matter what your cultural differences are, no matter the times you're living in, there's a few things that we need to make sure our kids do every day." 


They need to have ample play time, they need to have adequate sleep, they need to have proper nutrition, affection, friends, you know like a social life (that can be a bit hard now but usually a social life), a way to contribute at home, like sort of a sense of responsibility. And then, a belonging to somewhere whether, you know, we make sure they're in a good school or a good daycare or whatever stage they're in. And it's like, boom, same thing for us! It's exactly the same: recovery time, some downtime for us, sleep habits, the food, the friendships, again, the sense of belonging to a community. It's the same. So we just need to mirror what we do for our children. We just need to do that for us. 



And, you know, in the present times that we're in, it might seem that it's a bit harder than usual. To be able, especially with the you know, with the good sleep habits, as you're trying to find those pockets of time as well to build your business and usually is when the kids are asleep so you're using that night time to really do things for your business, for your projects. And also this community, having this community around you, which can be very difficult to have in person in present times. To have to venture out and find some sort of compromising the virtual realm of how we're connecting both with our loved ones or meeting new people that are helping you connect, that are helping, you that are mentoring you, that are supporting you in other types of ways and we just need to probably adapt to that. Adapt to the fact that our tribe has gone virtual_ now our tribe is on WhatsApp, now our tribe is, you know, on a podcast for example, but we still need that, we still need to feel and



It's so valuable, it's so valuable, 



Yes, absolutely because no matter how much we are asked, or how much the social distancing aspect is a current part of our present time, we're still human beings and we still crave that connection and so does our kids. But here's the thing, we cannot really end up connecting with our children if  we don't have that quality time with them. And likewise, we feel a bit empty and we feel that something's missing in our lives when we're not able to have those deep connections with other people as well. If it not in person we need to seek them out in other ways so it would need to be virtual. 



Yeah, so, so let's take, let's go through some practical tips on how we can do that self management and self care  with our kids? How do we do that together with them? 



Well, I certainly believe a lot and for me it has worked wonders to have that, you know, self care time with them when we meditate. So we meditate together. And I know that a lot of people also have this connotation that meditation is in lotus position, and you have to do it for extended periods of time and it's this deep concentration thing that you have to have going on to the point of not having any thoughts. But meditation at the end of the day is just taking a pause. And it's just creating a space between what is happening around you, and what is happening within you and is taking more awareness to what is going on inside. 


So when you create that pause within yourself, then you're able to jump back into your daily routine to jump back into the present moment of whatever is happening outside, but in a more refreshed way, in a way that is more conscious. The way that you react to something can be can be regulated and you can decide if you want to get triggered by: what your child just did, what they said, what just happened, by that message that you got in your inbox OR, you know, take a pause and say, Okay, how am I going to tackle this in a way that's more at peace and more calm for myself? And again, it goes hand in hand with putting on your oxygen mask first because yeah.


Because you can't keep going around being triggered the whole day. It's exhausting! I mean, that's why I jumped into meditation. That was one of the reasons because I was coming all frazzled, exhausted, irritable. You know, I just, I couldn't sleep, so being able to sit down and take a breather like literally if you want to call it meditation or if you want to call it taking five deep breaths, it doesn't make a difference. At the end of the day you get the same result: you get to have that pause. And also you get to model something for your kids to emulate right? So they can.



That is very true, so it's like a win-win situation. 



And guess what? You end up connecting. Yes I know my kids are five and under. So, I will never be saying on a podcast that my kids know how to meditate. They don't.  They talk, they get up and walk around, talk to me. But you know? The important thing is that is now a space that they enjoy because they, like, you know, some of the music that I put on, or, or some of the oils that are used that you have recommended, and it's amazing it's like a nice bonding moment. It's very brief, but the effects are long-lasting during the rest of the of the day, because you have created that pause.



It's beautiful. I mean, setting up for a good day was always important to me, but the more that didn't work, the more frustrated I got. So the first step for me definitely was, well, first of all, I have that Rockstar Morning Checklist on my fridge literally printed out. And I look at it because I'm like that has been such a game-changer for me. But then, also, I like to move a little bit in the morning and I was like, I'd love to get a 10-minute flow, ten minutes is all I want. And you know what? And I like to put on my oils as well so that all goes for me together. 


But then, I was so frustrated that I never got to do it because I if I get up earlier to do it, my little one here would get up with me so I never had that time on my own. So someone once suggested to me, why don't you do it with him? I was like, oh yeah, that's so true. And I mean, he is only three, but he loves it. And yeah, like you said, he usually hogs my mat and I'm gonna do it on the carpet, but that's okay. And he loves it, he copies me, he does poses he will sometimes use me as a jungle gym, but it's, again, it's a moment to connect, and it's a moment to bond in the morning, while daddy's still sleeping, it's just him and me. We do a 10-minute flow. Sometimes he'll just watch me or play with his toys. Sometimes he'll do it with me. And then we oil up and I have a couple of oils and it's like my morning routine that I like to put on. So I've made like little roller balls with him, for him as well. He's so proud of them and he takes them and we apply them together. And now, yeah it's really changed my morning because it's like, I still get to do the things I want to do yet I've been involved him. 


And again, like yours with the with the space and the meditation, it's a win-win. They learn something, they respect something that we do, and they they grow with it as well. It's, it's possible. 



I think they also learn to respect that time for you because they see how seriously you take it. Not seriously in the sense that you're all solemn and serious and military about it. It's it's a moment that you have carved with consistency, right?



It's a routine now. Exactly.



It's a routine. And because they know that that is what is coming, then they realize that for you, that is a very important activity. They start to respect that time, even if on some days want to join and some days they just want to do their own thing, but beside you. I do get that feel from my own children, that when I sit down to meditate with them, they understand that we have to speak softly, you know, that they, they whisper to each other? And they're like oh you know this is a moment where my mom is doing something that requires less noise, and that is a big step, and eventually, you know, they'll, they're probably join me in a much more mature way. But I do feel that they can pick up on that and it's a great example to set for them as well.



Yeah, totally. And, I mean, but there's also a lot of practical sense throughout the day, right? Like for example now, I, both involve him in cooking. I used to be so frustrated, but as I love cooking, for me cooking is like therapy almost right? I love it. I love creating, I love being in the kitchen, but I'm like, I don't have time and this and that. But now I involve him in it and I get to teach him a little bit about food, I mean, it doesn't happen every day, but you know, I try. And then it comes back to like, having good nutrition and making time and effort to do so. And it's like a win-win. I get my time in the kitchen which is not as therapeutic as if I would do it alone with some music, but... we still have fun together, you know, and then it's good. Or like the other day, I was really thinking about the time now, because our time is so limited. I think we've become more picky and choosy about how we use that time, right? So the same goes for playdates. And I do like to choose where I go and which play dates I will say yes or no. Also, you know, who am I going to hang out with during that time? Because that time, I can convert into self-care too. Luckily, here, being an expat right, living abroad usually our expat communities are fairly small. So our playdates, at the same time, are kind of catching up with our friends like all the mommy friends, I love that and it's like the kids are having fun. I'm having fun. And again, it's good that it's that sense of community.



So, in the spectrum of, you know, self-care and self-management, and everything in between, what's important is to find a way, whatever way that works for you at the moment in the phase of life that you might be or the circumstances that you're in, in which you can find that sense of getting a breather and getting some energy back and feeling that you are connecting, not only with yourself, but with your little ones. Whatever that looks like and, however, that translates into it's so unique to everyone's family dynamics and personalities that we always keep that in mind. That's why I like to call it self-management, because 



I like that, I'm going to call it that from now on. 



It gives it more of a sense that it is needed on a day-to-day basis. That we don't forget and we don't become the last ones in our list, we actually had to be the first ones.



And you said it so right, it needs to be a routine. So it's not about quantity and how many times you do it in a month or something like that thing of self care. But it's rather the self-management and consistency, doing it consistently and that's where the whole transformation comes in. 


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