Hi! I’m Shelly Levine. Wife, mother, coffee addict.
Motherhood is hard. We give and give and give ourselves to the other people in our worlds, often giving until there’s nothing left. We are experts at making sure the needs of our children and our families are being met, but all too often we find ourselves at the bottom of our priority lists. I believe wholeheartedly that in order for us to be able to function as the best mothers, wives, daughters, and friends that we can be, we must first learn how to take care of ourselves. Self care isn’t a luxury, and it’s not being selfish, it’s a necessity.
In July of 2014, my husband and I brought our first born into the world, and we haven’t slept an entire night since. Ha, okay, I’m MOSTLY kidding. But the real truth is, motherhood is challenging, and while I knew to expect that, when the time came for me, (between the sleep deprivation and the constant self-doubt) I felt totally and overwhelmingly unprepared.
I’d always anticipated falling into the role of motherhood with a natural ease and grace. Sure there was bound to be some stumbles along the way, but I’d wanted to be a mom for as long as I could remember, so I was ready to face those challenges head on, I thought.
But my journey didn’t go as smoothly as planned, and the transition wasn’t as easy as I’d anticipated. I spent most of my first year of motherhood wondering why this whole thing was so hard for me when everyone around me seemed to make it all look so easy. I felt lonely and isolated. I was sleep deprived. I hadn’t showered in a week. I was barely keeping my head above water.
As a result of that, I poured everything that I had to give into our new little family, thinking that there was just something I must be missing, constantly thinking that if I could just get MORE accomplished, if I could just do a little bit MORE, that it would somehow all be better. When the baby would nap, I’d clean the bathroom, or do the dishes, or finally get to the mountain of laundry overflowing the basket. At the end of the day, the house was clean, the baby was full and happy, and I thought that I had it all figured out.
Only I didn’t. Not even close.
Sure, the dishes were put away, but I still hadn’t worked out in months. Yes, the bathrooms were clean, but I still hadn’t washed my hair in a week. The laundry was clean and put away, but I hadn’t read a book or caught up on the latest seasons of any of my favorite shows in a year. Somehow over the course of that first year, I’d totally and completely lost myself. And I was miserable.
I made unimportant things a priority. I worried needlessly about whether rooms were tidy and presentable. I didn’t make time for ANY of the things that filled me up.
Mamas, we don’t have to live this way. We are important. We are worth making time for, and most importantly, we cannot be our best selves without a little bit of self-care. We can’t pour from an empty cup. It is essential to our well being that we find the things that fill us up, and carve time out of our busy schedules that is just for us.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. They say it takes a village to raise a child, let’s start building that village today! I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line and let me know what struggles you’re facing right this second!
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