I just finished reading your book The Self-Care Solution generously given to me by your mother-in-law.
You shared with the world the challenges you experienced not just as a mom but as a person trying to be the best you can be in an imperfect world.
Your suggestions for “self care” are reminders of how we can all be better advocates for ourselves and those we love.
Congratulations to you for the time, effort, and courage to share your special thoughts in the hope that some other mom, wife, or daughter know that they are not alone when the sky gets cloudy, but in fact can take time out to support their own well-being.
Brava to you!
I received this handwritten letter in the mail about a week ago from a 75-year-old friend of my mother-in-law’s. Upon opening the letter, I was immediately taken aback by C’s cursive (sometimes barely legible) penmanship. Tears filled my eyes as the memory of my grandmother’s similar-looking cursive handwriting ignited feelings of longing for my deceased matriarch whose strength, warm heart, love of the written word, and nurturing of me are woven into the fabric of my being.
C’s letter felt warm. It felt real. Like all 75 years of living life were behind her kind words. It felt like she could still access the feelings that she grappled with as a young mother, and that she was reminding me that mothers have been engaged in the self-care struggle for generations. C’s message was not only thoughtful but also powerful.
Beneath her words, I read this: Whether you are 25 or 75, it is never too late to claim your right to care for YOU!
I also love that she drew the important message from the book that we moms need to feel like we are not alone. We all climbed aboard the same roller coaster called motherhood! And even though each our twists, turns, peaks, valleys will be different, we all toggle between white knuckling the safety bar in front of us and throwing our hands up in the air on this exhilarating, joyful, terrifying, and sometimes painful ride that continues throughout our life.
We are mothers forever.
Whether we are changing our child’s diaper, planning her wedding, or holding her baby (our grandchild) in our arms, the fierce love that a mother feels for her child does not cease. It is infinite, raw, real, overflowing, and fierce. And when, like C says, “the sky gets cloudy” because life is just really, really hard sometimes, moms can and need to turn inward and “take time out to support their own well-being.”
Self-care for C may look and feel different than the self-care for a 30-year-old working mom of two young children. However, the core aspect of self-care is the same for both women, which is to continue to infuse our own hearts with love, energy, passion, and warmth so that we can share our goodness with those we love without depleting ourselves.
As I continue on my journey as a self-care advocate in my own life, my relationships, my parenting, and my work, I realize more and more that self-care is a value that lies far beneath the surface.
Self-care is the way we value and treat ourselves and others. It is the way in which we are honest about the joy, passion, jealousy, love, insecurity, happiness, bravery, fear, excitement, and curiosity that lives inside of each one of us. It is about knowing that we will never be perfect but continually trying to be our best selves.
Self-care is ageless and timeless. It is finding and expressing gratitude every day.
Self-care is C’s letter.
As you enter the weekend, I’d love for you to think about C’s letter and about the amazing power of gratitude, and how both the giver and the receiver both get to feel good (double self-care!) Think about the times that so many of us experience, when we want to connect with or express something nice to someone but we just…don’t. Because...we really don't have time, or it would sound weird, or we really meant to but...
Look for opportunities to extend a genuine smile, an excited wave, a text, a phone call, or even a hand written note to say something nice to someone. I think I might have to write C a letter back.
Let me know how it goes for you! And hey, send me a note! I'd love to write a whole blog post written about you!