July 2021 Newsletter
Happy Canada Day!!!
To all our Canadian Moms here and abroad… Happy Canada Day!
We are blessed to live in this wonderful country and appreciate the amazing diversities of all kinds that Canada has to offer its citizens. We are also very fortunate to live in a country where we can actively participate in keeping the great things great, and working together to perpetually grow and improve. We at The Cove wish you all a Happy Canada Day!
Our Self Care Quarter Begins.
Today also brings the start of The Cove’s next quarter – Self Care! I love this quarter. It will be full of everything to do with taking care of YOU! I know each of us has at least a dozen nuggets of brilliance from our years of experience as not only a Mom, but as a woman, that we can share with each other. I really want to see these over the next three months… a whole lot of sharing among us on our facebook page. Another very important point is that your self care will be different from someone else’s. For some yoga brings them peace, for others it may be baking, crafting, boxing, jogging, golfing or eating an entire cake while watching bad reality tv or re-runs of Friends.
But do you remember YOU? Do you remember who she is? Some days feel like a “Where’s Waldo” game. I don’t know what happened to the me that I was 20 years ago. She must be in there somewhere, right? Now she’s the person I leave to last. Kids first, then work, then the house, then aging parents perhaps, and then you, at the bottom of the list. I know you do this. We all do. We should put our kids first, however, we should be putting ourselves a very close second on our priority list. You’ve heard it before, but I’ll tell you again… if Mom is struggling then everything could go down the toilet mighty quickly – literally and figuratively.
You need to keep yourself whole, sane, happy, energetic, and healthy. This means some “me” time. You have to, and we are going to help you with lots of suggestions.
When people talk about self care, many jump to thinking it means go on a vacation with your friends, or book a spa day, or something else costly and time consuming. Don’t get me wrong, those things are fabulous also, if you can swing it financially, can find the time and a babysitter. But, there are so many other things that you can do for you that aren’t so grandiose and can be just as effective.
Here are some ideas for your new endeavour… taking care of YOU!
Honesty with your kids.
I have always been a believer in being truthful (age appropriately) with my children about life and it’s consequences, or realities. Why shelter them and then have the real world smack them in the face with a 2×4 as soon as they are feeling confident about being independent? THAT seems cruel to me. The older they get, the more reasonable and open they are to listening. Being able to develop the skill of truly listening (yes, it is a skill), is one of the more important things you can teach your children.
What does this have to do with self care you ask? If you teach your children to be effective and sympathetic listeners then you will be able to explain to them that you’ve had a crappy day and just need an hour to get your sh*t together, and they will understand. Or perhaps that you came home crying because you didn’t get the promotion you were hoping for. Or maybe you are fuming mad because of something nasty that a stranger barked at you in passing for no logical reason whatsoever. These are all realities of life. Part of looking after you, is making sure your children know when it’s their turn to be sympathetic towards their mom who does everything for them.
If your children can see that you have feelings like they do, have good days and bad, can laugh and sometimes need to cry, then you are also teaching them that it’s okay to show emotions. It’s good to let it out. That emotions are nothing to be ashamed of or bottled. Teach them that you will always be there to listen to their feelings too.
Even a three year-old can understand that Mommy had a bad day, is sad right now, and needs some extra hugs, some quiet time, and a cookie. You may be surprised at how they will jump at the chance to take care of you for a change.
Guilt be gone.
I don’t know about you but guilt has always been a huge problem of mine. If I have “spare” time, I feel that I should be catching up on the never-ending list (you know the one), or doing laundry, or cleaning. I am envious of my friends who sit down to read a book on a rainy afternoon. It’s just not in me. This is something I need to work on, but I’m reasonably sure I’m not alone in this. I’m not going to pretend I even have a suggestion for this one, because I don’t. We guilt-gluttons would love to hear from those of you who have any suggestions about ridding us of our masterful self-imposed guilt. Please post in our facebook group.
Playdates for everyone.
In the early years playdates are a great way to go. The kids play, and the Moms get to chat, cry, vent, giggle, or whatever else you need. And the little ones are none the wiser to the therapy session you just had while they played with their Hot Wheels or Lego or watched Paw Patrol. Don’t do the drop and run playdate. Stay! Have a Mommy playdate too.
Another option is to join a group or find a couple moms you can relate to or who make you laugh, and make a standing weekly or bi-weekly “playdate” time. Make it something you schedule so that you count on each other, and it’s in the calendar. Don’t say “let’s go for a walk one day”, just book it and know that every Thursday morning is playdate time. Then you can work everything else around the one definite booking in your calendar. This also gives you something to look forward to which is hugely beneficial to your positivity for the upcoming week.
Enlist family and friends.
Yep! Ask your parents or grandparents, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbours, local babysitter, or someone else to watch the munchkins, so you can get some time for you. It doesn’t have to be a long time, but the trick here is not to do work during this time. Take a bath. Meditate. Call your best friend. Have that long uninterrupted shower with time to shave your legs! Say whaaaat?! Bake your favourite cake. Whatever soothes your soul. Never underestimate the power of one hour! You may be surprised to learn how eager others are to get some time with your children.
Sometimes we let it go too far and find ourselves unable to help ourselves out of the stress or sadness. This is when we seek the guidance, advice and support of a professional – social worker, therapist or psychologist. The first step is to make an appointment with your doctor. This has been one hell of a year and half and everyone is feeling not quite right or perhaps worse. Add to that the normal stresses of life, and sometimes we need some deeper help. Reach out, find it and welcome it. This is a great article that outlines signs and symptoms including those common for women especially. It’s a great read, you can find it here. You can also find it on our website here.
The power of YOU !
YOU are special. YOU need to stay at your best. In addition, never underestimate the benefit you can have on another Mom, or that she could have on you. Someone who can truly empathize with what another Mom is feeling is so valuable. It is important to know that there is another Mom who felt exactly like you do right now, and she made it through that tough time. We need to help each other. Moms are inherently great at that. So let’s do some sharing. Perhaps you had a breakthrough with your child about a behavioural issue – share your brilliance with us. Have you found a new app you love that is helping you? Did you find a book that was fantastic and gave you some confidence or clarity or put some calm back in your life. Please share all of these gems with us – facebook. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
If you haven’t been to the new website yet, please come check us out. You can add your details and register for free to have access to all the articles and resources that we want to share with you. If you registered on our previous landing page, we would ask you to re-register on the new site so that you will have full access. We know you’re going to love it here!
Soak up the sunshine and let your spirit glow!
From your Cove Team Moms,
Athena, Aleka, Michele & Heidi