Take Care Mama
Spa days and massages sound heavenly right about now. You’ve been going non-stop for two months and tensions are high these days!
The “S” on your chest you thought stood for Supermom, now stands for Stressed mom and needs to switch to Sane mom. It’s time for self-care.
And not just for a day, but as a daily routine—and I know just the thing.
So, take care, Mama, with my self-care secret that will set you up for a sweeter summer. Enjoy the episode and I’ll see you in August for season 2! And let’s stay in touch on Instagram ❤
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The Family Chore Chart
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Episode 10 transcript
What comes to mind when you hear “self-care?” A mani-pedi, a massage, a day at the spa? What if the best self-care lasted more than moments and didn’t cost a penny?
Lean in and and I’ll tell you all about it.
Welcome in to episode 10 where we’re talking about self-care for savvy moms.
And after the last few weeks, on top of recent months, Lord knows we are on edge for a variety of reasons.
We can certainly use some self-care as we process the state of our nation.
And since this is the finale of season 1, which I affectionately call the pandemic season, I thought it’d be great to go into summer hiatus talking about the one aspect of self-care that’s brought me through.
And it’ll help you too, as you go through summer with a full house and no camps to send your kids.
Now if you’re like most women, the term self-care brings to mind visions of massage chairs and nail polish or soothing music and massage oil.
And I’m with you on that!
As I look at my active length nails, I remember the days when they were longer, and I took the time to paint them.
It was so relaxing, therapeutic even.
A real self-love moment, especially as a frazzled medical student.
But when I started my family, I quickly realized long nails would NOT work for me.
All that hand washing chipped my polish and between that and the possibility of jabbing the baby, I decided to lay that love down.
But by the time I had my second child I realized if I didn’t make nurturing myself a priority, I would lose my mind.
And the biggest investment in my sanity had nothing to do with spending money or leaving the house for pampering.
It was teaching my little ones to clean up after themselves and help keep the house tidy.
And I implemented that AS a stay at home mom.
Because I didn’t stay home to cook and clean, but to raise my children—to raise them to be responsible adults who don’t just know how to acquire stuff, but to steward the stuff they get.
To learn what it takes to maintain what they work for.
So when they were toddlers that meant cleaning up the play area before they came to the table.
Were they going to take all those toys out again after they ate?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but when you regularly put something away after you’re done you build muscle memory.
When you consistently teach them to pick the wrapper up off the floor and throw it out instead of walking by it, it becomes automatic.
And even if it doesn’t, you know what else?
It keeps you from running around picking up the mess after they’ve gone to bed, complaining about all you have to do.
Oh, no! Work smart and get a two for one that teaches your child discipline while caring for yourself.
Implement assigned CHORES.
And I know what you’re thinking—girl, this is not where I thought you were going with all this.
But real talk, If I never went to get my nails done again—though let’s face it, I will get a pedicure at some point.
But if I never did again, the best self-care while having children living at home, is assigned CHORES.
To some of you I’m preaching to the choir.
But to you shaking your head, thinking of every reason that wouldn’t work at your house—let me say, I don’t know HOW I would have survived this stay at home pandemic situation, if my children didn’t have established chores.
Because what I was NOT going to do was meal plan, do battle at the grocery store, cook, manage lesson plans and communicate with teachers and blah blah blah AND clean up behind 4 other able-bodied people! No ma’am.
EVERYBODY has responsibilities at my house. Whether it’s washing the dishes, cleaning the stove or the table, sweeping the kitchen floor, emptying the garbage, vacuuming or cleaning your bathroom—everybody pitches in—including me.
Because we ALL contribute to the mess.
And we ALL know if mama ain’t happy—never mind happy, if mama ain’t sane, then everybody goes crazy!
So it amused me when a neighbor told me about her chore draft.
And let met tell you, sports family or not, you will appreciate the genius of it.
She listed all the chores in the house to the smallest detail, like who would keep the puppy occupied for an hour at a time.
Then after rolling dice to pick draft order, they called out their picks on their turn.
The fun part is seeing which chores everyone avoids and who ends up with them.
And the beauty is, your children have no one to argue with about what chore they picked. I mean they could argue but they’d be talking to themselves!
If my family didn’t already have assigned chores, we’d try it because the NFL and NBA drafts are a big at my house.
But it’s the style of chore selection that makes it a winner.
And I know, some of you have a maid service clean your home!
I’ve had one come deep clean from time to time, but that’s MY treat, and because she’ll clean to a degree my children don’t—a reality I have to accept.
The truth is, they’re not going to do their best at something they’re learning to do and don’t want to do.
And I admit that’s a challenge with implementing chores. It’s tedious.
By the time you teach them what to do, check for quality control, and have them redo it if necessary, you could have done it yourself—the right way.
And while doing it all yourself is convenient in the short term, it costs everyone in the long run—resentment on your end and ingratitude on theirs.
One of my sisters is a clean freak. Nobody can clean to her satisfaction, but her.
And that’s the headache she created for herself.
Personally, I’m good with neat and tidy.
And since your family makes a mess every day, unless you have a live-in housekeeper, you need a system to stay on top of your home that includes more than just you!
And do my kids complain? You better believe it—every time.
They’ve been helping around the house, doing age and skill appropriate tasks all their lives.
And they’ve complained ever since they outgrew the clean-up song.
But so what?!
They don’t complain when they eat the dinner I cooked or sleep on the sheets I washed or walk on the floor I mopped—so they’ll live.
More importantly, they’ll be the better for it and so will I!
They learn discipline and gratitude, and you love yourself while lightening your load.
So, I’ll get back around to massages—when this COVID19 dust settles.
But the blessing that’s kept me in my right mind all these years and certainly the last couple months—is having all hands on deck.
And now that summer’s here, it’s the perfect time to start implementing chores or putting them back in place if you’ve let them slide.
So mama, help yourself be great and your family too. Love on yourself with the best and cheapest self-care I know: a chore list you enforce.
If you need a chore list to get your family going, I have just the thing.
Head on over to vinelifefaith.com/episode10 to download your free copy of the family chore chart.
It has a place to track chores for several family members and you can kick it off with the chore draft idea.
And like anything else in parenting, this requires consistent effort on the front-end, before you enjoy the benefits.
But you’ve got this!
I hope you and your family make the best of this summer.
Other than water balloon fights and finishing the business course we started, I don’t know what else we’re going to do. But I know mama needs a break!
Whatever your plans, stay safe and keep having important dialogue. I’ll catch up with you in August.
And remember, when it comes to you being the mother of your children—YOU are the woman for the job! Take care.