Moms- Give yourself a break!

For this months blog, In honor of mother's day- I wanted to give a shout out to all the moms! Being a mom is hard! Raising tiny humans into well behaved members of society is not for the faint hearted. But before we get into that, let me introduce myself, and my little mini-me's.

Hello! My name is Sarah Tolley and I am 26 years old. I am the daughter of Christy Barnes (The owner of an amazing massage place called Carpe Diem Massage), I manage Carpe Diem, go to massage school, and I have two little ones of my own. Emilie (age 5) and Aubrey (Age 2). I am also happily married to a wonderful man named Joe.

Now that that is out of the way- I want to talk a bit about being a mom. I have received more advice (mostly unsolicited) than I know what to do with, so I strive not to do that to other moms. However the best thing I have ever been told since I became a mom is "It is OK to put yourself first." It took a few years for that advice to sink in- but lets think about that for a minute.

As mothers, we hold ourselves to the most ridiculous standards. We have higher expectations of ourselves- than we have for anyone else on the planet... and our expectations for ourselves are higher than anyone else would expect from us. Why do we put that pressure on ourselves? I call it "Mom guilt" If you stay at home you feel bad for "Not contributing" but if you go to work you also feel bad for missing out on every second of your child's lives. We as moms never let ourselves win. We rarely take the time for ourselves that we need and deserve- and when we do spend that time for ourselves, we end up mostly talking about our kids to anyone around. It is so easy for us to completely forget who we were before children. What did you enjoy doing? What were your hobbies? What was your favorite way to relax and unwind? Its important to reconnect with your inner self- trust me on this one.

Try to think of it like this.. If you have a cup, and it is completely empty, how can you pour any into the cups of those who need you the most? I like to think of my cup being full of energy. Often- after school, work, and being a mom and wife, it feels like my cup is on empty- and everyone around me notices. If I don't take the time to refuel myself (I will share some great ways to do so) then those I love and care about notice that I have less patience, I am cranky,  complain, and I am stuck in what I like to call a "mom rut" every other aspect of your life suffers! So what am I trying to say? I believe taking time for yourself makes you a better mom! A better wife! A better employee! A better student! I am giving you permission. Go ahead- try it. I promise it will be OK. You wouldn't expect anyone else to work as hard as you do!

Taking "You time" doesn't have to be a huge production. For myself I try to plan for a pedicure, trip to the spa, girls night with some friends, or a massage every 2 months or so. But I take a little time for myself everyday. Waking up before your family and getting in a workout or just a quiet cup of coffee can do wonders. Taking a detox bath (Epsom Salt, baking soda, table salt and a few drops of lavender) after your kids are in bed is heavenly! My new favorite is having a glass of wine and coloring in my own grown up coloring book while the girls make their own masterpieces. There is something about doing something that is just for you- that can get you through any tough day.

Mothers are extraordinary creatures. If you are a new mom, old mom, or somewhere in between: You are enough. You are amazing. You are doing the best that you can. And you are incredibly loved. Stay calm, and Mommy on!

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