Focusing on yourself is hard. I know, I get it. *Especially* if you're mom to a few tiny humans, who generally require your attention, focus, and energy - it's hard to save up any more for yourself! Plus, it's pretty common for people to assume moms aren't supposed to focus on themselves, because that's, you know, selfish. It isn't.
Imagine if you were walking down the road with a mug full of coffee. (Yes, a mug, not a paper Starbucks cup, because we're trying to save the world here Cheryl, or at least the turtles or whatever. So we're using a mug. And it has no lid on it. #risky.) Someone inevitably bumps into you (obvs) and your mug of coffee spills. The person says "Ohmigosh, I'm SO SORRY!" and then says "what was in your mug?" And you're like... sh*t, do I tell this person it was a coffee spiked with baileys? Or just tell her it was plain old coffee? (LOL.) The answer is, it doesn't matter whether it was coffee, or a baileys-spiked glitter-cup of mom-juice... the answer is, whatever is inside the cup is what's going to spill out. So when you get irritated at your kid for asking for ANOTHER snack... When you feel so exhausted at the end of the day you don't put your needs first... When you lash out at your partner because you JUST WANTED TO BE ALONE and he decided to go out for drinks with his friends... It's often because you haven't filled your own coffee cup first. You haven't filled yourself up with the necessary gas required to drive across the country. You fuel up jussssst enough to take care of everybody else's needs, then, running on fumes, you get irritated because you don't have enough to give back to your damn self. As women and moms, we need to learn how to self-prioritize. For me, that generally means I have to find some sacred space in order to focus on JUST ME for a bit. I try to get at least 30-60 minutes of this per day. And for me, that can be a workout, a journalling session, a meditation, a bit of reading, listening to a podcast or audiobook, dancing to some hot beats, or getting outside for a quick walk, vitamin D, and some fresh air. I actually like to self-prioritize at the very beginning of my day. I have a solid morning routine that generally gives me 45-60 minutes of uninterrupted and focused solo mom-time. (I have a podcast episode that goes into detail about my morning routine, and another episode that outlines why I feel it works best for me! Check them out!)
Now, I want to clarify that taking care of your self doesn't necessarily have to mean taking care of your body... it's not all about workouts, nutrition, and yoga. But you should consider adding up your self-focused activities, even if it's 10 minutes at a time and you get 30 minutes per day. It could be a solo walk for 15 minutes on the way to pick up your kids from school. Or a quick "how am I feeling" rating scale and journalling moment, for 5 minutes with your evening glass of wine.
The most important part is this: you signal to your body/mind that you're taking this time for YOU. You're showing yourself that YOU are a priority. You're giving yourself a tangible reference that you value yourself enough to prioritize your needs. And when you do this on a regular basis, it becomes easier to unapologetically prioritize. It becomes easier to ask for what you want/need (especially if that requires enlisting a partner, friend, spouse, or parent to help you manage your schedule to incorporate these tasks). It gives you confidence and courage to say YES to yourself, without feeling guilty. And, it usually gives you the space enough to recharge, reflect, and re-focus, without reaching a tipping point and screaming at everybody on your path to put their damn laundry in the damn bin FOR THE SEVENTEEN-HUNDREDTH TIME!!!!! Self-love "tasks" are really just things you can do to take care of your self. First. Yes, first. Before anyone else. Be your own BAE. And don't you feel one darn bit guilty about it.
*One last thing; inside my morning routine, I always incorporate some of the things suggested by The Miracle Morning strategy: journalling and reading. And, I just happen to have a few resources that could fit nicely into your own routine, my #MOMFIDENTAF self-love journal and my book, MOMFIDENT AS F*CK. If you're serious about doing the damn thing, these two resources could be super helpful for you and your alone time! Pinky swear. 😘 (The Miracle Morning is also a great read as the "Reading" component of your own miracle morning. Lol.)