Tag Archives | self care

Messy life management – 7 ways to cope

What have you done for yourself this week? Or is your messy life getting in the way?

Is it hard to even remember? Does the idea of doing something for yourself feel impossible? Laughable? Too selfish to even consider?

Is your life an overwhelming mess right now? Don't know what to do to dig out? Here are 7 things you can do - fast - to help you get back on top of that messy life. :: nurtured mama.net


I’ve had a week like that. Every time I turn around, it seems, I get a little more bad news. Some new complicated thing I need to manage. I can feel that I’m carrying all of my worries in the muscles of my shoulders and every time I move I hurt. And then that makes me worry about the link between stress and cancer reoccurrence. As if I need something else to worry about.

But it is weeks like this that I know how very important it is to take good care of myself. To do things that are just for me. They have to be tiny, mostly, but they have to be in there.

The week after I was diagnosed with cancer last year, I remember talking on the phone to a friend who asked, “What does your self-care look like right now?” I couldn’t think of anything, at first. And then I remembered that each morning for the last three days I had chosen to put the same tee-shirt back on.…

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How To Get Through It: A brief guide for chemo patients

A brief guide for cancer patient on how to survive and thrive during chemo treatment. :: www.nurturedmama,net

Be brave. By which I mean feel terrified and resolve to move forward anyway.

Cancel your to do list.

Call in every favor, but not all at once.

Expect that it will be worse than you think. Know you will get through it anyway.

Get used to the discomfort of other people doing things you feel like you should be able to do yourself, but actually can’t do yourself right now.

Give yourself permission to be righteously furious. And then give yourself permission to speak that fury out loud (but don’t aim it at your immediate family).

Let yourself off all the hooks.

Get acupuncture. Often.

Get used to crying.

Conserve your energy for the things that matter most. Don’t let anyone else make that list for you.

Resign yourself to the many pharmaceutical medications all lined up in their little orange bottles.

Use marijuana medically and also when you just need a break from feeling everything.

Say thank you often to your significant other, or parent, or child, or whoever is carrying the brunt of your care.

Be really specific about helps you and what doesn’t.

Remember that every cycle is going to be a little different.

Get on YouTube and learn to wear a scarf from fabulously stylish women who have not actually lost their hair but wear scarves beautifully anyway.…

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Be Nice To Your Future Self

What can you do today be be nice to your future self? :: www.nuturedmama.net

I read about this idea, being nice to your future self, in a recent post by Heidi Swanton on 101 Cookbooks. She was talking about how making a big pot of soup so she’d have lunches to take with her to her studio is an act of kindness to her future self. What a brilliant way to think about taking time for self care, or organization, or preparedness, as a way to be nice to yourself in the future.

If I sit down with a cup of tea for 10 minutes before I go pick up my daughter from school, I’m being nice to my self two hours from now, when I would otherwise be grumpy with her.

If I choose to go to bed early tonight, I’m being nice to my tomorrow self.

If I sit down and make a menu plan on Sunday night, I’m being nice to my Monday morning self by having my shopping list ready before I go to the store, and my dinner hour self all week because I know what I’ll be cooking and I know I have all the ingredients.

If I plan a large meal on Monday, I’m being nice to my Tuesday and Wednesday selves when I can skip cooking and just reheat.…

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5 Essential Things To Take On Vacation

What's in your suitcase? Make sure you save room for these five essentials for your next vacation. :: www.nurturedmama.net

photo credit: Gabriel White via photopin cc

Welcome to the July 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Vacation

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month participants shared their family-travel tips, challenges, and delights. This  post was chosen to be featured on the Natural Parents Network blog for the Carnival and was originally published there.

Please scroll to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I just cleared my inbox of two weeks of old emails that contained a lot of links I thought I wanted to read. After the third vacation-related article that truly didn’t apply to my life, I deleted the rest of them. Then I made a list of the things a Nurtured Mama would take on vacation with her, which I realized was the article I was actually looking for and not finding.

So here you go. Five things you should put in your suitcase this summer:

A Flexible Attitude

A friend asked me recently if my partner and I travel well together. Because we were a few days away from leaving on a trip, I had to pause and think a bit.…

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Mamas Are Allowed To Have Feelings, Too

Mamas Are Allowed To Have Feelings, Too :: www.nurturedmama.net

“I can tell you feel frustrated right now,” I’m learning to say when my 3-year-old crosses her arms and crouches on the floor after I tell her I need her to stop playing and get her shoes on so we can leave.

I’m learning to ask, “Why are you mad at Dada?” when she says, “I don’t like my Daddy.”

Although my first instinct is to say, “Stop,” and “Don’t say that!” and “I don’t care if you don’t want to!” I’m practicing a new way of interacting. I’m practicing naming her feelings and mostly letting her ride them out (unless she’s hurting herself or someone else!)

I’m practicing this because I didn’t learn how to speak up clearly when I was angry until I was in my 30s. I’m practicing it because I see her natural instinct, like mine, is to shut down when she feels a strong emotion. I’m practicing because I want her to have different options for dealing with those emotions than I learned as a child and had to relearn as an adult.

And yet, when she says, “Mama, are you mad or sad?” when my voice grows sharp after repeating my request to her for the fourth time, I still say, “No, I’m just a little frustrated.”

It is hard to undo years of misdirecting and mis-labeling my own feelings.…

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Practice Radical Self Care

Practice Radical Self Care :: nurturedmama.net

I wrote this post almost exactly a year ago, when my partner was traveling for 10 days and I was solo parenting. I don’t know why I never published it, but when I was thinking about this topic again this month I found it in my drafts folder. As it is still so very topical (though my child is a year older and my partner is not traveling this spring), I decided to dust it off and share it with you. Enjoy!

If you do a Google search on “self care for moms” you get a long list of articles that include suggestions like “Take a shower,” “Get a pedicure,” “Drink a green smoothie.” While they are all well-meant and possibly helpful in the short term, I don’t think they get at the essential ways we mothers need to care for ourselves.

What we need is radical self care, which comes from knowing ourselves deeply. It comes from being able hear our souls calling for what we deeply need and being willing to provide it for ourselves.

That isn’t easy and what we hear may not be what we really want to do in the moment. …

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Find Your Moments Of Grace

Find Your Moments Of Grace :: nurturedmama.net

photo credit: jared via photopin cc

We’ve had stuff going on behind the scenes here lately. Some tough stuff, some just busy stuff. The tough stuff has included a week (and counting)of a cold for Mama that just won’t let go.

Thankfully, and somewhat unfortunately, this cold passed right over Bean and she didn’t have any symptoms. So while I’ve been coughing myself awake for nights running, nursing a sinus headache, sounding  like a frog and downing cup after cup of tea, she’s been lively and full of energy.

This mama is exhausted trying to keep up with her.

When Mama’s exhausted, things start to unravel. When I’m not on top of picking up the house, it starts to feel like the clutter is taking over. When I’m not on top of our schedule, we are constantly running late and I’m juggling trying to reschedule and un-conflict the conflicts. There has been too much TV and and too much bargaining over TV and far too many times I hear myself saying “I don’t want to have to say this again…” and too many tears – both hers and mine.

On one particularly hard day last week, it felt like every single interaction was a fight.…

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How to Have Room Of Your Own

How To Have Room Of Your Own :: nurturedmama.net

original photo credit: nerissa’s ring via photopin cc

Of the things I crave most about my pre-baby life, stretches of time alone ranks high. Before my partner and his teenaged son moved in with me when I was eight months pregnant, I lived alone for three years. A month later I gave birth to a baby who hated to be anywhere but in my arms.

I wasn’t alone again for more than a few minutes for nearly nine months.

I love my family. I do. But it wasn’t until I learned how to carve out small amounts of time alone that I started to feel like myself again after all of those changes. That was too long to go feeling like a stranger in my own skin.

Are you also someone who craves alone time? Maybe you are an introvert, a writer, or an artist. You need stretches of silence to process your inner world, to make sense of your thoughts. Maybe you just like to read books without people interrupting you. Maybe you have a meditation practice, or would like to have one. Maybe you just crave some time where you aren’t at someone else’s beck and call and can truly sink into rest.…

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How To Be A Passionate Mama

How To Be A Passionate Mama :: NurturedMama.net

photo credit: BenRo3 via photopin cc

This week I went to see Sting and Paul Simon perform together. Seeing Sting perform live was a long-standing entry on my bucket list.

It was a great show – both artists are incredible and have rich and diverse musical careers individually. It was wonderful to see them each perform each other’s songs and witness their obvious respect for each other and love of music and performing.

But the thing that struck me most about this concert was the band. Behind Sting and Paul Simon were a dozen other musicians, and each of them played several instruments each. They didn’t just dabble in a few instruments, they played each of them well enough to back up Sting and Paul Simon.

And they were having a blast. The violinist played with such intensity that he was shredding his bow. The accordion player was doing a 2nd line shuffle every time I looked at his corner of the stage. One band member switched from cello to electric guitar to recorder and had a special stand so he could play measures on a tenor sax without taking off his guitar. The three (!) percussionists were laughing and egging each other on during one particularly notable rhythm-section solo.…

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Treat Yourself This Valentine’s Day

Treat Yourself This Valentine's Day :: nurturedmama.netValentine’s Day is about love. This we know and accept. We make cards, we give flowers and chocolate, we send love letters.

I love Valentine’s Day, and I love showing love. But I think I’ve been missing something.

As moms, we spend every day taking care of everybody else. I think Valentine’s Day is a great day to show our own selves a little love. Who deserves it more?

Here are 10 ways you can treat yourself for Valentine’s Day.

Sign up for a class focused on self care.

Vivienne McMasters is offering a deal on her 14-day Self Care Policies Class until Valentine’s day – just enter the code SELFLOVE for 50% off the registration. I’m currently in her 28-day class and I’m really enjoying it.

Take a mini retreat.

Schedule a little time (even if only an afternoon) to spend nourishing yourself. I love Liz’s Gift Of This Moment home retreat kit to give structure to this kind of solo retreat. It is full of easy and powerful practices you can do at home and comes with several guided meditation audio files. Liz is a self-love master – this is good stuff.…

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