Photo by Rachel Hadiashar
"Taking time (for you) is based in self-love, which only enhances self-worth and
self-respect. Being a mother is the most rewarding and demanding aspect of your life. Everyone needs time to fill their own cup.
You are worth it!"
~ Erin Berk
Erin Berk of Creative Therapy for the Heart has 15 years of experience as an Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She loves working with children, teens and families in Portland. She has a private practice at The Sweet Light Center in Portland.
Erin loves cooking, being creative and just" being" with her 11 year old and her family.
Erin gets real about the barriers moms may face to self-care and shares "art as therapy"
tools to help you let go and turn inward, an amazing way to take time for you.
When I think about self worth and taking care of oneself as a mother, I hear all the voices of so many women that I have talked to over the years. I think of how we can lose our center as a mama, so naturally I think of barriers to finding our way back to center.
Here are some barriers that many women mention can get in the way :
* Time. Often when I speak to moms, they feel as if they can't step away from their household duties. Or maybe they feel guilty from being away at work, and then they need to make dinner, and of course want to spend time with the kids before bedtime.
* Asking for help. Often, it comes down to asking for help and "making a date" with yourself once week, whether that is a run, gym time, movie with a friend, or a bike ride. Single mamas may have to ask for help from trusted friends or family. Or if you can hire a babysitter once a week for a couple of hours or so a childcare swap for a couple for a couple of hours with another mom. The NIKE slogan hits the nail on the head - "Just do it!"
* Feeling selfish. New moms - and moms in general - can feel so overwhelmed with wanting to be with their children that the idea of time away seems selfish. It is not selfish to care for yourself! Repeat!!
* Too tired. Another barrier, is often feeling unmotivated or too tired to care for oneself. Sometimes, in raising our children, we forget to check in with how we are feeling or doing.
Until one day, you wake up in the morning and just feel depleted and overwhelmed.
Again, think about what replenishes your soul? A hot soak at a local soaking Portland pool or a nice long shower or bath, or maybe a chat with a friend?
What replenishes your soul?
~ Erin Berk
If you neglect your own care- and forget to nurture your heart and soul- what will you have left to give to your family? If you take time away (when you are ready), you will feel replenished and renewed and better able to cope with the many demands of being a parent. No matter how old your child is, taking a break is the best self-care you can give yourself and your kids.
Another wonderful way to take time for you is to do some art as therapy. While art therapy is done with a trained therapist to help make meaning out of the therapeutic process and life, art as therapy is something anyone can do.
Here's some art as therapy ideas from Erin:
"Mothering myself to me means...."
"My wish...." and then create a journal entry with pictures, words, or both.
Anything creative that allows
one to tune inward
and lose the sense of time
is a great place to begin.
Hi friends, I write from the heart to tell my life story, and the story of those in my neighborhood called life. Research shows that our children's emotional & mental health is contingent upon us parents being able to tell our life story, or "coherent narrative." This is my coherent narrative, my life story in the making, with some of what I love in life too. My goal is to share my life in a way that is real, uplifting & positive- sometimes serious, sometimes fun. In my practice, I inspire parents to empowerment through reclaiming our life stories and learning respectful discipline. My work is my offering to our children- our future. Wishing you all a happy family!