Monday, February 13, 2012

Self-care for a travelling mom

My sweet friend Kathy just published her first e-book, The Bliss Filled Mama: Self-Care for Soulful Mothering, (she also includes an MP3 audio version, which I LOVE). Today, she is offering a free copy of her e-book and MP3 audio version to one of my readers! Keep reading and leave a comment to enter the draw! If you have been following her blog, you would know how funny this gal is and how creative too! I knew I could learn a thing or two from her... To be honest, a part of me felt a bit reluctant to read it because I was worried that it would make me feel like I was not taking good care of myself lately, because you know, I am not sewing my own clothes or knitting anything for my twins' upcoming birthday... But you know what? Kathy made me realize that I was in fact filling my own cup differently than I was before (when I was a perfect little Waldorf mom...).

Ok, I know, some of you will say that traveling is in itself self-care, and part of it is true. However, it can also be very intense since you don't have much in terms of help or community. Grandparents are thousands of kilometers away and friends are only reachable through Skype...

Before reading Kathy's book, I felt a bit guilty for not spending much of my time in creative activities, like I used to back home. Maybe because of my Waldorf background, I thought those were really the best way to recharge my vital energy, but what I realized reading her e-book is that the simplest things are also self-care... I don't need to knit solstice hats for my girls (especially here in Costa Rica!!) of sew myself a dress (anyways, I came to the conclusion that sewing makes me more stressed than recharged) to fill my batteries. Actually, whatever I feel like doing when I don't force myself to do something to keep up with the Joneses (or rather in my case the amazingly creative blogging community!) is what naturally recharges me since I gravitate around it! How simple and liberating is that!

So ready or not, and as Kathy says embarrassing or not, here is my list of self-care activities right now :

-Writing (as in blogging)
-Going to the market in Costa Rica
-Reading in the hammock

-Reading inspiring blogs and listening to inspiring YouTube videos
-Drinking the amazing smoothies I make with the delicious Costarican fruits I have access to here
-My morning walks

-Playing in the sea with my family
-Swimming in waterfalls
-Coloring mandalas with my girls

-Living in Costa Rica for 5 months
-Planning more travels with my partner
-Clean sheets
-Discovering a new area of Costa Rica
-Skyping with friends that I dearly miss
-Telling Aesop fables to the girls
-Hearing a toucan or a howler monkey
-Watching the sunset on the beach
-A hug from my amazing partner
-Making coral necklaces with Mathilde

-An outing way too late at night with my girls and partner to have deserts at a local restaurant on full moon night
-Doing less in a day
-Hearing my girls laugh together
-Sunbathing. Every. Single. Day

And just acknowledging that I do some of these things everyday makes me feel more recharged! And when I take care of myself, I am much less stressed out and I can be a better person, a better mom, a better partner... This is a work in progress, friends!

I want to leave you with this wonderful quote from Genevieve, at The way of the Peaceful Parent on Facebook.

"Our children literally resonate with us. They're downloading our state all the time; our emotions, our beliefs, our values. Their stress rises with ours and comes down with ours. When we smile with them, play with them, laugh with them, kindly care for them, the sun shines brightly in their world and starts to melt the cold scared places inside them, their fairytale experience become full of fun, magic and happiness again.

We make conscious choices to manage our stress and anxiety levels, while our children are dependent on the energetic and emotional environments that we create. To tell a child to be reasonable or to calm down while we feel negative towards them, is like telling them to go outside and play while we restrain them tightly.

Not only is it not selfish to care for your emotional needs, to find ways of reducing your stress, to access more support, more comfort, more kindness and empathy for your struggles, these are responsible mature proactive choices that bring more balance and support to your whole family system."

So, to win a copy of Kathy's e-book and MP3 audio version, leave a comment down here telling me what is you favorite self-care activity these days. I will randomly select a winner on Friday, the 17th and announce it here on the blog. To double your chances of winning, write a post on your blog with a list of your favorite self-care activities and link to Kathy's book (don't forget to mention it in your comment here too!).

Je suis désolée à mes lecteurs francophones, mais il s'agit d'un billet annonçant la parution du livre d'une bonne amie qui est en anglais seulement...


Dana said...

I love Kathy's e-book, too! How liberating to realize that you don't need to be ultra-creative in order to recharge your creative batteries! I've often felt pressure to be a Creative Star, especially because so many of the wonderful people I know are knitters, sewers, artists, etc. Even reading this post has helped me relax into my own brand of self-care-- heading into the kitchen and cooking instead of sewing myself my own wardrobe. :) Thanks for sharing your experiences with the book, and enjoy Costa Rica!!

Anie, kale said...

self care is taking a bath or reading a book with a nice cup of chai tea.
and early bedtime :)

Mary said...

I love her blog! For me, sitting in the dark, cold, quiet in the kitchen in the very early (5am) morning with a fresh cup of strong coffee allows me to set my intention for the day. That peaceful 20 minutes feels like forever. It's the only quiet I have during the day & I relish it.

Marilia said...

My favorite thing is to surf and I have been doing that more often lately, conscious of how much happier and less anxious I get around my girl.

jane said...

Hi Catherine. I thought I wrote a comment yesterday, but it disappeared. Anyway, I love love love both of your blogs and I am so excited about Kathy's ebook! Recently, I signed up for a yoga class, and I am really enjoying it - my mind, body and spirit. It is certainly my current favorite self care activity!

Catherine said...

Yes, Jane, I have you comment on another post... It was my mistake, I wrote this post in advance and did other posts afterwards, so it did not show up as the latest post on my blog, so I reposted it... Anyways, you are in! Kathy's book is GREAT! And I love yoga too... just not with little ones around!

Anonymous said...

Catherine, thank you for this post! It is just what I needed to read as a burned out, can't seem to make Waldorf work for us mama. I feel so guilty that I can't sew my kids clothes, knit like Amanda Soule, cook up wholesome meals that the kids will actually eat,etc, etc. and trying to Wladorf homeschool is just not working. The kids and I are falling apart. Thank you so much for the link to your friends book and blog. I'm heading over there now.......

Calynde said...

Self-care for me is taking the time to make a green juice and reading a book that isn't parenting related. :-) I also love Kathy's blog. She never fails to crack me up!
I'm really enjoying your Costa Rica adventures by the way!

Catherine said...

Oh, Kim! A cyber-hug coming your way! This is the hard thing with all those beautiful blogs, a lot of people feel like failure... We can't help but compare ourselves... Be gentle with yourself and just spend time with your children in a respectful and open relationship. Forget Steiner, Soulemama, the knitting, the cooking, just find out what nourishes you, even if it is not glamourous at all and you have nothing to show for it... Lovexx

Calynde! Yes, green juices! And a book non-parenting related!! I am glad to know you are following our adventures!

Catherine said...

Mary, you won the e-book! Give me your e-mail address and I will have Kathy send you the e-book and MP3 file! Congrats!

Joanna said...

i am very touched by Kim's comment and by your reply Cath! It's sooo true. i had a friend who always felt like a failure when she read blogs so she stopped, and it's the best thing she did: find her own path. coz of course, we rarely write on our blog all that doesn't work or isn't perfect in our life.
You are one of the rare who openly writes about your doubts and hard times in your journey on your blog: it's great cath! thanks!
all the best to you kim. I tried to find your blog but could only open your profile?!
Take care,

Catherine said...

Yes, listening to our own truth... This is so important... For a lot of people, they need to turn off the chatter around them (and that includes blogs) to be able to properly listen.

renee @ FIMBY said...

I think I missed the giveaway but I would love a chance to read this.