Moms: How are you going to take care of yourself this year? - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Voices

Moms: How are you going to take care of yourself this year?

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Michelle Reese covers education for the Tribune and blogs about motherhood and family issues at Contact her at

Michelle Reese covered education for the Tribune, also blogging about motherhood and family issues at

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 7:21 am | Updated: 3:34 pm, Tue Aug 20, 2013.

As many moms can attest, sometimes we are the last ones to bed at night, last to eat breakfast (if we eat at all), last to go to the doctor when we are sick. Sometimes a hat substitutes for a shower and “me time” is found in the 40 minutes of dance class once a week.

I’m guilty of all of the above. But I know mentally, physically and spiritually I want (and need) to do a better job taking care of me so I can be a better mom, a better wife and a better worker.

I made some changes last year when I took time for a Bible study at church. I even fit in a massage or two. But I have found myself more tired lately and I think I need to up the ante. Maybe yoga is in order, or really doing those fitness tapes at home.

I’m not the only one who will benefit, one family wellness coach says. My entire family will see a positive outcome.

“What are we modeling for our kids if we’re off balance and things aren’t functioning well?” said Karen Nowicki, a family wellness coach and director at Primrose School of South Gilbert.

When moms live a more balanced life, their kids see what a well-rounded day, week and month could and should look like, she said.

“If we’re not modeling balance and self care and a soulful way of being, where are they going to learn it?” she said.

What that looks like differs for everyone. One person may set a New Year’s resolution about eating healthy or working out. Another may want to spend more time on a hobby (I’d like to put my sewing machine to better use).

Nowicki, a mom of three, said she didn’t make resolutions this year, but “intentions.”

“I said, ‘I want to be at peace. I want to be happy.’ Once I have that identified, I can say, ‘What does that look like?’” she said. It may mean exercise, or a monthly massage, making time for girlfriends and getting enough sleep.

“For others, it’s financial goals or more time with the kids,” she said. “For moms who are working it may mean making sure they have an hour and a half, or even half an hour to spend with the kids each day.”

The key, Nowicki said, is for moms to find a quiet time early in the year to figure it out.

“When we haven’t taken time with those questions, June or July comes around and half the year’s gone and we think, ‘I’m not happy or my marriage is on the rocks. I hate work or I don’t even know my kids.’ But have you set apart the time to making those commitments and setting those intentions?’”

Some people put together a visual board. Others write things down in plain sight, such as the mirror in the bathroom.

Still others put a daily planner to use or a journal.

Now that I’ve heard what Nowicki has to say, I’m going to make that “quiet time” to figure it out.

I hope you will also.


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