motherhood wholehearted living

Alleviate So Many of Your Problems By Doing This ONE Thing

A few months ago, I started sending an email to everyone who signed up for my newsletter, asking you to share with me some of the things you’re struggling with.

I don’t offer answers as much as I offer a listening ear—and an excuse to articulate some of the things that are weighing you down.

But if I were to offer my advice, I’ve noticed that so many of the problems I read every day can be alleviated (not necessarily solved but certainly alleviated) with one practice:

Take better care of yourself.

Kylie Pond Photography

Are you trying to heal from a painful childhood and not pass that pain on to your kids?

Take better care of yourself. 

Breathe. Journal through those past experiences. Stay close to your center, and it’ll show in your parenting.

Are you considering a career shift but can’t decide if it’s worth making the leap?

Take better care of yourself. 

I think you’ll find yourself better able to hear your inner voice.

Are you at your wit’s end with a spirited child, or maybe a child with special needs?

Take better care of yourself.

It might not change your child, but it’ll dramatically improve your ability to love that little one. (And to listen for answers when you need them.)

Related: 24 Self-Care Practices for Mothers

Are you facing a health diagnosis that intimidates you? Are you struggling to find the willpower for good nutrition or the time to exercise? Do you feel like you’re so far past “out of patience” with your kids that you could snap at any time? Are you too tired for sex with your spouse? Are you going through a separation or trying to navigate the new waters of co-parenting?

(These are all problems that have come into my inbox, by the way.)

It might not immediately change your circumstances, but…

Take better care of yourself. 

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” Katie Reed

I know every scrape on my preschooler’s body right now. But last night as I changed out of my leisure wear and into my nighttime leisure wear (I’m a mom; it’s what we do), I noticed two BIG bruises on my body, neither of which I have ANY memory of getting.

Sure, I bruise relatively easily. But what this really says to me is that I’m not paying a lot of attention to myself throughout the day. If I can WHACK my hip on a kitchen counter while getting a cup for a kid and not even remember it six hours later, I’m moving faster than I need to—and I’m not paying attention to ME.

You’re worth it. Your family is worth it. Fill yourself up so you once again have something to offer, so you have a clearer inner voice to help you tackle the hard stuff that comes your way.

Self-care is an especially a foundational practice for introverted parents. If you’d like to move toward more balance in your parenting journey, I’d love for you to check out my new ecourse, Talked Out, Touched Out: Learn to Thrive as an Introverted Mom

Photo credit: Arizona-based Kylie Pond Photography. Connect with her on Instagram, here


  • Reply
    Rachel Thueson
    August 4, 2017 at 8:40 am

    It’s hard being a mom when so much is not about yourself, to remember to focus on yourself too! Such a predicament. Thanks for reminding me it’s worth it! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 4, 2017 at 8:53 am

    This is the perfect reminder for me right now as summer is flying by full of camps, visitors, and outings… I like to think that our kids will also learn to take better care of themselves when they see us model self-care for ourselves. That’s a great gift for us all!

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      August 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, Christine! Thank you! (Btw, your website looks lovely!)

  • Reply
    Carla Cram
    August 24, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Unfortunately, some situations mean that self-care opportunities are VERY limited. But I bring self-care into the equation wherever I can. The biggest things for me are obligation and boundaries.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      August 25, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Absolutely, Carla! Some situations do make it much tricker. And boundaries are key. I also find that self-care is a way we think as much as a list of things we can do. Giving ourselves compassion and trying to use an inner voice that we’d use with a friend can make a big difference as well. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, girl!

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