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This week Nicole Cunningham, homeopathic doctor and holistic health expert, is back  to share insight on the importance of knowing our limits as moms. Self-care for moms and self-awareness are so important! Nicole gives us a great reminder. You can see more of what she’s all about at nicolecunningham.com

You have heard it, in a playground or a supermarket, perhaps you even use it yourself? When speaking to your children, often with a threat of discipline you start with a structured and irritated voice “1…2…don’t make me get to 3!”

I use this one with my children and thankfully I have never ever had to get to 3. To be honest I don’t even know what 3 would entail. Would I take something away? Would I put them in a time out…I have never had to get there thankfully. But I really do need to make a plan for it.

self care for moms

Who Will Count to 3 for me?

For myself however I always get to a 3. I hit my limit at 3 and have a meltdown and most of the time it can be spectacular. I question my judgement and my rationale with things, I sabotage my self care efforts, I take short cuts emotionally, and this happens when I am tired.

The problem of course is that I often feel tired, what mother doesn’t by the time I hold down my job and keep house, I work so hard not to drop any balls but inevitably when I hit 3, they all fall at once.

Related read: 61 Self-Care Ideas for Moms that Don’t Have a Lot of Time

Managing Self-Doubt and Anxiety as a Mom

self care for moms

It’s in these times that my ‘poor me, it’s so hard’ story starts which is based on lies and misleading quests I tell myself. I compare myself to other moms, why can’t I be creative and fun like them, make cakes and laugh like them. The truth is I’m more of the serious structured mom. I find it hard to be silly and laugh at myself so it’s hard for me to be playful and carefree with my children. I am really trying to work on this…

When I hit 3 I start doubting my worth as their mother, wondering if they would be better off with less of me and more structured activities and schooling. I am a homeschool mom, what if I am not doing enough.

This story haunts all of us. I have decided, whether we are the playful mom, the serious mom, the baker mom, the craft mom, the business mom…we all feel like this when we hit 3.

Related read: 15 Self-Care Gifts for New Moms to Feel the Love

Recognizing My Own Limitations

We reach our limits and this doubt is both unfounded and unnecessary. Like our toddlers it would be better to just put ourselves to bed at this point then try and have a rational conversation with ourselves! How many hours of my life have I spent trying to rationalize with an overtired 2 year old that I won’t get back!

It’s the same with my own fatigue. I have to recognize it, not as failure but as a healthy limitation that has been reached, exceeded and it’s now time to power down.

Related read: 33 Self-Care Tips that Will Make You a Better Mom

self care for moms

Facing My Own Limits with Self-Care and Love

Hitting 3 is not about failure it’s about fatigue and about the need to recharge. Instead of the negative self talk, the doubts and the comparisons I need to take a hot shower put on fresh pajamas and get into bed. That is actually all that is needed. I’m not failing them, my best is good enough I have just hit 3…

It’s time to love myself at 3 not turn into my own worst enemy…

What do you think mama? How often do you get to three and need a time out? Do you take time to recharge when you need it? Self-care for moms- even if it’s just a few minutes- can help prevent and manage those inevitable mommy meltdowns!