In My Mom Era - By Jessica Southfield

As the school year ended and summer began I decided I was in need of some serious self care, but I found myself wondering “what does that even mean?” As a homeschooling mom of ten kids, ages 6-22, I’m just trying to get a shower and put on clean clothes! 


My daily wardrobe consists of leggings and a T-shirt with a pair of running shoes. I’m the queen of dry shampoo and headbands to try and look a little bit put together, or at least presentable, for all the drs appointments, field trips, and grocery store runs. Things like massages, facials, and pedicures sound SO heavenly, but it’s just not realistic in this phase of my life to be able to regularly do those things. I found myself getting irritated at the mention of self care, resentful almost, that I didn’t have the ability to participate in this magical self care that would make me feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and would obviously make me a better wife and mom. 


While drowning in my own self pity, I decided I was going to find a way to fit in some self care. I just knew that if I could do something for me then I would feel appreciated and acknowledged and all the things we moms long for. It feels a little silly to admit, but I really did think self care was going to be the cure for any feelings of mom burn out. My first few attempts at self care didn’t go exactly as planned. I ran a hot bath with one of those delicious smelling bath bombs from Lush in my rarely used soaker tub. Turns out that as good as those bath bombs smell, they didn’t drown out the pounding on the bathroom door of fighting kids or little people looking for me. Failed attempt number one. 


Then I scheduled a girls night out with some of my closest friends to eat a meal I didn’t have to cook…and my darling six year old started throwing up just before I needed to leave. Failed attempt number two. 


Next I decided I was just going to schedule a pedicure and make it happen. Who doesn’t want beautiful toes for summer? Due to a miscommunication, my teenager took my car to the gym and when I went to leave for my scheduled bliss, I had no car. Failed attempt number three. 


Clearly I’m not cut out for self care and clearly nobody else cares about my self care either or they wouldn’t fight, throw up, or take my car. If you thought I was drowning in the depths of despair before, now I didn’t even have my nose above the waters of despair. Have I mentioned that I’m dramatic? Maybe I should’ve started there. That night I decided I needed to set realistic expectations, remembering that this was supposed to be a positive thing, this elusive self care. I decided that for self care to work for me it was going to have to be found in the little moments of the day. Moments without scheduling, without a big to do, but still with intention. I made a mental list of things that make me smile-things aside from my husband and kids. My list looked a little something like this:


Caffeine from Dutch Bros

Driving in the car alone

Listening to a good podcast

90s rap music

A hot shower

Comfy pjs

A good book

Murder documentaries-don’t judge-You know you watch them too! 


All of these things felt doable. Realistic goals were definitely where I needed to start. I put an Alexa in my bathroom, blasted the music, turned the shower on super hot, and guess what? Tupac is louder than fighting kids! I quit feeling guilty about going to the grocery store alone-it’s just a pickup-I’m not even going inside! Nobody is missing anything exciting! I ordered a new pair of pajamas from Target that shipped straight to my door and when I knew that I loved them-I ordered them again in another color so that I always have a clean pair.


 I gave myself permission to tuck the littles into bed and tell the teenagers that I’m off duty and to watch a good murder documentary in my room-with chocolate of course. I went on Amazon and ordered a stack of books I’ve wanted to read forever. I keep a book in my purse now and when I’m sitting in the car at dance, piano lessons, or football practice I read instead of mindlessly scrolling on my phone. Little by little, I found minutes in my day to do something that made me smile. 


I quit waiting for someone else to notice I was burned out or struggling. I made little moments of joy throughout the day and you know what happened? I WAS a better mom and a better wife. I was more fun to be around. I started enjoying the little things again. I started to see more joy in the mundane little things that make up my day. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a miracle fix all, my kids still fight, my laundry doesn’t do itself, and I still hate meal planning, but none of it seems as mundane with a little Missy Elliot in the background. Full disclosure, you do run the risk of raising super awesome kids who can quote Eminem songs, but for real, Eminem dropped out of high school and he’s made something of himself! He’s just proof that we can all rise above!


Self care doesn’t have to be elaborate and self care for you might look completely different than it does for me, but let’s face it- we are in our mom eras and a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do to survive! So today I’m gonna drive by myself to Dutch Bros, singing Baby got Back at the top of my lungs, and then run back home to snuggle my littles. What does self care look like to you in your mom era?


This article was written by Jessica Southfield. She is a mom of 10 and can be found on Instagram @afullnestdigest. 

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