There was a time when I thought self-care was for sissies, or self-indulgent wealthy women. The Gwyneth Paltrows of the world. Self-care was NOT something I needed. Or so I told myself. Then I became a mom. And two years later I became a mom of two, then three. Three kids four and under was the name of my game. And I was definitely losing.
My husband started sending me out of the house for a girls night or with a novel in hand to the coffee shop. He could tell before I could that I needed the occasional hour or two away to just be myself in order to avoid burnout. And he started mixing me a cocktail in the evenings and taking over the bedtime routine so that I could soak in a bubble bath with a good book while he wrangled overtired toddlers and cranky babies and soothed them to sleep.
At first I felt guilty. But then I realized I could breathe again. I could think straight. I was enjoying my kids more. And I was learning to appreciate the difficulty of the beautiful work I was doing raising these little ones.
Mothering little kids is hard and exhausting. Not taking care to protect myself from exhaustion was a failing model. I was learning a new way that required intentionality and a refusal to feel guilt over reminding myself I was a human being.
What I’ve come to realize over the years is that I didn’t suddenly wake up one day in need of self-care. We always need it, but some seasons of life have self-care naturally built in and early motherhood isn’t one of these seasons.
My college years were busy with work, class, studying, and for my junior and senior year, marriage. But I had time to shower. I could go out with friends to relax and recharge. I could binge watch LOST with Daniel. My study time happened at the local coffee pub where I could sit in the sunshine with a cup of coffee while reading medieval literature.
My days were full of little moments that kept me refreshed and fed my soul. And if I got overwhelmed, I could take a nap. I thought I had so many things on my plate. And I did! But I also had room for self-care, I just didn’t call it that because I wasn’t going to the spa or getting manicures every week.
Enter motherhood. All the activities and moments that were recharging me evaporated. I was on call 24/7 with a colicky little baby boy. If self-care was going to happen, it had to be intentional and I didn’t know how to do it. Over the years, it’s become more natural to prioritize that crucial time.
I know that two hours alone with a novel at the coffee shop can work wonders on my sanity, so we make it happen. My husband knows that a Saturday morning run is going to make him happier and more clearheaded, so time for him to exercise is a priority. We’ve figured out how to make the self-care happen so that we can be saner, happier people.
And I’ve discovered that a huge portion of my self-care happens in the pages of beloved books. Especially during seasons of survival mode, transition, stress, or loss, those books that I’ve befriended are my life lines: Enter, the Literary Medicine Cabinet…
Friends, that was a snippet from my newest ebook about bookish self-care!
Look at that gorgeous cover (designed by the lovely Katrina of Rose Harrington Art)! I am SO excited to be sending it out into the world because it was a JOY to create.
This charming 35-page ebook includes:
- Why we need self-care
- How to fit reading time into our busy days
- How to create a “Literary Medicine Cabinet” of books that fit YOU and read like nourishing chicken soup when your soul is weary
- Suggestions for good reads according to genre: classics, children’s lit, fantasy, spiritual writings and modern novels and memoirs
- Answers to your burning questions like “Which Jane Austen novel should I read first?”
- Tips for creating a yearly reading list that will challenge and uplift you
- Printable pages of book checklists with extra blanks for adding in your own favorites!
What readers are saying:
Vanessa who purchased the Literary Medicine Cabinet says, “This book is SO BEAUTIFUL. It is so well-written, clearly took so much thought and care, and the love put into it shines through. I thought it might be more like a printable, or a short list of books Haley enjoys (which would be awesome!) but this book is a multi-chapter guide for people who need books as soul-food. 110% worth it. It has already made my life a little bit better (and I’m looking forward to getting the time to actually finish reading it!).Thank you for creating such quality content, Haley. I am loving it.”
(I promise I did not pay her to say such kind things!)
Ready to crack open your copy of The Literary Medicine Cabinet and get started on some bookish self-care? Grab your copy for $7.99 and brew a delightful cup of tea!