Screw self care, this is self-survival

What I'm about to say will probably touch a nerve in most of you, whether you agree with me or not. In the past, I've actually gotten e-mails saying how my mission of self care for moms and mom happiness is not what life is about. Well, I have news for you: it's not self care, it's self survival, and it's our responsibility as free members of society to not live in misery, stress, and anxiety all the time. In light of the recent attacks on the parliament in my nations' capital of Ottawa, I've had a chance to reflect on what it means to be a Canadian and a citizen of the free world.

While you all may have read some of my other blog posts or articles, and have an idea of what some of my opinions and point of views on nutrition are, you may not know how the same principles can apply to your entire life.

We all know that we have to eat to survive, and that we have a choice to create health or disease with each bite of food.

The fact that most of us even have any choice at all in what we eat is only because our freedom depends on all the women and men who have given up their lives for us.

When I was watching the live newscast last Wednesday while strangers performed CPR on Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who had been randomly shot while he was holding ceremonial guard duty at the Canadian National War Memorial, all that I could think of was "his poor mother".

We are bombarded by stories like this happening in the rest of the world every single day, but as a Canadian, I felt like it was always something that happened "somewhere else", even a short hour's drive away just over the border in Detroit.

This was the first time that I could place myself in that tragedy.

I lived in Ottawa for 8 months on co-op terms during University, and my friends and I used to play Ultimate Frisbee, barefoot on the grass of Parliament Hill with the Peace Tower watching over us and giving us the time (this was before everyone had a cell phone), right in front of the building that was attacked.

For the first time, I thought "that could have been me".

I think that when you become a Mom, some extra compassion chamber in your heart grows three sizes, like in the Grinch who stole Christmas.

You literally start taking to heart things that you would have expressed sympathy for before, but that sympathy all of a sudden becomes empathy.

The worst part is that these tragedies are happening every. single. day. 

Random people get shot in public places.

Fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and children all die of horrible diseases like cancer and heart attacks, sometimes with no warning whatsoever.

Children get hit by cars while riding their bikes, and don't make it.

So what is the only thing that you can do, when these horrible things happen, and we're inundated by suffering and sadness on the news, on Facebook, and at any store checkout?

First, take a deep breath. Right from your belly.

Cry, if you need to.

And finally?

Live and find happiness.

I know that those soldiers and victims didn't give their lives so that we could be round-the-clock servants to the big and little humans in our households and workplace, who without meaning to, can take everything and leave us as empty shells of the women we used to be.

I know that they didn't defend our freedom so that we can be modern slaves to stress and anxiety, like I sometimes find myself swallowed by.

It's not realistic to think that we can all be blissed-out all day, every day, but it's time for all of us women to learn how to have one moment of true joy and happiness each and every day.

It's not selfish to take some time for yourself. Your worth as a human being is not dependent on you go, go, going every minute of every day. You're not going to get a "I worked myself to death" medal when you shove off of this mortal coil.

And your kids aren't even going to remember a spotless house. They're going to remember when you let them make a huge mess while you made homemade chocolate chip cookies ... and let them lick the beaters, while simultaneously warning them that they might get salmonella poisoning from the raw egg.

Today, I want you to read the Love What You Eat Manifesto above, and then pick one thing to do just for yourself, something that you've been putting off because you're so busy and you can't find the time.

It can be that you go pee by yourself, and linger in there a few extra minutes to fix your hair just right and feel pretty. It can be that you put the kids to bed early and eat dinner without someone screaming or throwing food at you. Or you could just nap. It's your call.

While you're at it, do yourself a favour and banish the word "selfish" from your vocabulary.

It's not selfish, it's self-survival.

I wanna know: what's the one thing you're going to do for your happiness today?

If you're absolutely baffled as to how you can incorporate self care into your life as a busy mom, then please join over 1,000 other busy moms from 25 countries world-wide in the free 30 Day Calm Mom Challenge. Just click here, or go to www.calmmom.ca to sign up.