I don’t need to throw statistics around about the importance of self-care for moms. Moms hear it all the time. We’re constantly bombarded with, “Don’t forget to take care of yourself.” We know we should take care of ourselves, but what does that actually look like? Beyond trying to fit in a shower every day, what can busy moms do to actually practice good self-care?
Self-Care for Moms Starts with Sleep
I know, I know, I know. Saying moms should sleep more is almost like telling someone it’s raining when they’re already standing outside in the middle of a downpour. But I think a lot of that is related to the pressure to be supermom. Sure, some days you are going to have to get up early or stay up late to get something done. Whenever possible, though, put a higher priority on your sleep. The younger your children are, the more this is true, as your quality of sleep will probably be less by default. I will tell you from experience that your kids aren’t going to remember whether the dinner dishes are done, the laundry folded and put away, or whether or not you are going to do the five other tasks on your list before bed. It’s hard to have a to-do list that never seems to be completed. I get it, trust me. But you’ll have more energy for your list tomorrow if you take the time to put this basic need at the top of your priority list today. You can even try what my husband and I did and alternate who is on point with the kids that night.
Diet and Exercise
I’m definitely not the mom who is going to push you to get back in shape fast because there is no one right or wrong way to do it after having kids. Just as there is no right or wrong time or even definition of “in shape.” Plain and simple, though, self-care for moms means that your health matters. Start meal planning, join a gym, shop the produce section more, or begin using a diet and health tracker app. Whatever you decide to do, make time every day for yourself. Your body needs good fuel to function. Your mind needs nutrition and stimulation to juggle all that you manage each day. Some good resources for this:
It’s very easy to avoid delegating tasks. I would often say things like, “I’ll just do it,” or chastise my husband’s method and do it my way. Not only is this destructive to any relationship, it puts more on your shoulders. More, it creates resentment that you’re the one managing it all. Delegate some of those tasks—as many as you need! Take some of the load off of your own shoulders for a change, and make it as permanent an arrangement as possible. Easy ways to delegate more:
- Hire a babysitter and assign basic tidying to her after the kids go to bed.
- Split the budgeting responsibilities with your spouse. If you do the grocery shopping, you take the variable bills, like the groceries. Your spouse can take the recurring bills.
- Assign your kids simple chores. Simple chores require less oversight and parental intervention. Dusting, general tidying, and putting laundry away are good examples.
- Set up Amazon’s Subscribe and Save for basic household goods: paper towels, diapers, baby wipes.
- Sign up for grocery delivery!
Make an Appointment With You
Setting time aside for your own self-care should be one of your highest priorities. It could be 5 or 50 minutes depending on your needs and schedule, but it should at the very least happen. Make an appointment with yourself and guarantee that time will be used to reconnect with you. Self-care for moms is essential. It’s the time you take to calm your mind, pamper your body, nurture your soul.
You are a mom, yes, but you’re also a women.
You have dreams and goals and wants and needs beyond just that of a mother. Take time to reconnect with the you that goes beyond your three letter name.
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