Moms have the busiest jobs in the world. Between taking care of kids, managing a home, cooking meals, doing laundry, and getting everything done, self-care for moms may be at the bottom of your list of priorities. It’s easy to put everyone else’s needs and tasks before yourself.
We always have a running to-do list: pick up groceries, start the laundry, wash the fruit, prep dinner, drive the kids to swim lessons, pack the kid’s lunch, and the list goes on. It almost seems impossible to schedule some time for yourself on that ongoing to-do list.
How Do Moms Make Time for Self-Care?
Moms need to schedule their self-care. You cannot say I will get to it when I have time. Or that I will relax at the end of the day after the kids are put down and the house is clean. No mom. It doesn’t work that way. By that time, you’re exhausted and just want to roll into bed. You have no time or energy to do anything for yourself.
You need to write it down on your calendar and stay committed to it. Use a nice gel pen and highlight it to stand out if you need to. Add a cute sticker. Whether it’s an afternoon, one hour, or 15 minutes- schedule your self-care activity and stay committed to it.
Make time for yourself so that you can be a better partner, mother, and person all around. If you don’t follow through on your commitment, it’s like looking at a baby version of yourself and saying, “I’m sorry baby but your needs are not important.” You don’t want to do that to yourself.
Is Self-Care for Moms Selfish?
Taking time off for yourself and doing something to maintain your health and wellness is not selfish or self-indulgent- it’s necessary. Engaging in self-care activities will help you can feel reenergized, refreshed, and better able to care for your family. Doing too much can make you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, cranky, and easily irritable. Mom burnout is a real thing.
Have You Experienced Mom Burnout?
- Have you accidentally snapped when you shouldn’t have?
- Was there a moment when you could’ve been more patient but weren’t?
- Did you forget to do something that you meant to?
- Are there moments when you’re easily frustrated?
These are all signs of mom burnout.
You don’t want to be a burnt-out mom snapping at your significant other, being impatient with your children, or forgetting tasks that need to get done. Being an overworked, stressed out, and burnt-out mom will do that to you.
Why Do Moms Need to Practice Self-Care?
Self-care is the intentional act of taking time to do something for yourself that nourishes you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. According to researchers, self-care helps manage stress, lowers your risk of illness, and keeps up with the demands of being a busy mom.
Making time to do something you enjoy is an important component of taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. As moms, we need to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our families.
I have young kids that are very clingy to me. I do feel bad that they cry for me when I’m not there, but that’s normal behavior for children their age. It shows that they have a healthy attachment to me and realize when I’m gone and not there with them.
I take time off to do something I enjoy because I need it. I only leave for a few hours to walk around Target or shop at Marshall’s and then I’m home. It helps me mentally and spiritually to get outside the house and have time to myself.
Self-care does not have to be a glorified half-day spent at the spa or a weekend trip with your girlfriends in Palm Springs (although it could). It also means taking care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle. It’s nourishing your body with healthy foods packed with vitamins and minerals and drinking enough water to stay hydrated. It also means saying no when you’re overwhelmed and getting enough sleep.
Sleep is important for our bodies. Getting 7-9 hours of healthy, good-quality sleep is vital to staying healthy. Don’t think that coffee, tea, or another energy drink will give you the energy you need. When you’re overworked and tired, what your body needs is sleep.
If your little ones are still getting up in the middle of the night and keeping you from getting a night’s rest, squeeze in a 20-30 minute nap in the middle of the day. Don’t feel guilty about taking a nap in the middle of the day. Although there are about 10 other things that could get done instead of napping, what you’ll do is make yourself rejuvenated. You’ll wake up with more energy and be able to accomplish more with a newer robust sense of productivity. A nap may be all that you need to make yourself feel better.
Sleep is important for your performance throughout the day. Without good sleep, you could become sluggish, forgetful, groggy, and easily irritable throughout the day. Don’t skimp on sleep and make sure that you’re getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep.
Making wholesome food choices and nourishing your body with the right nutrients and vitamins is an essential part of self-care. Eating a minimally processed, whole-food diet is good for your gut for your body. Having an occasional sweet treat is okay but don’t have one every day.
The digestive system takes a long time to break down and process highly processed foods. When you eat a heavy meal, a lot of energy and blood are sent to the digestive system to help digest your food. That is why many people feel sluggish and foggy after a heavy meal- all the blood is shunted to the digestive system to process food.
Opt for smaller meals that are whole foods and minimally processed so your body gets the nutrients it deserves. It will also make it easier for your body to digest. Read here for simple lifestyle changes that you can implement to start living a healthy and happier lifestyle.
Exercise is important for your physical health. According to the CDC, adults need to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Whether you’re walking, biking, running, or practicing yoga, you want to get your blood circulating and your heart pumping.
It’s important for your overall health and wellness to stay physically active.
Dance to an Old Tune
Dance to an old tune you used to love. Put on a playlist of songs from your high school or college days and take a trip down memory lane. Dancing to these old songs and reminiscing about fun times will give you a boost of serotonin and make you feel good.
If your kids are older, you can also share with them what special memory this song reminds you of. It’ll be a way to connect with your child and also make you feel good as you dance together.
This is a fail-proof self-care tip that I love to do. I just play some old songs and take a walk down memory lane. My kids are too young to appreciate the songs that I used to love but I can’t wait to share with them all of Mom’s favorite jams from back in the day.
Messy mom buns, leggings, and oversized sunglasses with a cup of coffee in hand are the ultimate mom look. It’s even a fashion trend. You can search for it all over Pinterest and you’ll find hundreds of images of the messy mom bun. They are all basic concepts with just a little variation.
Although the messy mom bun is a fashion statement, change up your “mom routine” and do your makeup differently today. Put on a different eyeshadow, curl your hair, put on a nice blouse, and wear those heels. You don’t need to have a special occasion to dress up a little nicer. Do it for yourself. Dressing up and doing your makeup will make you feel better and give you extra confidence to go out in your day.
Have Brunch with a Friend
Spending time outside of the home and having adult conversations with your friends is an important part of maintaining your identity and who you are as an adult. If you’re a stay-at-home mom or work from home and don’t get an opportunity to go outside and socialize much, it can be easy to feel as though you lost your sense of identity.
Go to a nice brunch spot, eat outside, and have some girl time with your friends. You will feel happier, more spiritually wholesome, and rejuvenated after getting together with friends.
Go on a Target Run by Yourself
Need I say more? Go to Target by yourself. Stroll through all the aisles and leisurely take some time for yourself. If you have young kids, you’re used to buckling them up in the car, getting them out, pushing them around in the shopping cart, and reminding them not to touch or break anything. It will be a relief not to have to do that and just take some time for yourself. You can grab some Starbucks and stroll through to see what’s
Take Your Caffeine Break Outside
Sitting outside, soaking in some sun (with SPF on of course), getting fresh air, and taking a moment to breathe is also a form of self-care. You can use this time outside to close your eyes and meditate for a few minutes. Close your eyes and think about what you’re grateful for. Or use this time to journal or read a book.
I enjoy going outside because we’re always cooped up inside our homes and inside of our work all day. And when we’re driving to and from places, we’re quickly rushing to get inside the building from our cars. If the weather permits, go outside and enjoy some time for yourself.
Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy some quiet time, and listen to the birds sing.
Do Something You Used to Love
I’m sure you used to have hobbies and things that you loved to do before you had kids. All of that got put to the side after you had kids. Let’s face it, kids take up a lot of your time and energy. But going back and doing something you used to love can reinvigorate you.
What were some of your hobbies in high school? College? Did you use to draw? Sketch? Or paint? Were you active and swam a lot? Did you play tennis or run often?
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Spark up an old flame and watch it ignite.
Watch an Old Comedy
There’s nothing that makes us feel better than having a good laugh. And I mean a good belly-aching laugh. Those are the best laughs that hit deep in your soul. Put on a comedy for a whole-hearted laugh.
Reading is a great way to disconnect from electronics and dive into another world. There are so many great books that you can indulge in whether it’s fiction or not. The Colleen Hoover series is an amazing series of books. I didn’t understand the hype until I picked up one of her books and was addicted. I finished one book in two days!
You get so entranced in her writing, you fall in love and cry with the characters. It’s amazing. You can also read for 10-15 minutes a day. Don’t feel as though you have to sit down and read a whole book to get the benefits from it. Even reading for 10-15 minutes a day can relax you.
You can also read inspirational and motivational quotes to give you a quick lift of encouragement.
Self-care may mean different things to different people. It may mean having a girl’s night once a month to one person and it may mean having some quiet time alone to cozy up with a good book to another mom. Whatever the decision may be, it needs to nourish your soul and honor who you are. It needs to make you feel good and to give you some peace.
This is your time to take a break from being a mom and do something to refill your cup. Remember to schedule your self-care time and stay committed to it. You are just as deserving of love and care too.