Momma, you have to take care of you too!
As mommas, we are naturally caretakers. Our day revolves around taking care of our husbands, babies, and the household. It’s exhausting and many of us neglect self-care for mom in the process.
In the end, Self-care for mom is not a priority.
I know you are probably thinking “how am I supposed to make time for myself?” Your to do list is probably a mile long. Your family’s needs come first and you often find that your needs are at the end of the list.
Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup!
A momma who is neglecting herself is unable to be present for her family. She is less patient with her children and husband. Additionally, she is feeling stressed and overwhelmed. In the end, she is unable to live in the moment.
This momma is also more susceptible to the negative effects of stress on her body. This can include: somatic symptoms (think headaches, stomach aches, back tension); poor sleep, irritability, and others.
Remember, stress is unavoidable and the key is to learn how to effectively cope with your stressors.
How do you currently cope with stress?
Take a minute and identify how you currently deal with your stress. Do you try to avoid it? Stuff it away until another time? Or try to completely ignore it?
Now what happens when you experience a trigger? The stress that you have been avoiding, can suddenly feel overwhelming.
You can become distracted and unproductive. Also, you can experience other unpleasant feelings like depression and irritability.
Self-care for mom is the time that you take to do something for you. It can be anything that helps you to escape, relax, and prepare you to better address you stressors.
People that incorporate regular self-care into their routine are not as negatively impacted by stress.
Many moms give the heavy eye roll when others start talking about self-care. We are so often preoccupied with working and taking care of our families. In the end, self-care for mom seems more like a burden that an escape. Us mommas have to realize that our mental health is just as important as the health of our families.
If you are not taking care of yourself, how do you expect to adequately take care of your family?
The simple answer is to make self-care for mom a priority on your to do list. Making the commitment to do something for you can help you get out of mom fog. Also, this can allow you to be more mentally prepared to address your and your family’s needs.
So, momma what can you do to make more time for you?
1. Schedule Self-Care for Mom!
If self-care for mom is not on your to do list, then it will not occur. Not only does it need to be on your to do list, self-care for mom should appear regularly as scheduled time.
If you have been neglectful of yourself, starting a new routine can take some time. Making the commitment to being a happier you, means making the time. When you plan out your appointments for the week, be sure to include self-care for mom time.
Remember, self-care does not have to be an extended amount of time. It can be 15 minutes to take a hot bath. Or a 20 minute walk.
The important thing is that you are doing something that helps you to relax and that makes you happy.
If you are on a quest to become more organized (story of my life), try using a planner to help you. There are many planners on the market. Some are specific to busy mommas and help to encourage you to take time for you!
2. Create Self-Care for Mom!
Having self-care tools around your home can help to encourage you to practice self-care. Scheduling self-care for mom helps you to be proactive about your stressors.
Moreover, having self-care tools, gives you access to things that can help when unexpected stressors arise.
Start by getting an old shoe box or container. Next, fill it with items that you help you to relax. These items can include:
- a journal
- stress ball
- fidget toys
- books or magazines
- crossword puzzles
- coloring books
- supplies for a hobby you enjoy
Make it a family activity and create a self-care box for everyone in the family. Mommas are not the only ones who need time outs. Remember to encourage your children and spouse to use their boxes to help them relax when they are acting out.
Make this box your own. Label it “Self-care for Mom,” and make sure it is accessible when you are at home. When your kids are driving you crazy or you feel like you are going to lose it, take 5-10 minutes to engage with the items in your box.
Also, it is helpful to start to pay attention to changes in your body when you are feeling stressed. Are your shoulders tense? Do you have headaches? Or an increased heartbeat?
After you have self-care for mom time, pay attention to what your body feels like when you are relaxed. As you become aware of the stress changes in your body, you will be better able to implement self-care techniques.
The key is to implement these techniques, before you become too stressed.
The more routine self-care becomes to you, the less impact stress has on you. You cannot avoid stress, but you can avoid stress taking over your mind and body.
3. Use Down Time
Self-care for mom time is meant to be fun. If your self-care time seems like a chore, then it is probably best to reassess what you are doing.
Exercise is a great form of self-care. If you are anything like me, going to the gym is the last thing I want to do in my free time. Some mommas feel the opposite. So, if working out is not something you enjoy, then identify creative ways to get in some exercise outside of going to the gym.
Whether is having a dance party with your kids, playing hide and seek in the house, or window shopping at the mall, there are many different ways to get your steps in.
If you find that lack of time is preventing you from doing self-care for mom, try to identify times during the day when you can multitask. Some popular times can be:
- Driving to and from work
- Right before you go to sleep or right after you wake up
- During nap time
- While pumping or nursing
- Break times at work
Sit down and identify quiet times throughout your day. You do not have to have a large amount of time. Self-care can be effective in as little as 5-10 minute increments. The important thing is to practice self-care for mom on a consistent basis.
These mini breaks can also be great times to use the tools in your self-care for mom box. You can also use short breaks to sit in silence, practice mindfulness, read (or listen to an audiobook), or journal.
4. Plan Self-Care for Mom!
Take a minute and write down your interests. What makes you happy? What are you hobbies? When do you feel the most relaxed?
Sometimes it is necessary for mommas to step away from their role as mom to recharge. Moms are selfless people. Your role as caretaker is to give to others. It is very easy to get lost in the role and no longer have a sense of who you are.
Yes. you are a wife and mother, but you also more than that. Taking the time to connect with yourself, can help to be more productive in your caretaker roles. It is ok to be selfish sometimes!
Review your list, plan, and schedule self-care for mom activities that allow you to step away from your caretaker role for a little while. This can be something as simple as date night with your husband, hair/nail appointments, or as grand as a weekend away.
The important thing is to do something to help you recharge!
Simply planning and scheduling this self-care for mom time, can help to lift your mood. You have something to look forward to. The anticipation can be therapeutic. It’s like you have a light at the end of the mom fog tunnel.
Don’t feel guilty momma for doing something for you. In the end, if you make the commitment to ongoing self-care, you will be more appreciative of your roles of wife and mom.
5. Enjoy Self-Care for Mom!
Self-care for mom is something that you do for you. No matter what activities you choose, the end result is you feeling happy and relaxed when you are done. You have to make time for loving yourself.
The act of laughing is a great form of self-care. Couple that with spending time with others, and you have an excellent combination of fun.
Spending quality time with your family or your girlfriends helps to break the routine. You are building positive connections with others and practicing good self-care.
Self-care for mom does not always have to be alone time. There are definite positive benefits to doing self-care activities alone, but it is sometimes necessary to spend quality time with others.
Your support system is important to your mental health. They are the people you turn to, to unwind, vent about your crazy kids, and they hold you accountable.
So, as you are scheduling self-care for mom time, don’t forget to plan an evening out with people in your circle.
The ultimate goal of self-care for mom is a happier and healthier you. Remember momma, what works for you, may not work for someone else.
Making the commitment to make time for you is not always going to be easy, but you will never regret it!
With a schedule, a little planning, creativity, and lots of love, self-care for mom time will make you a better version of you. So momma, take the time today and do something that makes you happy!
How do you manage to include self-care for mom into your daily/weekly schedule? What are some things that you do during your self-care for mom time? Let us know in the comments below.