Self Care for Moms
Motherhood does not mean you have to give up “me.” We are all so busy taking care of everyone else that we stop taking care of ourselves. It could be because we are drained, stressed, overly busy, sleep deprived or like me personally – just being a martyr, I refused to make myself a priority because I thought everyone else had to be a priority first. But I was wrong. What I found to be true was that in order for my to have a happy, healthy family and life, I needed to be happy and healthy. I needed to do this for my family, because they needed me as my best self.
What is Self Care?
I see self care as an essential element to anyone who wants to live a flourishing, happy and growing life, but it is especially important for those of us in motherhood. With motherhood comes toddlers, tantrums, crazy schedules, endless diaper changes and endless amounts of stress.
Self care is taking care of your mind, body and soul with life giving practices and habits. This could mean taking a walk, meditating, journaling, taking a bath or even learning something new. Growing in motherhood is an important part of self care for mothers, but it starts with us.
When I started taking care of myself, and this meant just making sure I took a shower EVERY SINGLE day, no matter how tired I was and how busy I was, instead of sleeping and only getting showers in every other day and using dry shampoo, I focused on creating 10 minutes of me time in the shower. This really helped me feel “human” again and allowed me to rest and sleep better at night, which allowed me to have better mornings and days.
I was able to change my life, ten minutes at a time.
The biggest misconception is that self care will mean you are being selfish and as moms, we have the biggest mom guilt of all, especially when we start thinking about our needs first. But when we let go of this made up lie in our mind -that taking care of ourselves is a bad thing, – we can start to breath in life giving practices of self care.
Another misconception is that self care is time consuming and “ain’t nobody got time for that.” But honestly, you could start right here right now. Stop reading this post right now and take a “breathing breaking” – 15 deep, slow, long breaths in through your nose and out of your mouth. Just see what that does for your mind and body. Self care can be one minute here, two minutes there or 20 minutes as soon as the kids get in bed, even if that’s at 11 pm at night, because I know most of us are up at that hour scrolling through social media anyway. (Social Media Break post coming soon – the best thing for you mind, soul and body!)
Remember, self care truly allows you keep going and creates more energy for you to be the mother your children deserve.
Why does this self care NOT happen?
I have found that the main reason most moms do not practice self care is because they are too busy or they just don’t have enough time. And to be honest, that was exactly what I thought for almost four years!
When I had my first baby, who is now four years old, I only took showers every other day, if that, because I was so tired from taking care of the baby that I didn’t take care of myself. But looking back now, if I had realized how important self care was, I would have started practicing it sooner. I know, that if I started taking a shower everyday during nap time instead of folding laundry or doing the dishes, I would have been less tired, more energized and not left feeling like a zombie at the end of the day… or all day. I know it’s hard to practice self care, but I also know that it is possible. For all of us.
Although we all have very different lives and families as mothers, we all have one thing in common, 24 hours in a day. To practice self care, all it takes is a little time management and practice, practice, practice. If you need help with time management you can take a look at my coaching program. I’m here to help YOU!
Best Tips to Start Practicing Self Care
- Tip 1: Prioritize Self Care
- Make the time. There will never be “enough time,” so stop waiting for that time to magically appear. Prioritize and make the time.
- Commiting to yourself is a great way to make yourself feel like a priority; tell yourself, you are important and you need to fill your cup so you can fill everyone else’s cup.
- Committing to your family. When you realize that self care is the best thing you can doe everyday for your family, it helps you feel better and at ease about taking care of yourself.
- Tip 2: Give yourself permission. (This was what I struggled with the most when I started my journey of self care and personal development.)
- Give yourself the permission to start taking care of yourself. Know that with motherhood, comes growth and learning… about yourself so you can be the best version of yourself for your family.
- Follow through; giving yourself permission allows you to follow through on self care. I know that when I realized it was ok, and that I was the one who needed to say, it’s ok for me to take time to myself, that allowed me to truly start taking care of myself full force without the mom guilt. I often stopped taking care of myself before I even started because I still didn’t give myself permission to not feel bad about wanting to take a leisure walk for myself, or take bath (by myself), or even just color my own sheet of paper for relaxation purposes. I felt like I was taking time away from my kids or husband or “mom” duties.
- Tip 3: Create S.M.A.R.T. goals
- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound; in the morning choose a specific self care practice for the day, select something you know will be possible, for example, don’t select a leisure walk if you know you’ll be running errands all day, select instead a simple breathing exercise you an do in the car when you park, this allows the goal to be achievable. Make sure it is relevant, to you, your life and interests, although yoga is great for the body, if it is straining to you to start physical self care RIGHT NOW, don’t, there are plenty of other practices you can choose from. Time bound in this case would mean, once a day, once a week or once every other week.
- Start small; it is completely ok, to start with five minutes a day or ten minutes a day. I know that as a busy mom we already struggle to find time in our day for self care, so starting off with a small achievable goal will help you to feel better, every day, slowly.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Self Care for Moms
Self care for moms is more than just taking little breaks during the day, it is a total change of self, daily practices and life habits. Start by recharging yourself just like you do your phone, daily. Whether it is five minutes or ten minutes, do it and make it a priority.
It has taken me some time – almost four years to be exact – to realize the important of self care and go start practicing self care as a mom, and it took me six months to get my rhythm in place, so don’t put yourself down if you miss one day, or two. Know that you can start nourishing your mind, body and soul, a few minutes each day.
Don’t try to be perfect, motherhood is anything but that. Try to be better and grow everyday.
You are a mom, you change diapers, hand out snacks and juice boxes while making sure no one falls off the couch – again, simultaneously. YOU. CAN. DO. THIS!
If you’ve already started self care, please share and encourage others in the comments to start their self care journey. If you haven’t comment below so WE all can support you in your growth and self care journey. You can also join our FREE Private Community.