Before you simply glance over this post with a chuckle under your breath as you whisper, ‘Self-care for moms? Are you kidding? Who has time for that?’, stop! Yes, I know, life gets busy, and life with little ones running around, who’s favourite words are, ‘Mama, Mama, MAMA, MA---MA!’ can be hard.
In fact, putting yourself first when there is a family who needs you sounds downright selfish, right? Wrong! It is not selfish to ensure that you are functioning to the best of your capability and it is definitely not selfish to ensure that you are OK. For it is only when you are ok, and you are happy, that you will be able to be the mom and the carer that your family needs (read more about our guide to happiness here).
Have I got your attention now? Good! Because here are our quick and easy (and yes, they are quick and easy) tips to becoming a self-care savvy mom.
You first need to define what it is you need. Take some time while you are doing your chores for example (this is my favourite time to reflect, who knew how meditative washing dishes could be?), and think about what it is you really need: what would make you happy & what would make you feel good?
Then, prioritise and schedule your ‘me-time’. Once you know what it is you need, create a ‘me-time’ time slot in your schedule. Ask your husband or family member to take care of the kids during that time and go take care of yourself. I, for example, go for a facial once a month and I relish this time (and the pampering).
Here is our Guide to Self-Care and ‘Me-time’ Activities:
1. Get Your Pamper On
As mentioned above, I treat myself to a monthly facial and it feels absolutely heavenly. But my real secret inner-most pampering extravaganza is a full body massage. 'Hmmmm....', I feel my body relaxing just thinking about it. I cannot, however, rely on other people to look after our little Bean every time I go to the spa (which if it were up to me would be weekly) and so I take Bean along, and we go to child-friendly spas (yes, they do exist and they have child-minders!)
2. Sleep In or Take a Nap
My husband is not a morning person and my little Bean loves to wake up between 4am and 5am, every day. As soon as my little guy wakes up, he calls for me and as much as I try to ignore it so that my husband can take the morning shift every now and again, A lies next to me like a piece of wood, not moving an inch. So, I have decided that I will have a nap when A is there to take over the parenting. And I have that nap, come hell or high water. A woman needs her beauty sleep!
3. Convert Chores to Fun Activities
Take your list of daily activities, work and chores and see which ones you can change into a fun activity. Whether it is dancing while vacuuming or cooking a proper meal, there will be something. Sometimes we just need to look at something from a different angle to appreciate it and to realise that it makes us happy. Once you stop looking at a chore as something unpleasant, it quite easily can become something fun.
4. Get Outdoors
The tranquillity of nature replenishes the soul, the fresh air rejuvenates those ‘tired bones’ and the soothing sun warms the heart. Getting outdoors can be something as simple as strapping your child into a stroller and going for a walk, it can be a relaxing family picnic, or it can be a day of adventure. We live in an amazing country with glorious weather, so take advantage of this and find peace outdoors.
5. Nourish Yourself (and Indulge)
As moms we often end up eating a cold plate of food or drinking an ice cold cup of coffee (which has been re-heated at least 3 times), the idea that we need food and water to nourish our bodies as much as our children do, seemingly a far-fetched dream. Our bodies, however, need fuel and the best way to get the best out of your body is by putting the best into your body. Ensure that you eat healthily by sitting down as a family to eat. Make a food a celebration.
Can I tell you a little secret? It’s ok to indulge in a special treat every now and again! Have that slice of cake or buy that lolly pop (my secret indulgence) and remember that life is balance (and this includes food).
Please do not ever feel guilty for taking care of yourself, for taking time for yourself. Your family wants you to be the best you can be, in fact, they need this, and kids are happy when their parents are happy too.
Happy Mother's Day!