Let’s talk about you. Making time for you. Making you a priority. Putting your needs on the to-do list. As a mom, this is a challenge. There is a lot of #momguilt that comes with making time for yourself. And, unfortunately, there are many people in society that reinforce mom guilt by #momshaming women who make time for themselves. So for all you moms out there who’ve experienced this, I am here to reinforce to you that it’s okay to take care of yourself and here are my top five ways to do this…..
Make Sleep a Priority | Sleep and rest are not the same thing, and a body cannot run on rest alone. Exhaustion is one of the biggest contributing factors to postpartum depression, and depression in mothers period. People who do not have children of their own often find it odd why mothers are so tired. Us moms have all heard the rude comments and criticism before: “Well, you were home all day, what did you do? Why are you so tired? It’s not like you actually worked today? Being a mom isn’t work.” FALSE. Anyone who says anything like this, or remotely similar, is completely clueless and obviously not a parent them-self (and, no, babysitting does not count as a parental comparison). Being a parent is the hardest job a person can have, and for mothers who stay at home with your children, work from home to be with your children, or take your children to work with you…..I APPLAUD YOU. I applaud all mothers, regardless of your occupation, period. But in order to be the best mother and parent possible, one needs sleep. It is imperative. Sometimes this means cutting something else out of the schedule, or neglecting the laundry until another day, or asking a friend or relative to watch your baby or kid(s) so you can get a few hours of sleep. Whatever it takes, make sleep a top priority. In the end, not letting yourself become a sleep deprived zombie will make for a happier mom and child(ren).
Don’t Give Up Your Beauty Routine | It’s easy to ignore, neglect, and skip your beauty routine as a mom. But as a mom, this is one thing we should absolutely not over look. Making self-care (in the way of a beauty routine) a priority helps any mom feel better, more pulled together, more confident, and have more energy. So, rather than ignore, neglect, or skip your beauty routine……just simplify it. There are lots of ways to simplify a beauty routine. I try and make my skin a big priority because I have struggled with clear skin for years and years. When I take care of my skin, I feel better about myself. So even if I only spend five minutes a day on my beauty routine, I wash my face and take care of my skin. Furthermore, it makes getting ready and applying make-up quick and easy when my skin is healthy. I know moms that have had their eyebrows micro-bladed, get lash extensions routinely, or get Botox every few months. These moms do all these things with the purpose of cutting down on their daily beauty routine time. And, though I have not explored those options yet, it makes them feel better and works for them so all the power to them!
Pamper Yourself | Give yourself a mommy time-out. Even if it is only 30 mins to an hour of quite-kid-free time, give yourself a mommy time-out and go get a manicure, or pedicure, or both! Personally, I prefer to get a massage over a manicure or pedicure. I have had back problems for years, so any time I can have a professional workout some back pain it is well worth my time and money. I come away from this kind of time feeling refreshed; with my patience replenished, and my energy restored. Another favorite thing I used to love to do was get a facial. Like I’ve said before, I’ve struggled with clear skin for years. So getting a facial was a relaxing way to help my skin and calm my mind.
Schedule Friend Time | Don’t give up your girl time. This time keeps you sane as a mother. If you can’t find a sitter, this can absolutely be done with the kids. Have a “mommy and me” play-date with a friend and her kid(s) at the park, or children’s museum, or for a stroller or bike ride. Moms can chat and catch up while the kids play! But if you really want to utilize some quality time with your friends, schedule at least one hour of uninterrupted time with a friend every week or two. Take a workout class together, grab a coffee, start a book-club, take a cooking class. There are approximately 720 hours in a month, making adult time a priority for two of those hours is not much…..you can do it!!
Get Moving | Get up and get those endorphins flowing. This can be done with or without kids. I used to take my daughter on walks nearly every day when she was a baby, it was good exercise and fresh air for me and a nice stroller ride for her. We still take walks regularly now, even though she is a toddler. If you’re a person that wants more physical exercise than just a walk, get a jogging stroller and train for a 5k or 10k with your little(s). Pushing the weight of a stroller is a great training tool. Take a workout class by yourself or with a friend, most gyms have some form of a kid’s club program where your little can socialize and play while you get your sweat on. If a trip to the gym isn’t in the budget, try a home workout while the kids are down for a nap or incorporate the kids into the workout if they are awake. Personally, I think it’s awesome when a little can see a parent make exercise and their physical health a priority.
Anyway you spin it, proper self-care makes for a happier and healthier mom. A happier and healthier mom makes for happier and healthier children. Furthermore, showing your children that taking care of yourself is a priority is setting a good example. So, let go of the mom guilt! Taking a few hours a week (or month) for you is not just okay, it is healthy.