Being a mom and heading up a household means taking care of others. And when you are taking care of others, the hours in your day get used up fast. It is very easy to get so busy that you forget all about taking care of yourself.
And what’s so wrong with that? After all, it’s what you signed up for. Being a mom is a selfless job. Right?
Actually, no. I don’t think it is. Being a mom should not be selfless.
Here’s what I think. Being a mom is hard. Busy. Overwhelming. Full of joy. Disappointing. Terrifying. Frustrating. Remarkable. Bittersweet. Heartbreaking. The greatest privilege. Exhausting. There is a lot of awesome and a lot of struggle that goes along with being a mom, and we have to just take it as it comes. And we do, because we love our children, and it is our job.
The thing that we forget sometimes is that while being a mom, you are also teaching your kids what it is to be a mom. They are learning from you by example, as in all things. The mom that you are will be the standard for them when your daughter becomes a mom or your son is married and has children with the mommy of his kids. From my perspective, I want my kids to see that their mom has struggles that I overcome, passions that I pursue, a job that I give my all, and respect for myself as a member of our family. I don’t ever want them to believe that being a mom means that you should be a martyr.
There are many good, valid reasons you should take care of yourself, but this is one that I think is particularly important. So, if you can think of your children fast-forwarded a number of years when they find themselves in your shoes, and you think of what you wish for them, it becomes a bit clearer, I think.
BUT…how do you take care of yourself when you are doing this all-consuming job of being a mom? How do you show yourself self-love when you can’t even pee in solitude? Here are my thoughts as someone who has been a mom for over 21 years and still has a toddler to raise. [Sigh. And smile.]
The goal is always to do something lovely for yourself. This is going to be different for everyone. But if there is something you love spending your time doing and you rarely have time to do it, try to make the time. As a super busy mom, there are often things that are neglected, forgotten, or pushed aside that would make you a happier being if you did them. Those are the things to find a way to do!
Self-Care Ideas For Moms
Here are some ideas to get you started, listed according to how much time you can get to yourself.
If you have an hour or two to yourself…
Get a massage.
Meet a friend for coffee or lunch.
Take time in your day for a favorite hobby.
Go see a movie alone or with a friend.
Get a mani/pedi.
Get your hair done.
If you have 20 minutes to yourself…
Give yourself a pedicure or a manicure.
Soak in a hot bath.
Take a nap.
Listen to a TED Talk.
Read a few chapters of a book.
Go for a walk or a run alone.
Go for a bike ride.
If you have 5 minutes to yourself…
Use a face mask.
Do 5 minutes of deep breathing and meditation.
Do a yoga flow for 5 minutes.
Use a sugar hand scrub.
Meditate in a quiet place for 5 minutes.
Make a written list of things you love about yourself.
Sit in the sunshine and clear your mind.
Make yourself a cup of tea.
Give yourself a foot massage.
File your nails and condition your cuticles.
If you have NO time to yourself…
Buy your favorite beverage. (Possibly buy an apple juice or chocolate milk for little ones in tow.)
Diffuse your favorite essential oils.
Listen to your favorite music. It’s OK if it’s not Elmo 😉
Buy yourself flowers. Put them in a pretty vase or jar somewhere you will see them all the time, like next to the kitchen sink or in the laundry room.
Drink infused water.
Buy yourself your favorite food indulgence.
Put on your favorite sweater, lipstick, jeans…whatever makes you feel good.
Go swinging at the park with your little ones. Swinging’s good for the soul.