Have you ever stopped to take a minute and appreciate your life? As a mother, there’s barely time to stop to go to the bathroom, so you’ll be forgiven for saying no to that question! Here’s the thing, Mama, if you don’t have the time to stop and realize how blessed you are, when do you stop and think about yourself? We know, your life is full of children’s activities and schedules, meals, cleaning up – probably your own full-time job outside of all the things that you do at home. It’s busy and it’s often extremely overwhelming to be that busy all the time – and there never seems to be any let up.
Mama, you need a break. You need a break to think about you and put yourself first. It’s great that you’re an invested mother. The thing is, you can only do as much as your energy levels allow, and if you’re not looking after yourself you won’t have any energy levels to think about! Spending all of your time hurrying around has made you lose sight of the fact that if you don’t start taking care of yourself, the kids will grow up and move out and you’ll still be stuck feeling the pinch of all that time you didn’t take for yourself. You’re taking care of the house and the kids and – by default – your partner, and you keep everything running smoothly. There was a reason that Mother Bear had the cold porridge; she put herself last. Let’s stop eating cold porridge, Mama, and let’s embrace a bowl of steaming hot porridge instead.
Below, we’ve put down some suggestions for self-care that you need to consider when you are looking after yourself. You don’t have to give all of your time to yourself, but you do need to think about what you can do for yourself, which is why we’ve come up with these suggestions.
Those yoga pants? Those are the ones you’ve had since you were pregnant. The blobby old bra that is greying from the washer? It’s time to get fitted and upgraded. You may even need to get your feet measured again and upgrade the Crocs for a decent pair of shoes that support your feet. Taking some of your cash to spend on yourself is best spent on supportive and lovely clothes that you can wear that take you away from feeling like a Mom. You are, after all, still a woman, and you do need to think about what will make you feel good on the inside. Clothes shopping will revitalise your wardrobe and give you the confidence you need.
Run A Bath
We don’t mean a bath that’s lukewarm and the children invade. You need a luxurious bubble bath, and for that you need a good bath bomb and a bath shelf. The shelf is where you’ll prop a book and a glass of wine (or something!). You don’t need to wallow for hours if you don’t have the time, but a 30 minute soak can make all the difference to the way you feel and it can help you to unwind. Let’s not forget fluffy bath towels and all of your products, too. Self-care isn’t about hygiene, it’s about feeling fantastic. A bath will relax your muscles and give you time to feel great.
There are some frustrating days when you’re a parent. You can feel guilty for it if you want to, but there are shouty days where you hear nothing but arguing and bickering and it drives you crazy. If you start practicing meditation with the help of YouTube, you can start learning to calm your mind when it’s happening. The stress makes your blood pressure shoot up and this can make you feel more overwhelmed than is necessary. Learn to breathe slowly and purposefully, relaxing between each one to help your body to stretch into the right positions and relax on the inside.
Go On A Date With Yourself
What’s your favorite meal? Book a table at your favorite restaurant and bring a good book. Eat the foods you love the most with two hands and take your time while you do it. The kids can often make mealtimes a stressful occasion and with this, you can take that stress away and just eat at your own pace. Treat yourself the restaurant you would normally never take the kids to, as this will feel even more indulgent.
Set Up A Reading Nook
There’s a point to this! If you love to read, then invest a little cash in a great cuddle chair, some fat pillows and a soft throw blanket. Add a hanging light, a side table and a bookshelf of your favorite authors. This nook is just for you, not the kids, and it’s not designed for storytime in the evenings. This is just your place to unwind and dive into a world populated by fictional characters. Some of the best self-care comes from being still and just enjoying something that has everything to do with you and nothing to do with anyone else. You don’t need to spend hours a night reading – though you will, you know it – but even half an hour of calm time with a hot drink after bedtime will make all the difference.
Get The Girls Together
You may all be mothers, you might not be, but you need to set a date to go out. This is a day you’ll have a hot shower, scrub your body down to feel great and get into your sparkly dress and beautiful shoes you’ve bought. Get out and dance, drink or head to the theatre for the night. The point here is that you get to step back and let your hair down. There needs to be some venting and laughing and you can do this better with your girls.
Go For Coffee
You can go as far as your kitchen if you like, but you need to make your coffee and then drink it. If the kids are pulling at you, you tell them to wait for five minutes and set them up with an activity to do so that they can be distracted while you have just one hot drink for the day. Sipping slowly helps you to get your bearings and relax for the day! You need a moment in the day but you can only have one if you will take it. You cannot always be at the beck and call of someone else, even if it is the kids.
Indulge In Your Hobby
Whether it’s something you do for yourself pre-children or not, you need to find something that you love that’s just yours and spend time with it. It can be binge-watching Netflix, knitting or even painting. The point is that you take time for yourself to just do it and enjoy yourself for a few moments. When you spend so long making sure that everyone else is happy and fulfilled it’s very easy to forget to do it for yourself. It can help to write down a list of all the hobbies you once had, too, so that you can pick from that list as to what you do next with your time.
Join A New Club
How many baby groups and school events do you attend? How many clubs are you involved in that are not about the kids? Yep, we thought so! It’s nice to get involved with the children’s activities but if you’re doing this all the time and nothing else, then you need to find some clubs that serve your own interests, instead. The beauty of joining these clubs is that you’ll make friends that aren’t to do with the kids and you’ll be able to get out and have something penciled in for you. Most mothers wouldn’t see this as self-care, but is there any better self-care than meeting new people and having fun doing something you love?
Book A Weekend Away
The ultimate self-care for a busy Mom is a weekend away. Whether you go alone or with friends doesn’t matter- you need to pick somewhere and bok it right now. Book a hotel for two nights and book your travel – don’t drive. You need to get a train or fly to this destination and make the whole weekend just about you and what you like. Go to see a show and spend time in a spa if you can get the booking.
All of these self-care tips are only going to be relevant if you recognize how much you are doing as a mother. You deserve to think of you for a change and these are the self-care starters that you can use to do just that. Take a moment and make a list: what could you do next time? When can you pencil in some time to have a coffee or a yoga session. Find the time before it runs out.
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