It seems like self-care is the new, trendy buzz word everyone is throwing around. I can’t read a blog article or scroll through social media without seeing mention of it. As a Mom, you already know time for self-care does not come easily. You are busy raising humans that need you 24/7, especially if they are young. You can’t follow typical self-care suggestions, such as staying on a regular sleep schedule, taking breaks, and eating healthy meals, when your children don’t sleep through the night, don’t nap during the day and are picky eaters.
When you read these self-care articles, you likely roll your eyes and think to yourself, “Are they kidding with these? Do these writers even have kids? I can barely get a doctor’s appointment scheduled for myself, much less time at the salon or curling up with a good book that isn’t written by Dr. Seuss.”
If this sounds like you, I’m right there with ya sister. When it comes to self-care, it is definitely not one-size-fits-all. While I agree that self-care is important, I’ve yet to come across anything practical for the Mamas. I imagine realistic self-care tips to sound more like, “Don’t be ashamed to take some time for yourself by hiding in your closet and wolfing down a candy bar when the kids aren’t looking” or “Go ahead and get that 99 cent soft drink you are craving at the local fast food drive-through. After all, it’s on sale and budget-friendly!”
What might be within budget for some, is just a pipe dream for others (like vacations or gym memberships) and what might be relaxing and rejuvenating for one person, makes someone else’s skin crawl (i.e. pedicures and bubble baths). Because Mamas are busy people, we need to find some realistic ways to implement self-care into their routine. It can sometimes be hard to recognize what self-care looks like in the everyday. So, to help you along, here are some ideas and some of my favorite realistic self-care tips for the #momlife.
#1: Coffee Coffee Coffee. This is a great one because it is versatile and fits perfectly into your everyday life. You can drink it at any time of day, like at 5 a.m. when you are woken by your children, or at 10 a.m. for a mid-morning pick-me-up, or even at noon to get you through until naptime. You can alter the taste of it by using flavored creamers or syrups. And, you can drink it at any temperature. Except hot. Nobody gets to drink it hot if they have kids. My favorite temperature is “post-potty-accident lukewarm,” in case you were wondering.
#2: Leave the House. Text your bestie, pack up the kids and meet at the nearest park. Getting everybody out of the house can be a feat in and of itself. As you yell, “get your shoes on” for the hundredth time and are running around like a madwoman packing up the diaper bag with whatever snacks you can find, you wonder if it was a good idea after all. While trying to get out of the house with kids is never fun, the benefit outweighs the challenge. There is self-care in sitting next to your friend chatting while your kids run around squealing with delight and grinning from ear to ear. Playdates are as much for the Mamas as they are for the kids. They give you a chance to connect with another adult who gets it.
#3: Play. As adults, we often forget the joy in play, which can be another form of self-care. Have a tickle war with your kids, a nerf gun or water balloon fight, a dance contest, a tea party, chase them around the yard, run through the lawn sprinkler on a hot day, the possibilities are endless. Playing brings laughter, smiles and good endorphins. It also creates amazing memories, bonds with your babies and silly things you can talk about at the dinner table and before bedtime.
#4: Find your Zen. Whether it is deep breathing, meditation, prayer, chopping ingredients for dinner, smelling the flowers in the garden, diffusing essential oils, or hiding in the closet and eating that candy bar, do something to lessen your stress and bring down your anxiety level. Momming can be overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. It is important to take care of your mental health.
#5. Take an Hour Away. Ask your partner, a grandparent or a trusted friend to play with the kids for an hour. While the kids are occupied with all the fun, you can just go. Go to Target and walk around, go to the library and enjoy the silence, go find a park bench and just sit, go for a drive and listen to your favorite music as loud as you want. Just go. You will be a better Mama if you take some time away for self-care, even just an hour.
If you are not already practicing self-care, I hope I have at least given you a new way to start thinking about it. If you do, what are some realistic self-care ideas that work for you in your #momlife?