Short answer: No, you don’t. Self-care for moms is not a new subject in any way. You need no magic spell, you can just check on Pinterest, you can find hundreds of self-care ideas for busy moms. This is great, we all know that moms need it.
But knowing so, I wonder why do we treat this magical self-care like some luxury??? Like something additional. The first thing on the to-do list that will most likely be removed if there’s no time.
Let’s make something clear from the beginning. You and your body will function properly only if you’re “serviced” on a regular basis. Yes, just like your dishwasher and others.
You should not be skipped
You take care of everybody around you so don’t skip yourself. Do you skip brushing your kids’ teeth? So why would you skip your own shower? Do your kids eat breakfast? I hope you do too! How many books do you read for your children? When was the last time you read one for yourself?
And questions like that are nothing new either, right? Everybody’s telling you “do something for yourself” and give you another list of great ideas.
What concerns me though is that most of those ideas are bubbly bath or mani-pedi. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad in taking a long, relaxing bath. The thing is however that the effect of this calming experience is very short term. What if your toddler throws a tantrum right after you leave the bathroom? Back to the tub?
The self-care means balance myth again.
So let’s take a few minutes and think about what is the true meaning of self-care when you’re a mom?
Many would tell you that it’s about balance. Well, I don’t agree. Balance in mom’s life is impossible to achieve. So as a result of chasing this glorious idea of a balanced life, you are only getting frustrated and burned out. That sounds like the opposite of self-care to me.
As long as you are in the center of your family, responsible for everybody’s dinners, emotions, and homework, AND at the same time you have friends, hobbies, jobs, etc. you will be constantly pulled in different directions.
You need to prioritize, plan, and so on. In my humble opinion, you cannot balance it all. What you can do is make decisions about what do you want to focus on at the moment.
Bubble baths and empty cups.
We’ve already touched on the famous bath experience. Another very popular sentence repeated over and over again is that you cannot pour from an empty cup. And this time I agree 100%.
Having so much on your shoulders you simply have to take care of yourself. Sorry to tell you this but nobody will do it for you. And no, I am not saying that your hubby is not trying enough. I am saying nobody knows what you really need better than you.
Yes, I am saying that you need to know what do you want first. It doesn’t have to be all about goal setting, life purpose seeking talk (although I love those!). Just a quick look into yourself to know what would make you happy at the moment (or this month).
Some mindfulness, maybe?
It might be helpful to divide your life into categories like parenting, homemaking, spirituality, personal development, social relationships, health, etc. The sky is the limit.
Then, as I said, check in with yourself in which department there’s something you would like to do for yourself.
You see, it’s not only about a new hairstyle or piece of chocolate to indulge a bit, but it might also be about organizing 15 minutes a day for the next 2 weeks so that you could read a book or go for a walk.
Whatever is lacking now, can be improved, and then your mind can easily focus on other subjects. Self-care is about making your life easier for you. About bringing the A game where and when it’s needed!
Make your self-care intentional!
If you are constantly tired your brain will think about shutting down as often as possible. There’s no way you can be happy, peppy mom then. It takes at least a couple of naps and you’re back on track.
If you happen to live in Midwest as I do and you have cabin fever because winter 2019 has been here for about 142 months then probably the best you can do is go out on a date with hubby or organize a girls’ night out with besties.
I honestly encourage you to make self-care intentional. Think it through. Take a minute to reflect on what it is that you are NOT doing lately and to do exactly that.
Excitement and joy come from a variety of experiences.
Contrast to everyday mundane tasks will give you not only an endorphin rush (it’s called happiness hormone) but also will let your brain check this off of the list and let you be for some time.
If whenever you pass a mirror you think “l need to get to the gym” you most likely get annoyed by the thought itself. Am I right? So what can you do about it? You could actually go to the gym to workout but you could also sit and plan healthy meals for the next three weeks. You took care of a living healthy department.
That is self-care!!! You not only took care of your body but also of your mind! One annoying thought out of your head.
Busy Mama takes care of herself – no rocket science here.
The whole process of busy mama’s self-care needs to be demystified. It’s not some magic unicorn spell, it’s thinking about your own wellbeing on an everyday basis. Live with purpose and intention and you will never need to schedule a special “me time” again. Because that will be a regular part of your day.
For me personally, my mindset work is my self-care routine DAILY. I don’t do a big deal about it. It’s just 10-15 minutes of me checking in with myself and setting my mind to still be my friend not enemy 😊
What does self-care mean for you?