The toddler is throwing yet another tantrum. The baby is hungry. Again. The laundry sitting in the washer is definitely going to need to be washed another time. What’s for dinner? Wait, it’s dinner time? Where did the day even go?!
I know you can relate. And unless you’re an especially patient goddess, you’re probably feeling frazzled, exhausted, and just plain over it. Something’s got to change!
You’re right, mama. It does. What you need is some self-care on your schedule!
You’ve probably heard about this self-care concept, but that’s not for us moms, right? That’s for young, single ladies with lots of time and extra money to spend on mimosas and manicures.
Not for the mom who has to restructure her whole life just to get a shower!
But not only is it possible to include some self-care into your routine, it’s absolutely necessary. We could all use to lower our stress levels and improve our health, but especially those of us who have the commitment of an around-the-clock job with rather demanding, albeit short, bosses!
Other jobs end at 5 o’clock! Even the most demanding careers have some kind of time off.
Not so with motherhood! You can’t pour from an empty cup, mama. That makes sense to us, right?
After a few of those moments I described above (cue the screaming toddler, gross laundry, failed dinner, maybe add in a blowout and a sippy cup of rotten milk under the couch…), I realized I needed to make some time for myself.
At first, it might feel a little selfish, but the more you get in the habit of prioritizing your self-care, the more you’ll see that it has benefits for everyone!
In fact, you aren’t depriving your partner or your children of time with you, you’re improving the quality of the time that you already give them!
You’ll soon notice that pouring from an overflowing cup is much easier than that bone dry cup.
I think we’ve established it’s pretty important to get some kind of self-care in your life, but how does one sleep deprived, schedule-bound mom make that happen?
It’s really not as complicated as it sounds. I’ll even show you how to make it happen in five steps to keep it simple!
Step one, communicate with your partner. Make sure they understand why this is so important to you and why you feel like it needs to be a priority. Odds are they will be ready and willing to make it work!
Step two, put it on your calendar. In the craziness of motherhood, you know that schedule matters! If you don’t put your self-care on the calendar and stick with it, it will easily get pushed aside when things get wild.
Trust me, I’ve tried the go-with-the-flow self-care method. Guess what? It doesn’t happen.
Make it a priority and set a date with yourself!
Step three, make a list of activities. Write a short list of some things you would enjoy doing alone. They don’t have to be elaborate! You don’t even need to leave your house, although personally I know my kids will smell my presence in the other room and be at the door the whole time!
But these activities could be as simple as going to a coffee shop and reading a book uninterrupted, journaling, doing your nails at a salon or at home (when your kids are guaranteed to be distracted by your partner), a relaxing bath, or going to lunch with a friend you need to catch up with sans kids.
Heck, one of my favorite things to do is go grocery shopping all by myself! Can you imagine the luxury?!
It’s amazing the good that something so simple can do for your soul!
Step four, do it! Stick to the set time you have decided on with your partner, pick an activity that fits the bill, and get to it! It might not seem life changing the first few times you do it. You might even feel a little bored or thrown off of your normal routine, but hang in there!
Step five, do it again. You’ll soon begin to reap the rewards, so keep it up! Don’t let it fall off your schedule when things get busy.
Remember, this is key to your health and your family!
So do it again. And keep doing it. It’s really as simple as that!
Don’t overthink it and certainly don’t feel guilty! Make it as routine and important as the grocery shopping or the never-ending carpool service you run and you will quickly see the payoff!
There is no right or wrong with self-care, as long as you are consistent! Everyone is different, so what works for you might be vary from what works for me.
You might prefer alone time at home or with friends, or you might be like me and need to get away from everyone and out of the house!
What are some of the tried and true ways that you manage to fit self-care into the busy role of motherhood?