Motherhood is hard. Ask any mama you know and she is bound to agree that juggling housework, kids, personal relationships, and sometimes even a job is no walk in the park. In fact, it can drain your tank really, really quickly, leaving you running on empty.
Unfortunately, because motherhood is a never-ending job, finding the time and energy for self-care and a tank refill can seem impossible. It’s likely that you go to bed nightly with an unfinished to-do list, and getting your hair done, curling up with a book, or even just showering in peace are far-off fantasies that you can’t imagine actually coming true.
That said, in order to maintain sanity, you simply must find some time for self-care. Luckily, this doesn’t have to mean hiring a babysitter for hours and hours of alone time. A few simple changes in the way you live can make an enormous difference, and will leave you feeling refueled and ready to take on the world.
Yeah, yeah, this is one we all hear (but never get around to implementing). However, it is also one of the most effective ways to care for yourself and make sure you are able to function as the wonderful mother and woman you actually are. So stock up on fruits and veggies and ditch the chocolate bars—you’re worth it!
Coffee is great on those really rough days, but it simply cannot replace water. Carry a water bottle constantly, and keep it filled up throughout the day. You may be surprised how much better you feel when you’re well hydrated.
You may read this tip and laugh. Who has time to exercise, right? Well, I’m not necessarily talking about going to the gym. If you can’t find time to pack up the kiddos and get to a gym, seek out exercises you can do at home. A YouTube channel that teaches yoga is a wonderful option. Walking with the babies in a stroller is also ideal. Figure out what you can manage and do it. You won't regret it!
There’s nothing like some good old vitamin D to leave you feeling great. Therefore, spending some time outside, soaking up the rays of the sun each day is a wonderful way to improve your overall mood and health. The best thing about this trick is that it can be done while working on the computer, nursing a baby, making a grocery list, or even folding laundry.
Schedule in Some “Me Time”
Remember how I mentioned that getting in self-care time can seem impossible? Well, it’s totally possible, but you need to make it happen. Add a bit of “me time” to your schedule each week, and hold onto it for dear life. This means that even if the house is a mess and the kids all need baths, you go. Leave the house and head to the spa, gym, coffee shop, or movie theater for a few hours of peace.
Find Mama Friends
Stress is magnified when we must keep it to ourselves. Finding mama friends who can relate to your situation may be just the thing to help you fill your self-care tank. Set up “playdates” and chat with these other mothers while the babies babble together, or talk on the phone after bedtime, or sign older kids up for a class together and chat in the lobby. Talking about your day, joking about ridiculous situations, and sharing ideas can be hugely helpful for stressed-out moms.
Express Your Feelings
Being a mom comes with tons of emotions. Keeping these pent up inside is never a good idea. Be sure you are talking to your partner and friends about your feelings. Additionally, you may want to express yourself through written word in a journal or through art. If negative emotions become too much to handle even while using these methods, seek out professional help as soon as possible.
Let Go of the Little Things
Nobody’s perfect, not even mom. Let the little things go, forgive yourself when you make a mistake, and move on. Skipping the dishes one night, ordering takeout on occasion, and leaving the floors unswept will not hurt anyone, and letting these things go might just save your sanity.
Seek Out Help
Last, but certainly not least, there is always to option of seeking out assistance. For older kids, babysitters and nannies are a great idea.
However, babies under one year of age—along with their parents—may benefit more from a postpartum doula. A doula can be available to give you that “me time” you need so badly and will gladly hold your little one while you shower. This is perfect for moms who need help while their partner works, for single mamas with no helper, and for couples who are just feeling overwhelmed.
Would you like help as you adjust to being a mom and figure out your self-care routine? I would love to help! Please contact me for information on my postpartum doula services and what they can do for you.