Often times when moms put so much emphasis and energy on raising their little ones to be well-fed, clean, educated, socialized, disciplined and nurtured that they forget their own basic needs to love themselves. It’s easy to lose sight of self care in the midst of chaos but it’s extremely important to divert some of this nurturing energy towards ourselves. By doing this, we not only set a good example for the next generation but we also end up happier and much more resilient to stress. Here are 7 strategies to avoid letting the daunting task of being a mom take over all aspects of your life.
1. Set aside some me-time. Even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes twice a day, find some way to set aside some time throughout the day just for yourself. Maybe its while the kids are napping, watching their favorite cartoon or at their friend’s house. Better yet, hire a sitter and take an entire night to do anything YOU want. You deserve it.
2. Remember that self-care is not being selfish, slothful or indulgent. Self care is a healthy ritual that improves physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Those who spend time taking care of themselves are healthier, happier and more balanced. In addition, this love towards ourselves is reflected in the way that we treat others. If we love ourselves and treat ourselves with kindness and compassion, then it sets an example for how your kids will treat people in their life.
3. Find your own routine. Think of one action or a set of actions that will have a large impact on your life if you were to do that every single day for 30 days. Maybe it’s removing junk food, going for a long walk by yourself, or writing in a journal. Envision what your life would look like if you actually made that action into a daily ritual and follow-through with your vision of a more relaxed, healthier you.
4. Let others help you. A lot of us think that when we ask for help the job won’t get done the way we would. Let go of your need for perfection, realize that none of us are perfect, and allow someone else to help you. When we try to do everything for the kids all by ourselves, it leaves very little time to incorporate these self-care strategies. Consider having a kid swap with another mom who might want to ramp up her self-care too. You watch her kids one night while your having your me-time, and then switch roles.
5. Be in the moment. Even when we are spending time with our kids, we are constantly thinking about everything else that we have to do or spending time dwelling on what happened earlier. Take the time to be completely conscious and focus on the present. Be mindful of your current experiences by allowing yourself use all of your senses. Take a deep breath and be grateful for all that you have at this very moment.
6. Have realistic expectations. Saying yes to too many play dates or thinking you’re going to clean the entire house during your child’s afternoon nap is unrealistic and will just cause you stress when you’re unable to follow through. In addition, being in the mindset that we need the best toys or have to send our kids to the best school around may be unrealistic given your budget. Learn how to say no and just do the best you can with what you have.
7. Ignore objections from others. Every parent is going to have some opinion of how kids should be raised based on their own experiences and knowledge. There are plenty of moms out there who are under the impression that self-care is a selfish thing to do. As mentioned earlier, self-love and self-preservation is not at all selfish. Spending time on yourself doesn’t mean you should neglect your kids, it merely means that you’ll have to find the right balance that works for you without letting the disapproval of others get in your way.