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How I Find Time For Self Care As A Busy Mom

Motherhood is wonderful and such a joy. But wow! It is a lot of work! 

As moms, we are busy! Don’t think that the more kids you have the crazier it gets. Because even having one child is a lot! 

We go from diaper change to snack time to carpool to diaper change to fighting naps to cleaning to cooking to diaper change to folding laundry to bandaging an “owie” to booger wipes to diaper change to snack time to meal time… and that was just the morning! 

If I am being honest, being a mother of 3 kids feels a lot like the classic movie Groundhog Day. Every morning the alarm clock goes off and I do the same thing all over again. 

So, we are constantly taking care of others and serving them, but who is taking care of us? 

Woman giving herself a facial

That’s where the term “self-care” comes in. I love the Mayo Clinic’s definition.

“Self-care is the practice of caring for one’s own health, well-being, and happiness. It is an essential component of stress relief and wellness” 

As a mom, I tend to get so focused on my children’s needs that I forget I have my own until I am running on an empty tank of gas. 

At that point I get upset easily with my kids, I cry more, I feel tired all the time, and I don’t enjoy being with my children. 

I don’t know about you, but that is not the kind of mother I want to be. 

Let me clue you in on a little secret: it doesn’t have to be that way! Taking time for yourself might be the answer you need. Just like it was for me! 

Mayo Clinic also said, “Making time for yourself may feel indulgent or selfish, but that is far from the truth. Even small acts of self-care or self-kindness can go a long way in decreasing the feelings of exhaustion, burnout, stress, and even depression that busy mothers often feel”. 

I want to share some tips and tricks that I have recently implemented. They have made a world of difference in how I show up for my kids! 

  1. Exercise Everyday 

A few years ago, my therapist presented some interesting research. He said that if you can get your heart rate up for at least 12 minutes a day, it will stimulate your brain to have more stable mental health. 

I loved that thought. 12 minutes? Even as a busy mom, I could do that! 

Let me tell you from experience… it has changed me. I am happier, more resilient, and less stressed or anxious. 

Even if you don’t have a gym pass or can’t find a great time to “work out”, you can do 12 minutes. 

Sometimes this will just be a jog around the block with my kids in the stroller. Other times, I play soccer with my 5 year old in the backyard. 

I’ll even have dance parties in the kitchen with my kids (I secretly hope nobody watches those because my dance moves to get my heart rate up are a little crazy). 

There are so many ways to get your heart rate up for 12 minutes! And after awhile, your brain might crave it so much that you’ll want to keep it up for longer amounts of time! 

  1. Wake up BEFORE your kids 

I know. This sounds miserable! We are moms. We need all the precious sleep we can get! 

But, I can assure you that those 15 extra minutes of sleep aren’t going to do you quite as good as waking up and having some time to yourself. 

I started this a few months ago and it has been life-changing. At first, I set my alarm for just 15 minutes before my kids woke up. I would pray, stretch, and throw some clothes on. 

I loved that so much that over the course of a few weeks, I started to change the alarm clock earlier and earlier. 

Now I wake up 1 hour before my kids do! I have time to pray, work out, listen to a podcast, read a book, respond to any unanswered emails or texts, shower and get ready! 


My kids wake up and I feel ready to fight the day and any challenges it brings! I am more eager for them to come give me those morning hugs and I feel excited to talk to them about their dreams from the previous night. 

It sounds so counterintuitive, but trust me. Try it out. Find a morning routine that works for you and stick with it for at least a month. 

You’ll be amazed at how you feel when you are intentionally using your morning time. 

  1. Have Quiet time 

I am not talking about quiet time for your kids. I am talking about you, mama. 

Kids need a break and time to slow down– whether that’s a nap or quiet time for the older kids. And you do too! 

When my oldest daughter was a toddler, during her nap time I would bustle around the house trying to clean up, do the dishes, fold the clothes, make the dinner, etc. 

Even though I was busy and productive, it still left me feeling like I was “on empty”. 

I had the thought to try doing something just for me during that time. After trying it out for a few weeks, I realized that it actually gave me the mid-day boost that I didn’t know I was starved for. 

I began watercoloring during that time, a hobby I have come to love. 

Now, every day during quiet time, I sit down and connect with God, read a book, write, or watercolor. It is so refreshing and liberating to do something just for me. 

NO housework! 

  1. Schedule in some “kid-free” time 

I used to think that taking a break from my kids meant that I was a bad mom. But it actually helps me to be a BETTER mom. 

Once a week I try to have an evening that I leave. Sometimes it is for a girl’s night with some friends, sometimes it is to go get a treat, and other times it is just going to Target to window shop. 

Every week, my husband and I also have a date night (sometimes at home and sometimes out on the town). 

It helps so much to have that adult interaction and time with my BEST FRIEND already scheduled. And it gives us both something to look forward to. 

I hope these three simple tips can help you as you are on your own self-care quest! Your future self and even your children will thank you for taking the time to take care of YOU!

Woman showing self love