Inside: Do you think that self care for moms is unattainable? Self care for busy moms (AKA every mom) is possible, and more importantly, it’s necessary. You can’t care for your family and kids if you don’t first care for yourself. Learn how to fit a little “me time” into your day, even if you are a mom who sucks at self care.
I’ll be the first to admit that I suck at mom self care.
We as women have more responsibilities now than ever before. It’s not surprising that self care sometimes just doesn’t happen for moms.
Moms wear so many hats.
We are wives, sisters, aunts, daughter’s and friends. We are professionals in the workforce. We are the primary caretakers of our children.
And when you become a new mom, you not only need to learn how to care for your baby, but you also need to learn how to take care of yourself as a mom.
In my experience, I completely lost myself during the first year after the birth of both of my children.
Caring for a newborn is hard work. It’s physically and mentally exhausting, but it’s also exhilarating.
I dedicated all of my time to my babies. I nursed them, I talked, sang, played, and read to them, and rocked and bounced them to sleep.
And in my opinion, losing yourself (temporarily) after the birth of a child is okay *gasp*.
Oh you’re still there? Good.
It’s the maternal instinct. To care for our babies, to nurture them, to protect them.
“You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to others.”
I used to struggle with handing my babies over to someone else. Even my husband. I still get anxious when I leave my kids (other than to go to work because that’s something that I have to do).
Dare I say it’s normal to lose yourself during that first year. And it’s okay.
What’s not okay is if you don’t get yourself back.
Self care for moms is not some mythological idea made up by the perfect moms that you see on Instagram (you can follow me, I’m definitely not a perfect mom!).
The Importance of Self Care for Moms
Your motivation should come from the same little beings that took you away from yourself. Your kids.
It’s healthy for your kids to see that you have your own likes, dreams and desires. If you model self care to your kids, they will learn that their wants and needs are important too.
“You carry so much love in your heart, give some to yourself.”
And If I want to be here for my kids, I need to take care of myself first.
This is the biggest motivation for me. I lost my mom when I was very young. I will do anything to make sure that my children don’t go through what I went through. That includes taking care of myself.
Self Care for Moms 101
Where to start if you suck at self care
Realize that this is not something that will come easily. It will most likely be a journey. Figuring out how to balance motherhood and self will take time.
Think about the way that you feed your family.
If my kids want more fruits, vegetables, or my coveted shrimp, I give it to them.
If I burn a pancake while making breakfast, I’m the one who eats it.
I make sure they get the best of everything. I don’t do the same for myself. But becoming aware of this, and realizing that your health is just as important as theirs is the first step.
I’m not going to write down a list of self-care activities and ideas. You can find those lists everywhere.. And besides, you know yourself better than anyone else.
Self care is simply doing the things that make you happy.
“Take time to do what makes your soul happy.”
1. Make a list of things you enjoyed doing before kids
Pick one activity from the list that you haven’t made time for, and make the time.
2. Start small
A lot of the time, self care as a mom evokes visions of massages and pedicures at the salon. That’s not what self care truly is (though an afternoon at the salon would be nice!)
Little things like taking a daily shower or bath as a mom can be revitalizing, but can also be majorly overlooked.
3. Workout at home
Getting moving and staying active is more important than ever because let’s face it mamas, we’re not getting any younger.
So if you find it too difficult to go to the gym (I know I do!), the great thing is that it’s never been easier to workout at home.
Find a workout app that works for you. Nike has a great one. The workouts are short and effective, I can access them instantly whenever my kids are occupied, and it’s free.
4. Get enough sleep
When I don’t get enough sleep, I can tell. I snap at my husband and get easily frustrated with my kids.
“Loving yourself isn’t vanity, it’s sanity.”
Do what you can to get sufficient sleep. For me and my family that means cosleeping. It makes all of us happy.
5. Involve your kids
If what you miss doing can be done with your kids, then do it! Involve them in your hobbies and your life so that they can see that you are more than just “mom”.
Related: A Simple Way To Bond With Your Daughter In One Minute A Day
6. Let go of the control
Parenting made me realize that I’m super type-A. Thankfully having a second child cured some of my intense need to have everything done my way.
Realize that your husband deserves to have a chance to bond with your kids without you there (even if it means that you might come home to everyone eating cereal for dinner). Your kids need time with their father too.
Remember that your kids are watching. Show them you, not just “mom you”.
And someday, someday way too soon, your kids will be older and much less dependent on you. When that happens, will you know who you are?
Friday 25th of June 2021
Self-care is highly important and many of us (working mothers) ignore it. It's good to be into your baby (newborn and others) and putting yourself aside but at the same time, do not kill yourself. You got to put some effort to make life better for yourselves and it begins with taking out time for self-care.
Each day do something that will benefit the inner you and make your life beautiful and worth it.
Thursday 30th of September 2021
Such great advice!
Tuesday 23rd of June 2020
This is so relatable. All that you told are totally true and thank you for the little tips
Thursday 30th of September 2021
You're not alone!
Sunday 7th of June 2020
This is exactly what I needed to read to make me justify the mom guilt I’ve felt recently to start doing some things for me. I’ve really put myself on the back burner for...gasp...8ish years. 3 kids later with my youngest being 4 I lost myself somewhere along the line. Everyone including my husband has been cared for before I did the simple needed not wanted things. I’ve recently came to find myself a little and it’s been difficult to take the time for that shower every day to a simple washing my face in the morning and at night. Just from those two things it’s changed my mood dramatically! This just makes me feel less guilty for enjoying It. Thanks so much for this!
Friday 12th of June 2020
I'm SO glad this was helpful! Mom guilt is so difficult to deal with!
Wednesday 22nd of April 2020
Thank you. I can not stress this enough. I have a 6 month old, and it's definitely been hard as parents and as a mother to not have my world completely be taken over by this amazing beautiful little human. I'm not going to lie, it's hard, and I didn't expect it. No one ever talks about these parts and how hard it will be, yet again, it's something you won't fully understand and can't imagine until you have a baby of your own. But I want to thank you. Sitting out on my porch reading all the things that I feel, knowing other moms feel the same, has given me a little ray of sunshine and the light at the end of the tunnel.
Friday 12th of June 2020
This is why I write on this blog! I completely understand how soothing it is to discover that you are not the only person feeling a certain way.
Tuesday 17th of September 2019
It's so true... That if moms don't take care of themselves how will she be confidant enough to take care of the other few/many.
Thanku so much for this lovely post
Friday 20th of September 2019
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the kind words!