Because there’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself mama – actually – its time to stop putting yourself last and embrace the importance of self-care for YOU.
When I was pregnant with my first baby I was told that I won’t have time for myself when the baby is here. I was told that the baby will consume my world and that I will not have time to upkeep my manicure (I paint my own nails), my hair and definitely not have time to go places. I thought to myself, “Why do people say things like that?” “Do they want to scare me not to be a mother?” I didn’t need that kind of a negativity in my life, not then and certainly not now. I was determined to continue prioritizing myself, my needs and my well being all while taking care of a newborn. Fast forward to six years later and four kids later, I am still doing that — taking time to take care of myself (because we deserve some TLC too, mamas), taking time to do things that make me happy (I love being a mom but I also love being me) and making sure that I am a happy mother for myself and my children. I always, ALWAYS say this and will say it again — your (our) children don’t need a perfect mother, they need a happy one. Now, let that sink in.
Being a happy mother means I do things for myself, things that make me happy and allow me to recharge for the week so that I can take care of my little ones.
Take care of yourself first, mama then take care of your little ones.
That may sound harsh, but it is not. You can never give from an empty cup, so first fuel your cup (in my case that cup is a cup of coffee) and then you’ll have enough energy, desire, and love to do the same with your little ones.
5 ways I recharge for the week and throughout the day to keep me going
1. Skip a chore
I will skip a laundry day to wash and curl my hair for the week and put on a little make up. I do five minute makeup daily and it makes me feel so much better. And, paint my nails once a week (sometimes a week and a half goes by). Having my hair, makeup and nails done makes me feel like a human again. Trust me, nobody will run out of clothes.
2. Ask for help
I will ask my husband to play with our kids while I have a coffee date with my best friend, usually on a Sunday morning. And, if he cannot I will ask my mom, my brother… etc. Because I need that time for myself, spent with another adult, other than my husband and kids. I feel so much better after talking to my best friend face to face. Our coffee dates have always been my favorite. We started this way back in college and still keep it up, even after kids. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know it’s hard to ask for help, because you may feel like you’re failing but trust me, the best thing you can do for yourself (and your children) is recognize when you need help and ask for help.
3. Implement nap time and/or quiet time
I make nap time for everyone at the same time because that is,again me time that I will not take for granted. The boys have quiet time while the girls have nap time. This is something we do daily and it helps me continue throughout the day. If your kids do not nap, implement quiet time for them. Practice daily and it will become a routine everyone will appreciate. I will not use this time to clean the house, instead I use this time to relax. I will also squeeze in earlier bed time for myself if my body is telling me it needs rest, if my husband is home. The kids bedtime right now is 830, and if I am feeling tired that day I will be in bed right after them. I prefer sleep and rest of binge watching TV.
4. Get outside for a walk
Get outside and go for a walk alone. Depending on your situation, if your husband is home or family comes over for a visit, ask them to stay and play with the kids for half an hour (that’s not a lot for them and more than sufficient for you) while you go outside for a walk alone. The fresh air and being alone helps refuel your brain with more energy. If all else fails and you have absolutely nobody to play with the kids, then go outside all together, you all will feel so much better after being outside. Don’t let your anxiety take over your life. Pick a place where you are comfortable with, the kids will not care.
5. Unplug for the afternoon
I will pick an afternoon to completely unplug from my phone, TV, laptop, etc. Unplugging completely makes me feel great, and lets me recharge for the rest of the day. It’s such a freeing feeling when you are not attached to your devices. I will turn on Music as it has a way of calming me, and putting me in a good mood. Social Media has a way of consuming us completely, whether you are wishing you had someone else’s perfect life or you are overwhelmed by the messages you are getting unplugging is the best way to recharge.
Remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Period.
It’s hard not to stretch ourselves so thin that we have no time left to take care of ourselves. By just taking a few moments a day for myself I’m able to keep going and stay happy.
Take care of yourself mama.
You deserve it.
a mom of four