A great mom needs to be a happy mom. To fully understand why self-care for moms is important, check out our 11 ideas for happier, healthier motherhood.
Motherhood can be the most wonderful experience. But, giving birth and/or taking responsibility for a child is a huge undertaking, and along with the joys and laughter can come trials and frustrations. Do not underestimate the impact of motherhood on your own life. You are dealing with one of the most important, if not THE biggest shift in your life and identity.
This is why it is vital that moms take care of themselves from the first moments onwards. Self-care for moms is essential to be the best mom possible. We infuse those around us with our own energy, so taking care of ourselves means we can give more to others, as we will find ourselves with more patience and readiness to take on whatever comes next.
So take a moment, and read on for our top tips on self-care for moms.
1. Self Care for Moms: Positive Thinking
Motherhood can be tiring, and when we are tired, not to mention with all of the extra hormones flying around, we can often fall foul to negative thought patterns. Try and take a step back from those negative thoughts and dwell on the positive.
Here are a few ideas to move into a more positive mindset:
- Instead of thinking of the things you could have done better, congratulate yourself for getting as far as you have. Think of one thing that’s gone well today. It could be something as small as doing to washing up.
- See yourself the way your child likely sees you — as their perfect mother.
- Remember that moods can shift quite quickly. Allow the emotions to pass, notice how your body is feeling and how that changes when the negativity starts to pass. This way, you’re an observer of your emotions rather than being ruled by them.
- Have positive affirmations at the ready. Start each day with looking at yourself in the mirror and stating them — and try them when you’re feeling bad. Some examples could be “I am capable”. “I am patient” or “I am a loving mother”.
2. Time Manangement
We all like to think we can take on the world in one go, but small steps are much more achievable when it comes to self care for moms. Think of the best ways to spend both the time you have with your child or children, but also the best way to spend the moments of quiet you have when they may be resting or otherwise engaged.
Some ideas to maximize time management are:
- Leave the least important jobs and errands if you are in need of some rest, or other activity that gives you a sense of doing something for yourself.
- Don’t spend all your time away from your child on social media. Networking can be amazing for connecting with family and friends, but sometimes we get carried away and before we know it, all our downtime is eaten up.
- By all means, make a to-do list, but don’t worry if you don’t tick things off. You can use it more as a guide, and again, don’t put too much on there.
A self-care for moms list cannot be without this one — REST.
Rest doesn’t necessarily have to mean sleep. Resting comes in many forms, and may include the following:
- Listening to your favorite relaxing music.
- Putting your feet up on the sofa and resting your eyes — even if this means ignoring the washing up.
- Pop on your favorite half-hour comedy show whilst your child is sleeping, and at night, once they have settled, your favorite film, if you aren’t already somewhat asleep.
- Take a gentle walk, and stop at a bench and watch the world go by.
Eating well will always benefit us, especially when our energy is drained chasing after lively children. Eating regularly and healthily is best, but this isn’t the time to be harsh on yourself. Allowing yourself treats is an important part of a self-care regime. This doesn’t mean going overboard with unhealthy snacks, but a little bit of what you fancy can go a long way to happiness.
As an extra tip, you’d be surprised what healthy foods children will eat, when led by example. If you enthuse over bananas, olives, dates and carrot sticks, chances are that the little ones will too. Happy diets, with essential nutrients, lead to happier and healthier families.
Treats are an essential part of self-care for moms. They are not selfish moments, but instances where we can feel special. Think of them as valued rewards for all your hard work.
- Take a massage, or if time and funds don’t allow, maybe invest in a massage cushion. These are perfect for grabbing quick moments when scheduling a massage may not be at all possible. These are available to buy on Amazon**. You may even have a partner or friend willing to assist.
- Sometimes a bath is all you need. Once a thing taken for granted, a busy mom may long for a delightful soak, when time allows. Again, this may be a better use of time than doing tasks that can wait. Add a few rose petals or salts and allow yourself that important time-out. Ask a partner or friend to take care of the kids for an hour and lock the door!
- You may be out walking with your child. Why not stop at that cafe and have your favorite cake? You are walking and getting exercise. Life is always about balance.
6. Seek Support
Humans are social animals. We need contact and support at all our life stages, particularly motherhood. Sharing stories and experiences, from the sublime to the embarrassing, can help us feel supported and integrated.
Here are some tips to maximize support:
- Seek out local mom groups — you’d be surprised how many there are. From coffee to craft mornings, to walks in the park, connect with others in the same situation.
- Call up friends, both those with and without children. Your good friends will always be happy to hear from you for half an hour or so. Don’t be afraid to say you are struggling. Sometimes a cup of tea and a shoulder are just what you need.
- Be honest with any partner you may have. You don’t have to do things by yourself. This may be as simple as stating your need for an above treat or half an hour to yourself whilst someone else takes over.
- Reach out to your doctor if you feel you need extra support. It is out there for you.
7. Own Space/Time/Hobbies
As much as we love our children to bits, sometimes we may long for some time on our own. This is not unreasonable at all, and hopefully you have enough support to be able to take some child-free time, even if it’s just for half an hour a week. Motherhood can also make us feel like we don’t know who we are anymore.
Do not feel guilty about this — taking time for yourself is essential to connecting with yourself and your new identity (if you’re a first-time mother), and will allow you to return to your family refreshed and energized.
- Take a walk.
- Take a class you love.
- Visit your favorite places, be that an art gallery, museum, or local landmark.
You may also decide to do these things with your child, to introduce them to the things you love, but most importantly, make this about you. If a child will gripe or complain, or wish to do something else, then make sure you still have time for yourself to go back solo, and enjoy what you need to, to be fulfilled and refreshed.
8. NLP: Neuro-Linguistic Programming
One self-care exercise for moms could be studying the possible benefits of NLP. Neuro-linguistic programming looks at what may trigger sadness and depression, and offers ways to combat them, by shifting the mindset through a change in activity. This may be something as simple as when you feel a moment of overwhelm approaching, you go for a walk, or write down what’s in your head. Journalling can help find the common triggers for negative emotions, helping you know when to act to try and shift certain oncoming moods and reactions.
9. Mom and Child Bonding Actvities
Self-care for moms can totally involve quality time with your child. Look out for these bonding activities:
- Mom and baby/child yoga.
- Mom and baby/child massage.
- Watch cartoons together.
- Read together.
- Nap together.
- Discover nature.
- Draw and color together.
- Bake sweet treats to share.
Yes, it’s easier to say than do. But, sleeping is vital for a healthy body and mind. In the early days, aim to nap when your baby naps, no matter what else you may think needs doing. As you never quite know how long you are going to get, take the rest whenever the chance pops up. You’ll be grateful for it later.
Don’t feel the need to stay up late at night, making sure your home is spotless, and every task complete. If you need sleep, take it.
When your child is older, sleep is still important. Use your time management skills to make sure you go to bed at a decent time. It may even be beneficial to go to bed earlier, and maybe wake a little earlier. Children tend to wake early until their teens, so get used to becoming an early riser.
11. Get Silly
We all have an inner child that is often waiting to come out. Now is the time to embrace that sense of childish wonder. Get lost in having fun with your child. We are sure you have lots of ideas but, here are a few to get you started:
- Jump in puddles.
- Dance in the rain.
- Play barefoot.
- Sing songs, even if you think you can’t sing.
- Crawl around like make-believe creatures.
- Play the floor is lava, and clamber over furniture.
- Pretend no one can see you during hide and seek, even if your feet stick out of the end of the curtains.
Joy is infectious, make sure you have plenty of it around you.
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