Taking care of yourself requires more when you’re raising kids at home. However, when you become a mom, you create unattainable self-care expectations. This post breaks down why you should give yourself time every day, how to take care of yourself as a mom, and things to think about as you create your mom self-care schedule.
Parenting can be exhausting, and when you’re focused on raising kids, you start feeling overwhelmed with time. This is why you need to turn inward and find ways to show some self-love.
Many of the times I felt exhausted throughout the day meant I was lacking self-care in my routine. I will admit that there are moments when I’m constantly on the go and I forget to take a second to myself.
When interacting with other moms, I noticed a common trend. Moms have this habit of placing others before themselves. As nice as it might seem to do so, there’s a lack of communication in what it means to be a mom and be a person as well.
Why Moms Should Take Time For Themselves
You don’t lose yourself because you breathe life into someone else. There are simple ways on how to take care of yourself as a mom that makes a difference in your day.
For starters, focusing on 5 minutes of doing something you love. It could be journaling or sitting down and enjoying a hot beverage.
I remember my mother going to the store for hours at a time. She would come out with a couple of items at hand.
I always questioned this. Spending hours at a store, looking at every product on the shelf, reading their labels only to put them back down.
I’m sure it was informational, but how could that be pleasing?
As a child, I didn’t understand why this is part of how to take care of yourself as a mom.
For every mom, there’s always something that brings joy to their everyday life. For my mom, walking inside of a store for hours made her happy.
I have to admit that I, too, find myself doing the same at times. I don’t take hours doing it though.
Whether you work long hours at home or outside of your home, it’s important for you to take time out of your day to focus on what makes you smile. This is probably the best tip I can give to women who are looking for tips on how to take care of yourself as a mom.
Ditch Those Self-Care Expectations
It’s time to break the habit of thinking of self-care as only massages and hot baths and make time for the things that genuinely make you smile.
There’s more to investing in your happiness than spending money on the latest beauty trends. In fact, you should be investing more time into the simple things.
Although cleaning your home might not be part of your self-care routine, but it is for some. For me, having a clean, organized home relieves stress.
It gives me the space I need to be creative and work on content. Less clutter around me means less clutter in my mind.
Being able to create realistic expectations is what will help you understand the importance of making time for yourself.
Why Rethink Self-Care Expectations
Focusing on the things that matter will make a difference in your everyday life. From daily tasks to learning to prioritize, it’s important to rethink expectations.
For years, I struggled with this and understanding how to make time for myself. After thinking about the things I wanted in life, I began to notice some of the them were no longer important.
When I found out I was going to be a mom, all I wanted was the be the best mom I could be. I tried balancing a lot of things, not realizing family life is more of a juggle.
I stressed often and I didn’t think about the impact it would have on my mental health. With time, I let go of silly expectations — like wanting a huge wedding, traveling more with my partner, etc.
Once I began appreciating the simple things, I noticed a change in my mental health. Living in South Florida hasn’t been easy without family and friends nearby, but it’s been rewarding for us.
The truth is, you won’t always know how to make time for yourself as a parent. However, you’ll need to make the time anyway.
Although it might seem difficult at first, there are 5 things you’ll need to keep in mind when you think of self-care expectations.
1. Not everything will go as planned.
I can’t stress this one enough. Mondays are my least stressful days, but not always.
There are nights I want to cry myself to sleep or feel numb because the day hasn’t worked out as I had planned. It’s okay to deal with whatever it is that needs to be handled so you can make time for yourself.
This is one of the ways I remind myself daily of the importance of tackling things around the house so I can have those 5-10 minutes to relax at night.
2. Go outside as often as possible.
Taking a breather is the best thing I’ve implemented in my day. When I don’t lay out in the hammock, I feel it.
The stress begins to build up and I find myself wanting to escape. Laying out on a hammock makes me feel weightless, as if my worries are as well.
I don’t know about you, but I double up on daily self-care during the holiday season. It keeps me going on the harder days — like when all three kids are home from break.
Even just opening up a window in your home can make a difference in your day.
3. Your happiness does matter.
There are many reasons why you should make time for yourself. More so when your happiness depends on it.
Caring for others is nice, but what about caring for yourself? It’s easy to place others before you, but it isn’t healthy.
Your mental health relies on your happiness to stay balanced. If you’re constantly putting yourself last, then you’re only hurting yourself.
Get up early and take that shower. You will notice a difference in how you feel when you take care of your basic needs first.
4. Be kind to yourself as well.
It’s normal to want to help others, but there are people who will take advantage of your kindness. Teach yourself to know the difference between those who need your help versus those who are looking for handouts.
You cannot people take you for granted. Sometimes kids will do this and overstep their boundaries as well.
Teach your family how to be patient and more independent when you’re not available.
5. Focus on the things that make you smile.
If going for a walk gets you excited in the morning, then do that. Do it often and watch how simple it is to juggle self-care and family life.
You won’t regret making time for the things that make you feel yourself. However, you will regret not taking care of your mental health.
Always choose sanity over whatever you think is more important.
Sometimes a messy home just means you need a break.
Make Attainable Self-Care Goals
In 2013, I gave birth to our firstborn. It was a wonderful time in my life.
I was working full-time, and I had family and friends nearby. Going to the hair salon was no longer top of mind, and this is coming from someone who went to the salon weekly since a young age.
Over the years, I had learned to do my own hair. I went once to the hair salon after my son was born because my husband said I needed time to myself.
It wasn’t until I had spent two hours at the hair dresser that I remembered why I stopped going. Doing my hair wasn’t a luxury anymore, and going to the salon took time away from creating memories with my family.
Making time for my family was more important and relaxing than going to the salon. The time I spent getting my hair done could’ve been spent doing something else.
To help myself make time for my hair care regimen, I created a family schedule that would give me time Friday evenings to do my hair and nails. It worked out and I saved the money from the salon for food shopping and helping my parents with theirs.
New Mom Self-Care Expectations
Aside from wanting to spend more time with my family, I wanted to focus on more attainable self-care goals. It was more relaxing to organize my space and myself.
Working on improving my home and spending time with those I love had made a difference in my mental health. It was something I focused on again after moving to South Florida.
Starting fresh with a partner, a six-month-old son and a husky wasn’t ideal, but it brought us closer. There were arguments and I did find myself wanting to move back.
As a new mom, my self-care expectations began to change after the move. I no longer relied on family and friends to stop by and help with the little guy.
It was now my partner and I working on raising a child and caring for a pup. It’s improved the relationship and has helped us appreciate one another.
Here is a list of ways on how to make time for yourself with a newborn:
Going for morning walks with your infant is always a good idea. It helps you get fresh air and your newborn to get sunlight which is a great source of vitamin D for their health.
Pick up a hobby
Having something to look forward to that you can do alone is exciting. Infants sleep a lot during the day so it’s important that you get time in for yourself as a parent to do things that you love.
Make use of early mornings
With a newborn, you’ll notice you’re up before sunlight. It might not seem ideal if you’re a night owl, but I can assure you this will come in handy in getting a head start on other things around the house.
Maybe an early start means drinking more water or writing your thoughts down. Whatever it might be, make use of the early hours.
Catch up with people on social media
Being social as a new parent might not be easy at first. Whether you live close to family or friends, there’s no denying the first month or so is a little exhausting and you’re practically on your own.
Using social media as a tool to connect with loved ones and make new friendships can be fun. There are a number of people who can relate to you as a new parent via FB groups.
Do as your child does
The concept of napping as your child naps is true. It means rest when you need to, just like your baby does. Not only is it true when it comes to taking a nap, but you should also feed and bath yourself as well during the day.
If you have help from a family member or your partner, then I recommend bathing when the baby goes for a bath. That extra time to yourself while someone else cares for your child can be relaxing.
Give yourself time
Don’t put deadlines on when you should be doing something or you’ll only overwork yourself. When you give yourself time during the day to do things you’d like to accomplish, you’ll feel less stressed and more accomplished.
One trick I tell moms who feel overwhelmed is to focus on 5 things you can do during the day. Put one of those tasks as your main priority and complete it first.
You’ll notice a sigh of relief once you cross the most important thing on your To-Do list. The other 4 are additional things you can accomplish later on or the next day.
Don’t rush yourself. You have time.
The Reality Of Making Time For Yourself
One for the reasons it has worked out for our family is because we’ve managed to appreciate the moments. Whether we’re by the ocean or sitting on the couch.
It’s the people you surround yourself with that make you appreciate where you are in life. That’s why it’s important to make room for them and yourself — this way you can be the best version of yourself around them.
Developing a mom self-care schedule will make a difference in your day. Aside from everyday tasks, you’ll need to consider fun self-care activities you can pencil in throughout the day.
When you create a timeframe during the day that you can dedicate to yourself, it makes a difference in how you feel and how you view yourself.
Like the new mom who only eat her child’s leftovers, you need to remember the importance of taking care of your needs as well.
Creating a mom self-care schedule is simple. These 3 steps can help you successfully work on one today:
- Think of the things you enjoy doing;
- Write them down on paper; and
- Put the best time you can do these during the week.
Here’s a printable weekly self-care schedule sheet for you to jot down some ideas for yourself to try.
Self-Care Mom Quotes On Why Make The Time
Self-care is more than hot baths and massages. Rethink your self-care expectations.
Self-care isn’t optional. It’s necessary.
Self-care is giving yourself time to recharge.
Make yourself a priority by adding a self-care into your daily routine.
Self-care helps you find the strength to keep going.
Book an appointment, go for a walk, do whatever it for you to make time for self-care. Your mental health depends on it.