Learning to do things on your own is one of the best feelings as a young adult. When you become a mom, you create unattainable self care expectations. Instead, you begin focusing on being there for everyone else.
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 expectations, 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 you.
Why I Stopped Going To The Salon
In 2013, I gave birth to our firstborn. It was a wonderful time in my life.
I was working full-time, 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.
This was September 2013. At that moment, it seemed like the best decision.
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.
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 at home.
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 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.
Why Rethink 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 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.
The truth is, you won’t always find time for yourself when you’re raising a family. You’ll need to make the time for you.
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.