Do you ever feel like you are too busy to take care of yourself? Mothers often feel that they must sacrifice all their time and use all of their energy on their children, family and responsibilities. As mothers we need to remember that self-care is an important part of caring for our families too. Taking time to take care of your mental, physical and emotional needs is an important part of each day.
Have your heard the saying ‘you can’t serve from an empty vessel’ or when you travel on a plane they say ‘secure your oxygen mask first before helping small children’. Draining yourself without replenishing yourself ultimately results in being completely burnt out. When we try to “run on empty” it often leads to irritability, resentment, tiredness and unhealthy habits. Do you know the feeling?
My oldest daughter is nearly 6 years old. In that time, I have had the experience of being a working mom, a stay at home mom, a work from home mom and even a pregnant mom on strict bed rest, with a toddler mom… What I’ve learned from those experiences is that being a mom, (no matter what your situation) is a challenging and amazing privilege. I love my daughters with all my heart but there are definitely days where I crave some quiet time to decompress, reflect and reset my mind. We all need that!
Here are some simple ways to stay healthy – emotionally, mentally and physically.
Be mindful of what you eat and drink
Does that extra cup of coffee put you on edge and make you feel more impatient? Make sure you are eating healthy, balanced meals so that your body feels good and your mind is clear. Also, make sure you are drinking enough water. It is easy to forget when you are caught up in the endless demands of the day. Not having enough water can affect your mood (even mild dehydration can cause mood swings and fatigue). If you are breastfeeding you will need extra water and nourishment throughout the day.
Stay connected (not just on your phone.)
Make time every week to see a friend, spend special time with your spouse or meet new mamas. This will help support a sense of belonging (especially if you are a first time mom). Consider joining a group like FIT4MOM http://fit4mom.com or checking out family friendly events in your community. Macaroni Kid is an excellent resource for baby and kid friendly events and activities. https://national.macaronikid.com
Get a smile on your face
Put on some music, dance, workout, paint, go for a hike, or learn something new. Don’t forget your passions and what makes you feel happy. Your children will benefit from seeing you do the things you love too.
Take a hot bath, do yoga, meditate, take a walk, write in a journal, go out for some fresh air or sip some tea and read a book. During your time, let go of the frustrations of the day. Be proud of yourself and let go of unrealistic expectations.
Trying to fit self-care into your long demanding days may seem like a challenge. Do you ever get that guilty feeling when you leave your partner or a family member in charge so you can spend time by yourself? Remember, your wellness is a priority and it will make you a more balanced and happy mother. If you can’t fit in a solid chunk of time to yourself, try to break it down into shorter amounts of time throughout the week.
By: Megan Young, Social Media Manager, Once Upon A Farm & Mother of 2