Whether you work outside the home, from home, or as a full-time mom, time is hard to come by. As a working mom, self-care is probably the last thing on your mind. You are trying to juggle a demanding job, a long commute, childcare, meals, marriage, and so much more. You are probably used to putting everyone else’s needs before your own
But lately, it seems like self-care is something that everyone is talking about. It has become a popular topic of conversation for a reason. Self-care is something everyone needs to make a priority, which is easier said than done. On the surface, self-care may look frivolous or overly indulgent, but it is something that is very necessary, no matter what stage of life you are in.
1. Schedule Time For Self-Care
When you are a parent to a young child and also working full-time, like me, self-care must be intentional. Unless you specifically schedule time in your day or week to take time for yourself, it most likely won’t happen. Depending on your schedule, your kids’ schedules, and your partner’s schedule, you will be able to find some additional time for yourself. Mornings can be a great time for daily self-care if you don’t mind getting up before your kids. Weekends and nighttime can also be possibilities for allotting time. Self-care does not have to take a long time or happen every day, but it should happen on a regular basis. Use childcare options if necessary.
2. Pamper Yourself
When you hear the word “pamper,” the ideas that come to mind probably include a long relaxing bath, getting a massage, or going to the nail salon. These are definitely great ways to be pampered and to de-stress. However, pampering yourself is not limited to these traditional methods. For me, I am not a big fan of taking baths or getting my nails done, although I never say no to a massage. My idea of a perfect day includes eating great food, taking a long walk in nature, catching on a great book or TV show, and maybe even getting in a nap.
If you haven’t taken the time to pamper yourself because you also don’t enjoy long baths, think outside the box! Pampering can be whatever you want it to be. Buy yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers, hire someone to deep clean your house, or sign up for that cooking class you’ve been wanting to take. What you do is not the important part. It’s all about how it makes you feel.
3. Simplify Your Beauty Routine
Before I had my son, I loved all things beauty, whether it was trying out new skincare products, wearing masks multiple nights a week, or keeping tabs on the latest makeup releases. My makeup routine often took up to 30 minutes and my skincare routine could take even longer. These routines were quickly abandoned when I had to learn how to care for a newborn and now toddler.
However, looking your best and feeling confident is a crucial component of feeling your best. This can mean very different things to different people. Find a simple routine that takes only a few minutes but will make the biggest difference in how put-together you feel. And don’t forget about your skin. The wear and tear on your skin is not reversible, so take time to protect and nourish it as much as you can. Taking care of yourself does not have to be expensive. There are plenty of easy things you can do at home, like these 6 DIY Oatmeal Face Masks For Flawless Skin.
4. Take Care of Your Body
The bodies that we have are the only ones that we get, so it is vital that we treat it as such. From birth, we are so concerned with our children’s health and well-being yet commonly disregard our own. You can’t care for your kids properly unless you are taking care of yourself first. This includes getting enough rest, regular exercise, and eating well. When you don’t feel your best, even the simplest tasks can seem insurmountable.
5. Connect With Family and Friends
As an introvert, my son was the perfect excuse for me to stay at home and not feel obligated to go out and socialize. However, I soon realized how much I craved adult interactions and how much I missed my friends. Becoming a mother can be extremely isolating, which can make an already difficult endeavor even harder. Don’t close yourself off to family and friends. Make time to spend time with people whose company you enjoy, with or without your little ones. It can be easy to forget about the good qualities that you possess when you only interact with your children on a day to day basis. Meeting new friends who are also moms can also be a great way to connect with others who know exactly what you’re going through.
6. Pursue Your Interests
Motherhood can be very overwhelming. After I became a mother, the job required so much of my time and energy that I abandoned most of my other interests and hobbies. Motherhood began to engulf me and became my primary identity. Although there is nothing wrong with that, I was desperate to reclaim my own identity, one that had nothing to do with another person.
One way I was able to do was to rediscover the interests I had before motherhood as well as exploring new ones. I started making time for reading, cooking, and doing things that I was passionate about. Being a mother was only a part of who I am, and I was able to appreciate it much more.
Self-care is not selfish and it does not make you a bad mother. On the contrary, setting time aside to take care of yourself sets a good example for your kids, and it allows you to recharge and be a better, more present mom.