Whether this is your first foray into the wearying world of motherhood or you’re a perfectly-polished parenting pro, being a mom, while endlessly rewarding, is one of the most time consuming, madness-inducing, thankless jobs imaginable.
With a to-do list longer than your college thesis, eight stops to make before the end of your already far too busy day, and a dinner dutifully unthawing in the fridge, it’s easy to see why so many of us get burnt out of catering to the ever impending deadline of the next must-do of the moment.
Thanks to your ever-growing list of doom and the certain would-be crushing sink of mom guilt, however, eeking even five more minutes out of your day to take a moment for yourself can seem like a far-fetched impossibility, reserved only for the well-to-do and lady’s who’s main source of sustenance doesn’t come from the baby food their toddler just accidentally threw in their mouth.
While it may seem tough to rationalize spending even one more minute of your day doing a non-essential task, sometimes, when it comes to giving this parenting gig your absolute all, it’s important to remember that unless we as women take a moment to light a candle, enjoy a bath, and be intentional with our own selfcare and wellness, there will be far less all of ourselves available when the inevitable moment arrives that it next comes time to give.
5 Essential Selfcare Tips That Will Actually Make You a Better Mom
1. Treat Yo Self – Being a mom is a whirlwind of activity, with diapers to change, mouths to feed, and a whole new life to balance, bringing your daily to-do list to a crescendo of epic proportions.
Don’t feel guilty about taking a step back from that list every now and then to take care of some of your personal items, even if they don’t carry the kind of significance that taking care of your little one does.
Grab yourself a latte, draw yourself a much-needed bath, or catch up on your binge-watching with a supersized dose of celeb-studded reality tv (Hey, no judgment here friend.) It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as the outcome is just for you.
A Little Tip: If you’re lucky enough to have a significant other in the picture who is able to share the load, set up a standing self-date each week where they watch the littles while you reload. Reciprocate the favor for a happier household all around.
2. Balancing Act – With everything you’ve got on your plate, finding the free time to make a healthy, homecooked meal can feel a little like winning the lottery: probably technically possible, but more than likely not going to happen for you.
The siren call of that fast food window as you drive past can feel a little too tempting to resist as you try to throw off the reins of fatigue and complete the evergrowing list of tasks that seem to be mounting up before you.
While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional trip to the drive-through, keep in mind that those quick bites aren’t doing your body or your mind any favors in the long run, and what those meals offer in speed is more often than not coming at the cost of nutrition.
A Little Tip: Set aside a little time each week where you can cook up as much pre-cooked food as possible ahead of time. A pass through the microwave is even quicker than that trip to your favorite fast food restaurant of choice, and though not ideal, you can bet that it will be a whole lot healthier than your usual burger binge.
3. Out-Dated – Being away from your baby can, and will, feel anything but relaxing for a new parent, but taking a night off to enjoy your spouse is vital to the health of your relationship and family.
Let your hair down for a regular romantic night of fun sans little one.
Don’t let mom guilt get the best of you, and learn to enjoy a night away with your bae without letting fear drive you straight back into mommy mode.
A Little Tip: Finding a babysitter that you trust is the key to a perfect evening out. Choose a family member or very close friend who knows how to handle themselves in the event of an emergency and make sure they are fully prepared with any food, snacks, activities, special instructions, and phone numbers they might need before you ever walk out the door.
4. Working It Out – After a long night on mom patrol, intentionally using your treadmill as anything other than a place to hold clean baskets of laundry before you get around to folding them can feel like an insurmountable task.
Those first few steps feel like torture as the weight of the day pulls you back towards your bed with the sort of inexorable gravity that can only be described as all but impossible to ignore.
Stick with it.
Though it may seem unlikely at first, the thrill of throwing off the shackles of sleep in exchange for a healthier body and mind will be a constant reminder throughout your day of how badass You really are.
A Little Tip: While getting out of bed early can feel like a punishment of cruel and unusual proportions initially, treating yourself to a post-workout coffee or a trip to your favorite juice bar can help give you the motivation you need to start your day off right.
5. Field Of Dreams – While your life may revolve around diapers and sleeplessness now, as your little transitions through childhood, those mommy must do’s are going to transition as well.
Spend some serious time thinking about the future, and start plotting a course towards what you want in the long run for both yourself and your family.
Don’t be afraid to dive into big picture plans, like how many kids you see yourself having, where you see your family living longterm, and if you see yourself exploring a career outside of the home.
Hash out small details like how often you plan on traveling and even make a bucket list of non-negotiable moments that you want in your life and for your little.
While it might seem frivolous to spend time planning when there are actual things that need doing, You can’t execute a plan you don’t have and as your little one grows, knowing the kind of life you want to live will help you be more intentional with your lifestyle decisions and parenting choices.
A Little Tip: Don’t limit yourself to just thinking about the future, start making active plans and plotting a serious course for where you want your life to take you. Start a mood board, a Pinterest board, or a bulletin board dedicated to all of the little things you want your life to hold now and one for the things you want to experience once your little one isn’t so little anymore.