Self-Care is an area where I lack and I constantly need to remind myself to do. It started, as it usually does, with motherhood. You suddenly have this little human who is completely and totally dependent on you for every need. So you of course put yourself and your needs on the back burner. Then you have another kid, and maybe another. And suddenly your years in to motherhood and wonder where all that time has gone? You’re exhausted even after 7 hours of sleep, you snap at your kids a little too easily, and you feel like your being pulled in 10 different directions at once.
It’s ok. It happens. The thing to remember is you cannot pour from an empty cup.
A few points in my life I was trying to continue to pour from my very empty cup, and it just doesn’t work. So this is where Self Care comes in. It doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. If you have the time and cash flow to go spend a day at a spa – please do! A day of pampering can be great for self care! But time and money are probably two of the biggest restrictions on mothers, so here are some quick and free(ish) tips for Mama Self Care. And a reminder that all self care should be guilt free! You need to take care of yourself, and that’s ok.
Seriously, go get some fresh air. You don’t even have to leave your yard, but if you can take a walk – bonus. Take baby if you want, but focus on you. Smell the fresh air, listen to the birds, feel the rain. Just get out there because being cooped up all day with a baby can be draining.
It may seem trivial, but think for a second about when was the last time you sat down and ate a meal. Or had a glass of water? There were days where I’d be running around fueled on re-heated coffee and grilled cheese crusts. Take 5 minutes and make yourself some food – sandwich, salad, maybe just some fruit or veggies with dip. Pour yourself a big glass of water, sit down at a table, put the phone away, and eat. You need the fuel.
Take A Shower
When was the last time you took a nice hot long shower? Days? Yah, I hear ya. Dry shampoo can only do so much. Once your partner comes home, get in the shower. Or call a friend or family member to come and visit, they are usually very happy to cuddle baby free of charge. No family around? Yup I’ve been there too. Maybe hire a baby sitter, or a ‘mothers helper’ (a person who is too young to babysit on their own, they mind the baby while you stay at home). Hop in the shower or take a bath, shave your legs and soak it all up. Enjoy.
The whole ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ adage is there for a reason. Exhaustion can creep up on you and take you out before you know it. And lack of sleep affect mood and stress levels, which affect everything else. So try to resist that urge to clean and catch up on chores every time your baby naps. Take a nap yourself, or use those moments for some other self care items.
Meditation is not as complex as it sounds. I’m not talking about sitting for hours and hours chanting a mantra in some complex position. Meditation can be done anywhere and 5 minutes can have benefits. The trick is to focus on your breath – feel it as it enters through your nose and exits your mouth. Just focus only on the breath, and if your mind wanders, bring it back to the breath. That’s it. There are also loads of apps and YouTube videos. Two of my favourite apps for meditation are Relax + by Andrew Johnson and the Calm App.
They aren’t kidding when they say it takes a village to raise a child and you need your family, friends and like-minded moms to help get you through. Go for a walk with your partner, get a coffee with a friend, or just call someone up to chat. Share the worries, woes, and wins of motherhood. You are not alone!
This one is huge. No parent is perfect, ever. We all have our days where the dishes sit and the laundry piles up and you’re late for every appointment. It’s ok – you will have those days where the stars align, hair is clean, and the kids eat their dinner without a fuss, too. Know that you will not meet everyones standards, maybe not even your own, and it’s ok to forgive yourself. Just remembering that we are all trying our best and you are worth a little self care.
Finally, there can be a point when self care isn’t enough. Take stalk of how you are feeling and coping. Speak to your partner or friends about what they see. If you feel that you really aren’t managing emotionally, seek professional help. You are not alone and there are many resources out there to help you. Reach out to friends, your doctor, or counsellors and get the support you need.
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To enter to win – comment on your favourite way to give yourself a little self care!
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