I recently saw a post about motherhood being lonely, and mamas not finding time for themselves and friendships. What gave me pause, were the comments in support. Essentially, the post and caption to go with it highlighted a women’s struggle to maintain friendships and care for herself. She was so consumed with being there for the baby, that she forgot about herself. It was lonely, because with the friendships strained, she was just left with baby.
A few months ago, I shared a seven-day self-care challenge and one local commenter said: “you can’t do these things with children”. You can’t take care of yourself when you have children? Seriously, is it really impossible to find five minutes for yourself? Why do we assume that motherhood is a ticket to “Neglect Yourself Land”?
I strongly believe that it is important for us as mothers to take care of ourselves, first. First doesn’t mean neglect the baby/your family; however it does mean to make certain that, as best as possible, you do all that you can to ensure that you are operating at your very best – emotionally, mentally and physically. There are tons of ways for us to take care of ourselves and still be the very best mama to our baby/ies. The key is to want to.
Here are some mommy smarts on ensuring you incorporate some time for self into your daily routine:
“It’s important to self-care everyday. Self-care for me is setting a bedtime for myself, so I get enough time to sleep, sleep is important. Another important element of self-care for me is exercise. I do believe that it is necessary for my son to enjoy time every day outdoors. So I marry his outdoor time with my exercise time and we both win – and are happy.” Shem P.
“Four days a week I MUST exercise, at a certain time. So when that time comes and I say it’s time for me to do my workout, she knows what’s up. Several days, she also joins my workout, which I love – her seeing from this age the importance of exercise / being healthy. When I do decide to pamper myself with a pedicure, manicure, etc, they coincide with screen time. So she’s engaged, and I get some time to myself. There is also a designated granny day every week. which has two benefits: 1. Bonding with granny and 2. Gives me a designated time every week that’s just for me to do something or nothing as I please.” Tash B.
“When you’re a new mom practicing self-care can be very challenging but it is very important for your health and also your baby or babies wellbeing. For you to give your best self, you have to be your best self (taking care of your physical and mental health). I add self-care into my routine by being present when I’m having my morning coffee, during this time I light a scented candle, take deep breaths and appreciate my environment – the sounds of the birds, the wind and that cup of coffee. I also take walks around the yard, do yoga stretches or go for walks at the cricket ground with my toddler. I try to include her in some of my self-care routines to set a good example for her and for her to know the importance of eating well, exercising and having some fun. Since March 2020, I’ve reduced the time I spend on social media, alternatively, I do adult colouring – this adds calmness to my day and you know the saying ‘a calm and happy mommy = a happy baby). Self-care isn’t a luxurious activity or moment. For me it’s a necessity for me and my baby’s health and well being.” Lu B.
How do you self-care, Mom?