Time seems to escape you when you’re a mom. And when you think about your responsibilities, making time for self-care appears impossible. For most moms, self-care is something that appears at the bottom of their list.
But failing to take care of yourself doesn’t do you any good. Stress, exhaustion, burnout, and even illness can weigh you down making it harder for you to manage your tasks. So whether you take a few minutes off or an entire day, here are some self-care ideas for moms that will help you find your center again.
Benefits of Self-Care as a Mom
To understand the benefits of self-care we first need to understand what it means. Self-care is a state of mind. It is the lens through which you see the world, including your family and your life. It stems from an innate desire to love yourself, to be kinder to yourself, to regards yourself with care, and to uphold your self-worth above everything else.
Most moms live with the mindset that their families come first and there’s nothing wrong with that except for the fact that it’s not sustainable. The reality is that you’re likely to experience burnout, stress, and frustration when you constantly put everyone before yourself.
Reports say that 78% of mothers put off taking care of their own health to care for their family members. When asked to rank the amount of time spent caring for other members of the family, most moms put them in the order below:
- Kids take up most of the time
- Older relatives
- Spouse or significant other
The pets take second place while self-care takes fifth place. Another survey found that mothers and fathers on average get 32 minutes of “me time” each day. Yet what most parents, especially moms, don’t realize is that self-care is a necessity.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Taking care of yourself makes it easier for you to do everything that you need to for your children. If you spend all day catering to your children and preparing all of their favorite meals while you snack on junk food, you’ll end up feeling tired, hungry, and constantly worn out, which means that you’ll lack the energy to tend to your kids and properly care for them.
When you stop viewing self-care as an indulgence and start seeing it as a necessity, you’ll be able to find time to engage in self-care and not feel guilty about it. Practicing self-care is so important.
Below are some self-care ideas for moms that will help you strengthen relationships, find self-love, have more compassion for yourself, and boost your energy levels each day.
What Are Some Self-Care Ideas For Moms
1. Wake up Before Your Kids Do
Waking up earlier than your kids is a great way for busy moms to stay productive and get things done. It gives you a chance to get a bit of “me time” in before the kids take up all of your attention.
There are a number of ways that you could spend that time, for instance, you could read a book that you’ve been wanting to start. You could meditate or pray, which a great brain booster or you could start an exercise routine.
Alternatively, you could wake up earlier than your kids so that you have a chance to cuddle with them in bed before the day starts. This is a great way to savor each moment with them and also strengthens the bond that you have with your child.
2. Choose to Indulge in ‘Cheap’ Luxury
When we talk about cheap luxury we are talking about affordable things that you can enjoy that will make you feel better about yourself. For instance you could have a bubble bath and add your favorite essential oils and bath salts. Other things that you can do include:
- A home-spa treatment
- A mani/pedi at home
- Applying a face mask as you listen to your favorite playlist
- Diffuse essential oils and listen to your favorite music
3. Have Great Conversations with People You Love
Having a chat with people you love is a great way to practice self-care. You can schedule time with friends once in a month by dropping your kids at your parent’s place or organizing a play date with other moms.
Busy moms can do this by purposely committing to spending time with friends. You can start small by reaching out to at least one old friend to check up on them. Alternatively, you can invite a friend to take a walk with you for a few minutes when you have time.
4. Sleep in or Indulge in Taking a Nap
The truth is that sleep is a luxury for busy moms. Yet nothing does wonders for the brain like a good 8 hour sleep. It is important to recognize that it makes it harder to care for your family when you’re deprived of sleep.
In fact in some situations it can even become dangerous. For example being tired can lead to drowsy driving and mistakes being made. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy and sleep deprived drivers are responsible for about 100,000 car crashes annually. Also, sleep-deprivation can increase a mother’s risk when it comes to postpartum depression and being susceptible to mood swings.
There are a variety of ways to deal with your lack of sleep struggles. First of all you could talk to your partner and ask them to help you take care of the baby while you take a much needed nap. Also, you can have alarm free sleep days during the weekend to get some additional rest. For example, you can forgo your morning routine on a Sunday to get some extra shut eye.
Something else to note is that most mothers feel guilty about not spending enough time with their older children when there’s a newborn in the house. As such, they may choose to do additional activities with the oldest child, like a trip to the museum.
There is nothing wrong with this, however it is not recommended that you take on additional responsibilities when you have a new born because it can be overwhelming in and of itself. Instead, communicate with your family that you love them and need their help when it comes to handling the duties you already have. That way you can find some time for a power nap.
5. Binge Watch Your Favorite Netflix Series
Binge watching your favorite show is another great self-care idea for moms. It will help you escape from the stress of daily life and relax, as you get to enjoy another world in the comfort of your living room. All you need to do is schedule it.
Make sure that you don’t binge watch Netflix when you had planned to sleep or you will more than likely end up unproductive and more exhausted then before.
6. Schedule Some Time Which is Kids Free
It’s hard to take time off when your kids are younger and it can even be nerve-racking thinking about doing so. But it does get easier when they are a bit older. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a kid?’ Well, truer words have never been spoken.
If you have people around you that you trust to take care of your kids then this is a great opportunity for you and your partner to go out to dinner or a movie together and enjoy a bit of downtime.
If you don’t have any family or friends that you trust to watch your child or children, then you could ask your spouse to look after your kids in the other room, while you take a long bath or do some other relaxing activity in another part of the house.
7. Make Sure to Invest in Personal Development
The best way mothers can practice self-care is by investing some time in personal development. This will help you find inner strength, as you continue to invest in yourself. Just because you’re a mother doesn’t mean that you should lose yourself completely to the pressures of life.
You can invest in personal development through allocating time each day to focus on it. This may be 30 to 45 minutes (depending on your availability) or less. You could use that time for daily planning, visualization, revisiting your goals, setting intentions for the day, meditation or prayer, a light workout, habit tracking etc.
If you currently feel overwhelmed, you can use this time for journaling. This will help you have a clearer mind, as you pour your thoughts out into your journal. Alternatively, you could also use that time to read a book or take an online course.
Looking for ways to improve yourself as a mother is great as you also gain knowledge that you’ll be able to pass on to your kids one day.
8. Pursue Old Hobbies or Learn a New Skill
Motherhood has a way of making us forget old hobbies. You barely have time to shower or sit down, let alone bake cookies because you used to love baking. So, how can you learn a new skill or pursue an old hobby?
It is really hard for busy moms to find time to work on their hobby. However, you can start with aiming to set aside 15 minutes to do what you enjoy, instead of abandoning your projects altogether. If it is something that matters to you, then you need to prioritize time to work on your hobby or learn a new skill.
Online courses have also made it easier for us to learn from the comfort of our own homes. Therefore, you can save time and even enroll in a class online. This is also a great opportunity to meet other people who share the same interests as you.
9. Stay on Top of Your Diet
We all want our kids to eat healthy meals full of nutrients. So, we prioritize their health and spend time making sure that they get balanced and healthy meals. However, often during this process to save time and avoid being exhausted, we snack on junk or whatever we can find in the house just to give us enough energy to keep going.
The truth is that it is just as important for us to watch what we eat and focus on being healthy as well. One way that we can ensure that we do this is making extra when you make meals for the kids, so that you can have some too.
One of the reasons mother’s struggle with losing weight after having kids is because they have a habit of eating left overs from their kids plates. Or, they reheat whatever they can find in the fridge because they don’t want to waste food.
However, these types of mindless eating habits are the reason many mothers end up struggling with their weight and overall their health. Teach your kids to finish what they have on their plate by only giving them what they can eat. Also, make sure that you have prepared enough for yourself to also enjoy a healthy and balanced meal.
10. Get Outside and Enjoy the Sunshine
Stepping out to enjoy some sun has many benefits that include improving your wellbeing and happiness, as well as lowering stress. Simply taking some time to observe the skies, walk on the grass, get some fresh air or gaze at the birds can improve your mood.
You can take the scroller with you for a walk outside to break the monotony routine and boost your energy levels. It’s also an ideal way to get vitamin D flowing through your body, as its hard to get sufficient levels of vitamin D from food alone. Furthermore, when you make things fun by spending time outside with your kids, it will benefit everyone’s health.
11. Have Conversations With Your Partner
As a busy mom, few things are more enjoyable then finishing the day by having a one-on-one conversation with your hubby. You could share how your day went, funny things that the kids said, your future plans or concerns. To make your conversations even better, you can limit the screen time at home after the kids get some shut eye.
It is very common now-a-days to see couples in front of a screen each evening. Whether they are on their phones, tablet, computer, or watching tv. There’s nothing wrong with bonding with your partner as you watch your favorite tv show together. But once in a while you can turn off the screen and have a great conversation.
Sharing with each other helps to unwind and also strengthens the bond between the two of you.
12. Join a Mom’s Support Group
Studies show that support groups provide a great place for mothers to get self-care ideas that make their schedule easier. The support groups provide a sense of belonging as well as a comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in the struggle for some “me time.”
Parents sometimes feel like they are bad parents especially if their child is struggling. As a result, they shy away from talking to other parents about their experience. Furthermore, parents may feel like they’re the only ones having a hard time.
However, the truth is that every parent struggles at one time or another. Parenting groups are a great reminder that there are no perfect moms or perfect children. All parents go through a season of self doubt and everyone makes mistakes along the way.
When you join a support group, you’ll be able to focus on your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your kids and pick up some tips along the way from other mothers going through the same things as you.
Additional Self-Care Ideas For Busy Moms
Often times parents struggle with self-care because they lack a regular routine. Babies have a way of waking up at random times and being unpredictable. But with a proper work schedule, you’ll be able to tackle your responsibilities and still have time for yourself.
Here are some self-care tips that you can incorporate into your daily life.
1. Ask For Help
Whether it’s one child or four, every parent needs support. Being a mother can be lonely at times. Since motherhood can make you feel guilty for acknowledging your own needs. It’s important to have the support of your family and friends when you need it the most, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
2. Get Some Fresh Air and Take a walk
Remember that a walk and some fresh air will help you revive your energy. Take some 10 minutes or more to get some fresh air or a stroll outside. Especially if you need to clear your mind and get out of the house.
3. Make a List of Important Jobs For That Day
Making a list for the day is important for your own mental peace. Take some time, the day before, to plan for the next day. List the activities you need to do from the most important to the least. Also, remember to put in some time for self-care.
4. Have a Good Meal
As mentioned earlier, mothers have a tendency to feed others and forget to eat well themselves. You can aim to make double batches of healthy meals and store them in the freezer for the hectic days when you won’t have time to cook.
If you have a partner at home you can take turns planning meals, grocery shopping, or cooking. Some stores offer grocery delivery. You can take advantage of those services on the hectic days.
5. Take a Relaxing Bubble Bath
Nothing calms the brain as well as a relaxing bath or longer than usual shower, as a mom, you should incorporate this self-care idea into your routine. Aim to have at least two relaxing baths a week.
6. Find an Affordable Summer Camp to Get Your Kids Out of the House During the Holidays
If you are a mom that works from home or simply need a break from entertaining the kids 24/7. You can look for an affordable summer camp where they’ll stay entertained, learn new skills, and make new friends for a few days to give you a break.
7. Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal
Keeping a daily gratitude journal is a great way of maintaining the right perspective in life and an important way to practice self-care. Whether it be; a cozy home, happy kids, a supportive partner, great weather, supportive friends etc. the goal here is to look for things to be grateful for each day.
Develop the habit of writing down at least three things that you’re grateful for each day. This habit will help you deal with issues as well as, increase your level of gratitude for everything that you have.
8. Seek Advice From Seasoned Moms
If you are a new mom, a child can be overwhelming. There is so much to learn and every person’s experience is different. However, the best way to overcome this issue is to seek advice from seasoned moms.
Most moms are willing to share how they managed to get time for rest, self-care and how best you can manage your home while looking after their children. You can reach out to any seasoned mothers you know who would be willing to offer advice or you can also join online forums for moms looking for advice.
9. Work on Setting Boundaries With Your Children
It is important as a parent to set boundaries with your kids. For instance, you can make it clear to them that when you’re in the bathroom that you need some privacy and need to wait for you instead of banging on the door.
Be precise and kind when communicating boundaries to your kids and involve them in helping set the boundaries. You can do this by having a family meeting where you’ll get the children involved in setting the boundaries.
10. Don’t Compare Your Parenting Style to Other Parents’ Styles
Other parents may appear to have everything together on social media or when you talk to them. But their children are different from your children and at the end of the day there’s no perfect parenting style. You need to decide what works best for you and your kids and stick with that.
Sure, you may make some mistakes, but you also have the opportunity to learn from those mistakes and work on doing things better next time. Remind yourself that you rarely see the hard parts of other people’s lives because people rarely share their struggles.
The Bottom Line
We have outlined important self-care tips for moms that you start incorporating into your own self-care routine. Remember that in developing a habit of self-care, you increase your opportunity of taking better care of your family without experiencing things like burnout or stress.
When it comes to motherhood, it is essential to be kind to yourself. It isn’t always an easy journey so, even when you feel worn out, understand that you are exactly what your child needs and your love for them is more important than anything else.