As a mum, you’re always feeling guilty about something. You’re constantly questioning yourself, wondering if you are doing it right. You’re probably always feeling like you could be doing something better. While you run around taking care of everyone else, who is there to take care of you? While it would be nice to have a designated carer, most of the time it comes down to you needing to take care of yourself. But I’ll bet that as a Mum you don’t quite know HOW to take time for yourself (away from the kids) without feeling guilty, am I right?
Even though you may know the many benefits of self care, it can be hard to find the time. Some days you can hardly find 15 minutes to shower, let alone put aside an hour and a half to head to a yoga class. But here’s a question for you; what will the consequences be if you don’t put aside time for yourself? Think about what kind of mum you’ll be then. Chances are you’ll be stressed, with a constant mental fog, low in energy, snappy, reactive and grumpy.
On the flip side, if you could take time for yourself a little more, how would this affect your kids? How would it benefit your relationship with your partner or your family? As a mum, you simply can’t forget the importance of self care. Remember, it’s not selfish: it’s survival.
Here are three ways get the most out of your self care routine without feeling guilty!
Take Time for Yourself: It’s not a one-time thing
You can’t just check self-care off the to-do list and then never think about it again. It needs to be incorporated into your routine and become part of your lifestyle, on an ongoing basis. Tell your friends and family what you are trying to do and let them get behind it and support you. They’ll soon realise it will benefit not only you, but the entire family too.
Take Time for Yourself: It can be the smallest thing
Little acts of self care go a long way. You don’t need to have a 45 minute bubble bath, you might just light a lavender candle or make yourself a cup of tea. You don’t have to hire a babysitter, book a personal trainer and go to the gym for a workout (but great if you can!), you can do some simple bodyweight exercises at home with your baby sleeping in the next room. Start slow. What’s something you can do for yourself right now that would make you feel good?
Take Time for Yourself: Remind yourself, constantly, that YOU deserve it
I’m going to tell you something in case you haven’t heard it for a while: your needs matter just as much as everyone else’s. It’s OK to put yourself first Mama and take care of you! You deserve to give yourself a break from the guilt, the overwhelm, the fighting, worrying and loneliness to do something purely good for your emotional self care.
Self Care Checklist: Little ways to start taking care of yourself today
– Wake up early and enjoy the silence
– Put your headphones in and listen to your favourite music
– Read a trashy magazine
– Sit in the sun for 10 minutes
– Take a guilt-free nap (the washing can wait)
– Call a friend
– Ask for help (you won’t get it unless you ask)
– Buy yourself flowers
– Make getting enough sleep a priority
– Colour in! (Even if it is your kids colouring book)
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Catherine Nelson-Williams is the author of this article and founder of The Nursery Collective. She is a mum of two and juggles being a WAHM with blogging and running The Nursery Collective – a haven for mamas navigating the early years of motherhood, where you can find unique boutiques and services for Mum, Baby & Kids all in the one place.