Let’s face it. Moms today have a million things to do. Add to that the struggles that may come with homeschooling, unschooling, providing, and or just plain parenting – and it’s no wonder why mamas are overwhelmed. Mamas, it’s time to make yourself a priority and schedule some self care.
By Danielle, contributing writer
I know you normally focus on others on Valentine’s Day, and well, most days, but you need some love too, mama. This year, why don’t you focus on taking better care of yourself, so you can take better care of your loved ones?
We all know that it’s true, we can’t give if we don’t fill ourselves up, but we rarely make filling ourselves a priority. Moms give, give, and give until everyone is asleep. After bedtime, they are usually too tired to give back to themselves. I imagine that all mothers feel at one point or another that they are overwhelmed and completely drained. I know many mothers who would say they feel like that daily. And that’s no place to mother from.
I have to admit, being a homeschooling single mother, I feel like that often. And while I could blame a million of outside influences, I know that part of the craziness is in my control. Print out these self-care tips, place them in a spot you will see daily, and pick one to focus on for each of the next months of the year.
11 Tips For Mama Self Care
- Get Support
It takes a village to raise a child, so don’t think you can do it alone. In today’s world, many spouses must work long hours outside of the home, and sometimes both partners need to work. If you have a family member who can help, awesome. If you don’t, find another mama who gets it and set up weekly babysitting swaps so you can both get some alone time, and get some things done. If you can’t find a mom, reach out to a local crunchy mama meet up group, Facebook group, or church. If you need to, don’t feel bad about arranging for in-home or out of the home childcare to get a few hours to yourself.
- Schedule It
You are too busy and your needs are too valuable to keep saying “hopefully I can get out next week…” To find time for yourself, you will need to make it. Schedule it in just like you would a soccer game or meeting. It may be a book club, an hour at the spa, or even a workout. Whatever it is that recharges you, schedule it in.
- Say “No” More
If you take a look at your calendar, you may be surprised to find how many commitments you have. Remind yourself that it’s okay to say no to meetings, groups, clubs, parties, events, and invitations. It’s okay to free up your schedule of the “good” things to make room for the “great” things. It may be hard at first, but once you feel what it’s like to have free time, you will exercise the “no” much more often.
- Be Honest with Yourself, Your Spouse, and Your Community
Sometimes, we don’t get help because we don’t ask. It’s a good thing for both you and those around you to know exactly how you feel and how they can help. It’s okay if they don’t help. Know that just voicing your feelings changes at least one person – you. Voicing how you feel shows yourself that your feelings matter, even if others don’t catch the drift. And, you can be sure there is a mama around who does understand and will be the help you need.
- Do Something Selfish Just For You
Moms typically don’t feel okay doing something just for them. Maybe it’s too expensive or takes too much time away from other activities. As a mom, others do really need you, but it’s okay to invest in yourself. Doing so shows those around you that it’s important to make yourself, and themselves, a priority. More on that below, but remember that you are a valuable part of the family, and you deserve the same time and resources as everyone else.
- Prioritize Alone Time
I’ve found nothing recharges me like alone time. That usually entails, as a mother, doing things when others aren’t awake. Getting up early, working during nap time, or staying up late makes the time I need to get something done much more enjoyable. Plus it’s nice to not hear ninja noises going on in the background every .3 seconds 🙂 Find the time that you are most energized (morning, noon, or night), and give it back to yourself. Schedule your kids something to do, or a rest time, during this time to ensure it’s just for you.
- Don’t Feel Guilty
By now, you are looking at this list and feeling pretty guilty. I am sure you can list for me the top three things you’ve done in the last day that could qualify you for “worst mom of the year.” That is not true. As a mom, you’re not a superwoman, although that description is pretty close. You’re a human being who is trying their best every day at the hardest job in the world. That means you’ll make mistakes and you’ll miss the mark. It’s okay. Review what you can do better, and try again tomorrow. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty for not being the perfect mom, cook, cleaner, launderer, or whatever else you feel unqualified for. You’ve got this.
- Demonstrate Boundaries Daily
Your kids will not understand level boundaries if you don’t demonstrate them. I know that’s a hard pill to swallow, but your children will learn what self care looks like from you. How are you modeling it today?
- Take the Unschool Approach
Unschooling is the act of schooling led by the child’s interest. In other words, there is no plan. It’s okay, in fact, it’s healthy, for children to not have a perfectly planned out day (or life). Leave some whitespace for your kids to use their imagination, and avoid understanding what the term “bored” means. It’s not your job to entertain them every minute.
- Reorganize for Simplicity
Sometimes more is less. Minimalism, the idea of living with less, has taken the world by storm. Commit to getting rid of the things that don’t please you or work for you. This can mean cutting down on the toys in your home, or maybe even the size of your home. When it comes to stuff, the more there is, the more you need to clean up.
- Let Some Things Go
You can’t do it all, and definitely not all perfectly, so let it go. Whatever it is for you that beckons you to perfection, let it go. If you’ve been waiting for someone to tell you this, I am telling you now that it’s okay to not be perfect. To not do things like your neighbor or mother-in-law. To blaze your own trail.
I hope these tips can spur you onto peaceful, content, healthy motherhood that leaves you feeling like your cup is full enough to give to your biggest and best little missions. Happy Valentine’s Day, mama.
What are your tips for self care as a busy mama?
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