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If you are a young mother, you probably already realize that you need better self care. Right?
Why? Because most young mothers don’t practice self care. At least not very much!
For example… do you actually know any young mothers who have self care figured out and running perfectly?
That’s because most young moms are juggling life with a baby, young children, housework, spouse and career…. and they don’t feel like they are doing a very good job…
They often feel overwhelmed, over-worked and out of control.
Can you relate?
Do you often feel overwhelmed, over-worked or out of control?
Do you feel that everyone around you is screaming for your time and attention?
Are you taking care of EVERYONE in your family but yourself?
Sometimes it feels like you are on a roller coaster and you can’t get off.
As a mother, there is ALWAYS something to do and everything you do in a day gets UNDONE!
Think about it… feeding babies, changing diapers, laundry, dishes, picking up toys, putting away clothes… it all gets undone and has to be done again in a few hours (or even minutes!)
In addition, there is always someone who is grabbing you, hanging on you, sucking on you, touching you or talking to you!
You sometimes just want to hide.
If this is how you feel… You are not alone!
The Reality of Motherhood
You might be thinking…
How can I possibly find the time for self care when I already feel so busy and overwhelmed?
Once I get things better in control, then I’ll add self care to my “to do” list.
Well… I’ve got news for you. You will never get done everything that you want to get done in a day.
Additionally, your “to do” list will never be done!
That’s the reality of motherhood.
Life happens. Kids get sick. Babies need to be held. Spouses need our attention.
…And there are always things that happen in a day that we do not plan for.
The sooner we make peace with these realities of motherhood, the better we are able to let things go.
As mothers, we get stretched in many different directions and we are always needed by our family.
While it feels good and fulfilling to be needed, it is also EXHAUSTING!
Since we are not able to do everything in a day, we need to set priorities!
Why You NEED to Take Care of Yourself!
Motherhood is very demanding.
While babies and children are adorable and cuddly, they are also very needy.
… And they don’t have ANY problem letting their needs be known!
When they are hungry, tired or bored, they cry and whine. It’s a survival mechanism for them.
As mothers, we are wired to respond to their cries and needs. It’s in our very nature and it’s how we can give of ourselves so selflessly day after day and night after night.
Young children are very needy and demanding of our time.
A mother’s selfless love is a beautiful thing, but it can often cost us our mental or physical health, if we aren’t careful.
Why Self Care is NOT Selfish!
You may think that taking time to prioritize your own self care is either selfish or unnecessary.
On the contrary, getting self care is ESSENTIAL to your health and your ability to care for your family!
Have you ever heard the saying, “When mama ain’t happy… ain’t nobody happy?”
Your family needs a mother who is healthy, happy and relaxed… Not a sick, tired, burnt-out or stressed-out mother!
In other words, you need to take care of yourself, mama!
Do you agree?
Let’s Customize YOUR Mommy Self Care Checklist!
Since everyone has different needs, interests, and priorities, self care will look different for every mother.
For example, if you are wondering how to care for yourself during your upcoming postpartum recovery, check out this post for postpartum recovery self-care tips!
Similarly, if you are pregnant or nursing, your self care needs will be different as well.
If you have a newborn in the house, your biggest priority might be getting enough sleep with a newborn and that will need to top YOUR self care list!
On the other hand, if you have older children, you may want to find more time to pursue your own interests or hobbies again.
Self Care Ideas…
Check out these great ideas for mommy self care. Then grab a pen and notebook!
Which ones “speak” to you?
What tips are relevant for YOUR season of life?
Which ideas sound fun or life-giving to you?
First, make a list and then prioritize them.
But, don’t try to take on too much!
Next, pick ONE idea to start with and make a plan for how to implement that ONE thing!
Since some of these ideas may be unrealistic in YOUR current season of life, just let them go. It’s okay!
Take what works FOR YOU and leave the rest.
Remember, these are only ideas. They are meant to help you figure out the perfect self care plan for you!
Here are self care ideas to consider when making your checklist…
Taking Care of Your Health
- Get enough sleep
- Eat a healthy diet which includes enough fruits and vegetables
- Drink enough water
- Take your vitamin, prescription medication or nutritional supplement
- Schedule your doctor, dentist, chiropractor or other health care provider appointments
- Take a break from computers, phones and social media
- It’s okay to say “no” when you need a break
- Avoid triggers (people, situations, etc. that cause anxiety or stress)
- Take a relaxing bath or shower
- Relax with a good book or movie
- Listen to music
- Pray or meditate
- Go to church
- Counseling or therapy sessions
- Get a massage
- Light a candle
- Essential oils
- Go for a walk, hike or stroll out in nature
- Plan a getaway weekend or vacation
- Take a personal retreat
- Make a puzzle
- Try coloring books for adults!
- Start a gratitude journal
- Call a friend
- Leave the dishes and mess and go to bed early or relax with a movie or book instead.
- Have a glass of wine
- Buy that special coffee machine that you have always wanted and relax with coffee breaks throughout the day!
Personal Care Ideas
- Take a shower
- Brush and floss teeth
- Get a haircut
- Schedule a manicure or pedicure
- Get a facial
- Treat yourself to a massage
- Get 20 minutes of Vitamin D sunshine
- Wash your face and put on makeup
- Take a nap
- Go on a date with your spouse or significant other
- Start a new hobby or resurrect an old one!
- Go to the beach
- Pack a picnic lunch in the park (without kids)
- Take a bike ride, roller skate or skate board
- Buy a jogging stroller and go for a run
- Join a community sports team (softball, bowling, bike club, etc.)
- Take a community education class (craft, cooking, cake decorating, exercise)
- Join a fitness health club or fitness class
- Join a mom’s group
- Watch a funny movie
- Buy a Mom’s joke book for your bathroom
- Hire a babysitter for a day and go shopping or to the beach by yourself!
- Go dancing!
- Play a video game
- Go out for breakfast, dinner or coffee with a good friend
- Plan a “Girls Night Out” with your lady friends
- Start a craft project or finish one you have already started!
- Get creative – write a poem, song or start a blog
- Buy yourself flowers!
Practical Help Ideas
Sometimes getting outside help is the best type of self care for mothers!
For example, maybe you can find or hire specific help to give you a break and ease your work load. Consider organizing or hiring these special mommy-helpers!
- Postpartum doula
- Cleaning service
- Part time or full time nanny
- Meal planning services
- Grocery delivery
- Take out food delivery service
- Start a play group that rotates homes and gives each mom a break
- Homework tutor for school age children
- Personal Care Attendant (for help with special needs children)
- Preschools or drop off daycare centers
- Get these freezer meal ideas, stock your freezer with healthy meals and take a break from cooking!
What About You?
Are you taking care of yourself?
What are some of your favorite self care routines or activities?
Have any great tips? Please share them!
I’d love to get more ideas for this list!
Thanks for sharing!