Self care for mums
When was the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Refreshing your mind and saying consciously no to texting, talking or even thinking?
Because loosing yourself in motherhood is easy. And whether you are a new mum, a working mum, a big family mum or single mum you cannot forget about yourself. Because once you became a mum, it is for a lifetime. And every age will bring something new. Your own needs are equally important than everyone else in your house. That is why we are talking about self care for mums here today.
The topic of self care is more and more present the last weeks. Did you notice that too? And it is a good thing. Bringing awareness about something so obvious and still often neglected and put aside.
As mums we are always watching out for everyone else. Is the backpack done? The snack in the box? The library books returned? Healthy food in the fridge? Enough socks in the drawers? And the list goes on…
So what is self care?
Short: For you, by you.
Our mum lives, working or not, revolve around meeting the needs of others day in and day out. This can be very draining. You need to find the time to recharge!
Time to do something just for you and you need to understand that it is just as important as doing the laundry or cooking diner. If you are not well cared for, you will eventually wear down. The time spent caring for yourself is an investment in your long-term well being.
Self care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.
Why self care is important?
Caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do. It is also one of the easiest things to forget.
Self care is the most important way to boost and maintain both emotional and physical health. It produces positive feelings, which improves confidence and self-esteem. Self care is important for your family and children too. Setting functional boundaries to take care of yourself shows how important it is to sometimes put ourselves first.
When you make self care time a priority in your crazy, hectic life, something magical and incredible will happen.
You will laugh with your kids more often than you snap at them. You will smile more. Enjoy your days more.
Self care tips:
We all have to work with the 24 hours we have each day to find the moments for self care. But once we become a mum our organisational skills are improving tremendously anyway. You can do it!
Plan the hair dresser or coffee dates with your family’s schedule in mind.
Ask your husband to look after the kids for 15 min before/after diner and do whatever you like. (and then take turns, the husband also deserves a little ‘mini me moment’ too) It is a small window of self care, but helps tremendously.
Queuing for lunch or at the supermarket. Pause your mind.
Look for opportunities every day to steal a few moments to yourself. You will be amazed how a quick 10 minutes focused on your own needs and interests will refresh you.
Self care is a disposition, attitude, or ongoing state of body and mind. In practicing mindfulness, take time each day to shift from a mode of doing and action to one of pausing and being with whatever is happening right now.
Cox & Steiner, 2013
Self care for mums can also be a very strict bedtime ritual. When the kids go to bed at the same time every night you can enjoy a book or tv show for a little bit.
Learning to connect with yourself and cater to your own needs only helps you be a better mother, wife and friend.
Image: Pixabay/ StockSnap
The self care guide:
1. Get connected.
Schedule some time to connect on a regular basis with friends and family.
Organise date nights, lunch dates or anything else you fancy with your husband.
Coffee date with your girl friends.
Make it a goal to invite neighbors/ friends over for dinner.
It does not need to be something that takes hours or lots of preparation. Simple self care ideas are often the best.
Pizza night with the friends is perfect!
2. Include your kids.
Dance around. Have a good tea without your phone and watch them play. Lay your legs up the wall while the baby plays. Put on a face mask during the day. Cook slowly and with passion.
3. New mums – baby is sleeping moments.
Put your phone away and read a book, do yoga, take a shower or just stare outside and watch people.
4. Go to bed earlier.
Yes we know. Once the kids sleep you do enjoy the silence. And hence why you often stay up late. And do not get enough sleep.
But you have got to maximise the time you get to sleep. Epecially if your baby is still waking overnight. Be sure to go to bed at a reasonable time.
5. Dad hour.
We mentioned it above but discuss a good day and time with your husband to get him to look after the kids. Let’s say: Once a week for one hour. Take turns.
Why not sleep in on Saturday mornings? (and daddy can enjoy the Sunday morning in bed)
6. Pamper yourself.
Fancy moisturiser. Exclusive perfumed candle or a good scrub. Whatever makes you happy you should include in your bathroom time.
You can do this with your kids.(see 2) Go out for a walk. Fresh air always helps! Stop at the playground for an extra moment of alone time.(more or less)
8. Nourishing foods.
Fuel your body with the foods that are going to make you feel good.
Ideas: Shop at farmer’s markets for organic produce. Cook from scratch more often. Drink water instead of soda. Make a weekly plan for quick, healthy, easy meals.
With good food and a decent amount of rest, you can tackle almost anything.
9. Keep your house tidy.
Clean up a bit every day because if the house is a mess you feel like a mess too.
10. Your health.
You would not let your kids miss their annual check-ups, so do not miss yours either! Schedule annual checkups, appropriate tests, mammograms, skin exams, pap smears, flu shots, and vision screenings. And get to the dentist for an annual exam and cleaning.
We asked Henrietta Newman and Fleur Vidler, founders of Belle Enfant about their idea of self care for mums. Giving you some inspiration because you need to tackle that topic as soon as possible:
With three young children, running a business and renovating (or rather rebuilding) a house, it can be hard to find time for self care. However, I’ve learnt it’s really important that I’m kind to myself. For me, that means running. I try to run three times a week: on a Monday morning after the school drop-off I go with my friend Georgie (also a mum and business owner), which puts me in the perfect frame of mind to start the working week; Tuesday evenings I go with a running club around Stoke Newington and Highbury; and, if we’re in London, on a Saturday morning I go for a run super early with Georgie. We normally manage between 8-13km, put the world to rights, and we’re back home in time to have breakfast with our families.
I spent 10 years in private practice at a law firm, so I appreciate the flexibility of running my own business. The key is not to feel guilty about going running or if I do occasionally have brunch with a friend. My favourite place is Esters in Stoke Newington @estersn1.
I find practicing yoga keeps me balanced. It helps to clear my head and relax me after a stressful day.
If I’m having a particularly busy day in the office, for example in the run up to show season when it feels like I’m spinning several plates at once, I make myself take a ten minute break and go for a walk around the park. Listening to the birds and the rustle of the wind in the trees is really restorative and I go back in to the office feeling much less frazzled.
A real treat to myself is a long soak in the bath. My bathroom is like my sanctuary! I light some candles, put on a podcast and run a really deep bath with my favourite Jo Malone bath oil… it’s bliss!
Self-care to me is having a good night’s sleep. Since having a baby, getting the requisite eight hours a night is a distant memory, but I try to ensure I go to bed at 9pm at least twice a week. When I manage to, I definitely feel brighter in the morning.
And do not forget – you are a great mum!