As moms, we are expected to do for everyone else. We are expected to do laundry, cook, run after kids, and (some of us) work a full or part time job.
Where is the time for you to take care of yourself? If you’re like me, it happens after the kids go to bed. But by this point you’re usually so tired that you fall asleep not long after.
Now don’t get me wrong, my husband is an amazing man who does as much as he possibly can to help. But even then, I don’t allow myself to relax and just be lazy.
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Here’s a few ways that I’ve found to take time for myself:
1. Rest while the baby is napping
My oldest is self-sufficient for small things that she may need or want and is great about letting me enjoy an episode of my current favorite show or a chapter of a book.
The load of laundry next to me can be folded while the baby is awake and playing.
2. Kiss your significant other when you walk in from work and go hide in the bedroom for a few minutes
(Yes, I have done this on hard days.) My husband has the girls under control and can handle the household for me to snag a few minutes of quiet to gather myself.
Take a nice long bubble bath.
While you’re at it, enjoy it with a beverage of your choice. Some days I choose chocolate milk and others I choose a glass of wine. It just depends on the day.
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3. This one is for you and your significant other…just sit and enjoy each other’s company.
With my husband’s work schedule, this doesn’t happen often, but when we get a chance to, it definitely helps our dynamic.
Sometimes we sit on the back porch and talk, sometimes we watch the show we’ve chosen to watch together, and sometimes I fall asleep while he finishes that show. (That last one happens a lot.)
4. Go shopping for yourself
Grocery shopping without the kids does not count! Even if you don’t buy anything, enjoy walking through a store without a list or agenda.
You don’t have to have a reason to browse or window shop. Just getting out and being around people who don’t depend on you makes a difference.
5. Sleep in
Even if you don’t sleep, stay in bed. Occasionally my husband makes a point to get up at 5:30 with the dog and baby just so I can lay in bed until I feel like getting up.
He makes up for it with a nap while the baby naps, but I appreciate this small gesture more than I will ever be able to explain.
6. Hire a sitter and have a date night
Yes, there are times where your self-care involves someone else. Mine is my husband. Spending time with him makes me feel whole again.
No, he doesn’t make me who I am. I don’t feel incomplete when he’s away.
He brings me back to my calm. So, yes, a date night is a must for my self-care. (And with two kids, this doesn’t happen often.)
7. If you enjoy reading, read!
A blog post, a magazine, short stories, a new novel…just read. Even if you only get a few lines in, it’s worth it. I am slooowwlllyyy working my way through Stephanie Meyer’s newest book.
With reading a few pages a day, I’ll be finished by this time next year. (I’m joking…it’s too good to put down!)
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Let me finish this off by explaining why I chose to write this list. There was a time a few years ago where I was the last person I took care of.
A toxic relationship took its toll and I fell to pieces. My only way of keeping my head above water was by taking on the task of pleasing any and everybody that I could.
“No” was not in my vocabulary. I wore myself so thin that I ended up with bags under my eyes as an accessory.
None of my clothes fit properly as I went from about 150 pounds to 110 in a matter of two months. I became so focused on everything and everyone else that I completely lost me. Then the unthinkable happened…
I became a single mom due to my ex-husband dying in an accident. I now had more control over things that affected my daughter, but this also meant that I had absolutely zero time to do anything. (Before you think of me as selfish or a bad mom, hear me out.)
When she still had him, it gave me a day or two here and there to get work caught up, finish my degree, and go to bed just a tad bit earlier. This didn’t make much of a difference, but it was all I had.
Fast forward to now, I am currently married to the man of my dreams. The one who took me and my brokenness and helped me to heal myself.
The anxiety and certain doubts will always be there, but that’s what self-care is for.
Sometimes you need space to feel the bad before you can start moving forward. Self-care isn’t just about getting a mani/pedi, sleeping late, or down time.
The actions you take to pursue self-care must be one that YOU benefit from. Put yourself first and see what helps you the most. My list is what works for me.
What would you add to it that helps you out of a funk?
I am a mom of two kids (three if you count my husband). My daughters are eight years old and fifteen months old. My husband, and main lifeline, is a full-time firefighter and EMT. I currently teach second grade at a small private school where my oldest attends. I hold two degrees in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. I love my teaching job, but writing is my passion. I hope to self-publish a novel by Summer 2021 and a children’s book by Winter 2021.