Motherhood is a precious time in life. It’s incredible watching children grow over the years.
But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, motherhood is exhausting.
Between a spouse, children, home and work it’s hard to keep up with life’s responsibilities.
Often times, life is so chaotic it feels as if you’re running a marathon that never ends.
When children are needing constant attention, care and guidance a mother’s basic needs are often put second after her family. A mother’s love is so great that her family is always first.
But in order to take care of your family, home and other responsibilities, it is important to take care of yourself.
Having everyone depending on you could be depleting your physical and mental health.
When do you make time for yourself? No interruptions from a spouse and children.
Finding time to do something for your physical and mental wellbeing is difficult. But it is highly critical.
Mothers work hard meeting everyone’s needs and wants. It’s time you did something for yourself!
Let’s look at six amazing self-care ideas for busy moms to incorporate in your daily life.
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6 Self-Care Ideas For Busy Moms
1. Reach Out for Support
Whether you have one child or six, work full-time or stay at home with your children, every mom needs support.
Being a mother can be lonely at times. Since much of your needs remain second in life, it’s important to maintain a strong support system of family and friends.
When life gets overwhelming, many mothers isolate themselves instead of reaching out for emotional support.
Sometimes you just need a caring, listening ear.
The foundation for a good support network begins during pregnancy.
Studies conducted by UCLA found pregnant women receiving social support toward their family had lower symptoms of postpartum depression after delivery.
Building a strong support system during pregnancy and maintaining it after birth is vital for a mother’s mental wellbeing.
One way to build a strong support system for yourself and your family is having supportive family and friends. Your spouse, mother and close friends can all be a part of your support network.
They are there to offer advice, encouragement and a listening ear when you feel stressed.
My biggest support by far comes from my mother. She is there for me when I need advice on parenting or need a babysitter for a couple of hours to regain my sanity.
While family and friends can be a support network throughout motherhood, there are also support groups for breastfeeding, teenage and single mothers.
These support groups can be found online or in the city you reside in.
If you do not find a support group near you or the support groups do not fit your circumstances, you can always create a support group.
Chances are there’s other mothers just like you in need of a strong support network or group.
2. Don’t Strive For Perfection
Let’s face it. Perfection in an unobtainable dream. It can be disheartening to see every mother you know on social media living the perfect life.
However, pictures and social media as a whole can be deceiving. No mother is perfect. No mother has it completely together, all the time.
As a mother, were all just doing the best we can. Some days are worse than others.
While today you children are perfect angels. Tomorrow they might be little devils.
Juggling the demands of motherhood, marriage and work takes its toll. What is a perfect mother?
The definition of perfect to one mother is not perfect to another. There is no definition of what a perfect mother is.
When you find yourself striving to be perfect for you children and spouse, you end up disappointed. Then, guilt over not being a super mom ensues.
Stop striving for perfection! You don’t have to lower your parenting expectations completely.
You just need to forgive your imperfect mistakes. Not understanding the reason behind your child’s cries happens to the best mom’s.
We are all just as confused as you are by motherhood.
Forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes. I learned early on in motherhood that perfection is not possible.
I was left constantly feeling guilty about not being a good enough mother and wife. This just led me down a path of destruction, making my postpartum depression worse.
Finally, I learned to let go of the little things and focus on the bigger picture, loving and caring for my family the best I could.
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3. Find Time For Exercise
Children tend to damper an exercise routine. Busy schedules with family and work interfere with making time to complete an exercise routine.
As a mother, exercise is crucial for both physical and mental strength.
Every mother needs the muscular strength to pick up small children multiple times a day.
But more importantly physical activity releases feel-good endorphins to enhance energy, concentration and overall mood.
To involve your child in your new positive change, a jogging stroller is a must.
In recent studies, psychologists have found just 10 minutes of walking is comparable to a 45-minute workout for reducing anxiety and depression.
Further studies indicate exercise can alleviate depressive symptoms quickly.
While it may be temporary, taking a 10-minute walk can provide hours of depression relief. Over time, regular exercise changes the way your brain responds to stress.
With regular exercise, depression and anxiety disorders can be decreased by 25%.
Finding the time and energy for exercise can be difficult with a family. But a simple 10 minutes a day can have you reaping the emotional benefits exercise provides.
Along with increased mental health, exercise also helps boost self-confidence.
For light exercise, a chest carrier can be worn during an exercise routine. Although a high intensity workout cannot be done with a chest carrier, you do have the added benefit of keeping your baby close.
Setting small exercise goals and completing them gives you sense of pride about your accomplishments.
Physical activity also gives you the opportunity to gain a larger support network by connecting you socially.
By taking exercise classes such as Pilates and Zumba you can socialize with women with the same physical fitness goals.
4. Remember Your Hobby
Before my baby was born I had free time to sit, relax and crochet a blanket or two. Now that I have a one-year-old child, I haven’t crocheted in a year. I’ll be honest, I really miss it. As a mother my son’s needs and wants always come first.
A hobby is part of your identity. It is something that brings you joy and provides comfort in a hectic life.
Hobbies allow you to take a break from work, kids and your spouse to relax and reserve time for you.
It is time to remember and continue the hobby you once loved. Schedule time after the kids go to sleep or during nap time to allow yourself to de-stress for mental health self-care.
If you don’t have a hobby or want to find a new one, here is a list of hobbies you can start today:
For 50 amazing hobby ideas check out my article 50 Indoor Hobbies To Try When You’re Stuck At Home.
5. Physically Take Care Of Yourself
Yesterday, after my son puked on me for the third time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I hadn’t changed my shirt all day.
I looked in the mirror to find two old white puke stains and one freshly made.
Although my son’s nonstop needs were being met, my basic human needs were coming second in life.
I felt embarrassed about my lack of self-care for myself. Even if I wasn’t leaving the house.
As a mom, especially a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to forget about your own basic needs.
Diaper changes, feedings, naps, playtime and anything having to do with your children comes first.
Home life becomes so busy that simple things like changing your cloths after being puked on are long forgotten.
While it is second nature to always put your children’s basic needs, appearance and health ahead of your own, you are just as important. Make time to care for yourself.
If you as a mother feel better about yourself, your children will feel better as well. Your children want to see you happy and healthy.
To maintain a good level of happiness, find time to do the simple things such as change cloths, comb your hair and shower.
Personal self-care can be achieved by setting your alarm and waking up before your children.
Starting the morning with a hot, refreshing shower gives you the energy to start your day doing something for yourself and no one else.
6. Sleep Is Essential For Self-care
Sleep is essential for maintaining good health. Without sleep your physical and mental health slowly begin to deteriorate.
Sleep deprivation tends to come with motherhood. As your spouse is snoring peacefully, your waking multiple times a night to feed or pat a baby back to sleep.
Do you get enough sleep?
If you don’t get seven to eight hours per night, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences. Lack of sleep plays a role in learning and memory processing.
Eventually, remembering and learning new details becomes more and more difficult.
A 2007 study found insomnia sufferers are five times more likely to acquire depression. Loss of sleep actually aids depression symptoms.
However, depression symptoms can be alleviated by treating insomnia. It’s simple.
Focus on getting more adequate sleep to prevent or improve depression. As a mother who runs a household, sleep is hard to come by.
Making sleep a priority in your everyday schedule can increase your physical and mental health allowing you to take better care of your children.
Let’s examine two simple ways to get more sleep.
Every day during nap times, stop what you doing and go lay down. Catch extra sleep when your children are sleeping. Nap times are not just for children!
Nap times are for tired, exhausted moms who need extra sleep to function. Forget about the house mess and everything you need to do for the day.
Instead, take a nap. Your children will appreciate you not being so cranky from lack of sleep.
If your children go to bed by 8 pm, make it a habit to go to bed soon after.
While mothers everywhere live for bedtime after a long day, going to bed early yourself helps to recharge energy for the next day.
Many mothers are in a hurried frenzy to get last-minute things done around the house after the children go to bed. If possible, leave certain chores to do for the next day.
Getting adequate sleep is more important for yourself then picking up Legos in the living room.
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Final Thoughts On Self-Care Ideas For Busy Moms
Children grow fast. They’re only young for a short period of time.
It’s important to cherish every moment you can. But often times, mothers are so busy taking care of everyone else, their own self-care is forgotten. Make time for you.
Although your family is receiving the best of care, you also deserve the best of care.
Take time to remember the hobbies you once loved to nourish your mental health. Don’t strive to be perfect when perfection is not possible.
Just be the best mother you can be by taking care of yourself physically and mentally through extra sleep and exercise.
The better you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of your family.
What are you waiting for? Use these self-care tips for busy moms to make yourself a priority in your life!