Being a mum can be so very busy and stressful. It may be that you are a stay-at-home-mum with one or several kids, a single mum or a working mum with a 1-year-old like myself. But what we all have in common is that we somehow always think about everyone around us first. Taking care of the baby, the husband, our pets, the household and so on.
All of this can lead us to forget about ourselves. Our own needs are put aside because we put ourselves last.
It is easy to do so with all the tasks mummy life throws at us. The list never ends, may it be meal planning for the week, making sure the baby gets fed or that the house looks somehow liveable. So at the end of the day, there just seems not enough time for mum’s needs.
Let me assure you, I am definitely one of those offenders. Usually, I manage to have a shower and put clothes on but that’s about it.
I haven’t shaved any body parts in a while and my nails look terrible, my hair colour is growing out and my wardrobe would need an upgrade. There are days, where I still wear my maternity clothes, just because they are there. Overall, I guess you get the picture.
And then there is the outside world which definitely notices.
In one week I got comments from my mum, my cousin and even colleagues at work that I do not look like I would take any care of myself anymore.
As an example, during my lunch break, some work colleagues to whom I am quite close to, mentioned – in a concerned and very nice and respectful way – that I was looking very frazzled that day including my mismatched outfit.
How did this happen? It was one of those busy mornings, getting everyone and everything ready before I had to leave for work. Got up just before 6 am, so I could have a shower and even put a bit of makeup on before my little one wakes up. Then took the dog out for a walk. Then getting my baby ready for the day. Changing and feeding him.
There was actually no more time left, but I had to change into work clothes so I just grabbed the very first thing I could find out of the wardrobe. I somehow knew that this particular outfit didn’t work but in the rush of the morning I didn’t care and had no more time to waste.
I can tell you, this wouldn’t have happened before I had my little one, always made sure I looked very presentable, especially for work. How just a couple of months can change you completely.
So, I asked myself: “Am I happy with myself? Nope, not at all.”
It made me realise that I need to practise self-care. Not just for my surrounding, but especially for myself.
So I decided, this week will be about me. Taking care of my body, which desperately needed some pampering, but also nourishing my mind and soul. After all, I am as important as the rest of the family. I actually feel like I am the one who is holding us all together. And if I am not happy with myself, how can I achieve an overall happy family life?
So, there it goes. And because it is easy to forget this once you are in full swing at home, I made a list. Working with lists works very well with me because I visually see what I want to achieve and I can tick it off once done. It makes it a bit harder to forget about it or just shuffle it aside.
For you mama, I want to be your reminder today. Here are some ideas and tips to treat yourself – because you deserve it.
Why Do I Even Need To Bother About Self-Care?
First of all, taking time to care for yourself does not mean you are selfish or that you are a bad mum.
It actually is quite the opposite.
See the time you are spending on self-care as an investment. There is no result without an effort.
The result will be an even better version of you. Why?
Because you are more balanced and happy. You can achieve this by taking care of your body being fit and healthy you are physically stronger to handle mummy life. You may be even more efficient and get things done faster, just because your brain is functioning better, e.g. through having nutritious meals instead of unhealthy fast food because you don’t care what you eat while you are in a rush doing all the mummy chores.
And by caring about your mental wellbeing and nourish your soul you are able to be more relaxed and happier.
This is what you want to be for your kids, am I right?
Plus, further down the track, when the baby is older and understands things, you will set a positive example. While it is amazing to care for others, you show your kids that it is also important not to forget about yourself.
How On Earth Will I Find Time For It?
Finding time to take a little time for yourself can seem impossible. In between doing the dishes or preparing the next meal and entertaining your little one at the same time, it may feel like there is just no time for anything else. But there are some tricks which can help.
- Practice self-care with your baby around.
This can be small and quick things like enjoying your cup of tea or coffee while your baby is playing next to you.
- Use a part of the baby’s nap time for yourself.
This can be reading your favourite magazine for 10 minutes before you start anything else around the house
- Ask your partner for help.
If he takes the baby for just an hour, and trust him he can do it, it gives you time to do whatever makes you feel good, for example, go out to the gym or catch up with friends
- Ask close friends or relatives for help.
Come over to each other’s houses and take turns to entertain the little ones.
- Let the household be for a second.
The dirty dishes will wait for you.
WEDNESDAY Deluxe Shower, including shaving, peeling, moisturise.
FRIDAY Watch a movie or read a non-baby related book or magazine
SATURDAY Shopping for myself.
SUNDAY Catch up with a friend or at least have a phone chat
Pedicure, manicure and my bathroom ritual all accomplished, while my baby was down for his first nap. This week this was my priority and the first thing on the list as soon as my little one dozed off. It didn’t take more than 20 mins each day.
For the exercise, I went to my yoga class and my husband had my baby for an hour while I was away.
Read also: Why Yoga Is Helping Me Overcome Postnatal Depression
I watched a movie together with my husband on a Friday night after the little one went to bed. It was a great little date.
Saturday shopping was together with my baby and husband and it wasn’t much but I bought myself some new and finally good-looking underwear.
On Sunday I just had a small catch up with my friend who also has a baby. We only met for 30 mins while both our babies were awake and playing, but we had a chat and time was well spent.
Read also: 6 Simple Happy Day Tips for Postpartum Mum
And the plan for next week:
Make an appointment with the hairdresser.
I hope you got some good tips for practising self-care yourself and it will make you a happier, more balanced mum who is then able to give even more love and dedication to your baby.
Now, I would like to hear from you. Do you have other tips and tricks to practise self-care and how to find time for it?