Why is self-care so hard for us moms to prioritize? Is it really selfish to put ourselves first at times?
As moms we are pulled in so many different directions. There is the never-ending to-do list, the kids need caring for, the house is a mess, your husband needs some attention too and I bet at the bottom of that long list of needs, demands and wants is taking care of you, Momma.
We get so lost in the busyness of being a mom that we neglect being a human with basic needs. I know I have often missed meals or brushing my teeth an getting ready because I was so consumed with the kids and the house.
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Since becoming a mom I have discovered that the words self-care have become essential to my well-being. Before having kids the word self-care seemed selfish and trivial and something that people who were a mess needed to feel better.
However, since having kids those words now mean so much more to me.
They mean a time to rest, recover and recuperate. It’s essential to work on myself so that I can be the best mom that I can.
Because if I’m burned out and exhausted then I can’t take care of the house, the kids and my husband like I need to.
So, self care has become something that is hard to come by as a mom but it’s very much needed now more than ever!
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So, why is it that we struggle with self-care?
I find that most moms struggle to practice self-care and to put themselves first. It’s challenging to do something to relax yourself, something that you enjoy because you tend to find it to be selfish.
Or, like myself, think that you are being a burden to others when you ask them to watch your kids so that you can have some time to yourself. Even if that means asking your husband to help with the kids.
But I have started to learn that I need to put my pride aside and seek to take care of myself and I encourage all moms to do this. It doesn’t have to be an all day self-care spa day massage out and about with your girlfriends it can be something as simple as an at home do-it-yourself kind of thing to help with self-care. Anything, even for a few minutes, that you can do to give yourself a rest and rejuvenate you.
Finding Time For Yourself Is Hard
I recently heard someone say that self-care for moms often looks like providing just for your typical basic human human needs such as, cleansing yourself. This is true for a lot of moms. It is hard to find a few minutes to really take a shower, clean your hair and wash your body.
For me that’s never really been a struggle because I choose to do it after the kids go to bed but, my kids are sleep trained and have a bedtime routine and so it is very structured in the evenings and I’m guaranteed alone time starting at 8 p.m. most nights.
However, this is not the case for all moms. A lot of moms struggle to find any alone time. You are exhausted from the day and just want to go to bed. You don’t have time to shower because you have way too much to clean. And, it’s either clean yourself or the house. Sound familiar?
Fret not! I am here to encourage you to start prioritizing your self-care and give you practical ways to do so. You can learn to develop some self-care routines and start to feel human again.
Self-Care Ideas & Tips
1. Do Your Nails
I love having pretty manicured and painted nails. I’ve never been big on going out and spending money on a manicure but I love painting my nails.
The problem is your drugstore nail polish doesn’t hold up well as a mom. You finally get your nails painted but before they can dry a kid needs you and they get smudged. Or they dry and look perfect but you have to clean the house 47 times a day and it causes them to chip within a day or two.
Then you don’t possibly have the time or energy to remove said nail polish so your nails look hideous.
I found 2 easy solutions to this problem
Red Aspen Nails
I have never tried press on nails before so this was a first for me and they were so easy to apply. The best thing about these adorable nails (besides being easy to apply and cute) is that they are affordable and budget friendly. They have tons of variety and Aimee showcases the options so well.
The Red Aspen Nails lasted me about 2 weeks and I was ROUGH on them. I wore them while I deep cleaned the entire house and only had 2 nails pop off (both incidents would have destroyed any nail).
UV Light DIY Manicure
The other option I found for a long lasting at home manicure was a UV light gel manicure. I use this option now simply because it is quick, easy, long lasting and it’s my natural nails.
This choice does cost a little upfront but then the cost thereafter is essential minimal to no cost at all.
I purchased a UV nail light and some gel nail polish. The kit walks you through how to do everything and it takes less than 15 minutes start to finish to have dry, ready-to-go nails. I have loved painting my nails and it makes me feel like I’m doing something for just me.
I typically do my nails after the kids go to bed and while I am watching TV. It has helped to be able to have cute nails that last 2-3 weeks instead of having to constantly do my nails or have chipped nails.
2. Take Time to Read
I don’t know about you but, before becoming a mom I was such a bookworm I loved reading and could finish a book in one sitting. It was my way to get away from life and the stresses of this world.
However, since becoming a mom it is very challenging finding the time or the energy to read. When you do have the time to pick up a book and read a lot of times it’s easier to just veg out in front of the TV or to go to bed early.
My desire is to read more in 2020 and even reading in front of my kids. I have started the practice of setting aside some time as Momma time (even when the kids are awake)
I have started carving out time during the day that the kids know is my reading time. I’ll say Momma needs 10 minutes or Momma needs 30 minutes. Then, I set a timer, read and they play. If they need me they come and get me but if they come to me and it’s not something urgent I typically just tell them when the timer goes off Momma can help you until then it’s Momma time. This has set up acts of self care during the waking hours so that it’s not all crammed into the evening when they are asleep.
I have so enjoyed reading a good book and I’ve also enjoyed reading in front of the kids. It helps to show them that reading is fun even as an adult. It is has become a time where often times they get a little book and they’ll “read” with me. This has been such a good time for my heart and my soul and just kind of mentally.
I have enjoyed getting back into reading and making reading a priority for myself. I even joined a virtual book club which was a first for me but it was amazing! If you are not able to join an actual book club in person I would highly recommend a virtual book club. (you could even start one yourself). It was a great way to hold me accountable to reading and putting aside time for myself.
I have loved it as it’s got me back into trying to discover new books and new things to read and I have found that the kids watching me read has made them more interested in books to which is a plus
3. Taking a Hot Bath
The biggest way I practice self-care is doing something I absolutely love…taking a hot bubble bath.
I love adding epsom salt, bubble bath, bath bombs or essential oils to my bath. It gives it that extra layer of relaxation. I also light candles and just set it up as a time of peaceful relaxation. It is my oasis!
It doesn’t even have to be a long soak in the tub. Some nights all I have is 10 minutes but it still makes a huge difference in how I relax.
There are so many ways to relax in the tub and make the most of your self-care moments. You can lay in the tub and just relax with eyes closed thinking about the day. You can watch a little something in the bathroom with your computer. I enjoy reading my favorite magazine or book!
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4. Massage Therapy
I have discovered, that despite being super ticklish, I love massages and this is something I found out actually after having kids.My husband gifted me a massage for my birthday. I loved it, got hooked on it and now it has become something that he will gift me. He then offers to watch the kids so that I can go and have a massage.
This one is a little more costly but it is one that is so relaxing. It’s one that I would recommend trying at least once a year (maybe more). Do it just as a day to get away. You could even do this with some girlfriends and have a couples massage with one of your girlfriends. Make a day of it and turn it into a self-care day!
If you do not like having massages out and about but you still want the spa day experience you can do this in the comfort of your home. You can turn it into a romantic date night and actually have your husband give you a massage (if he’s gifted at that) if he doesn’t want to do it then there are other options.
You can buy a little foot spa and give yourself a foot spa day. I have one and it’s nice to just put your feet in let them soak and massage your feet. While I’m doing that I’ll either do my nails, read a book or watch a guilty pleasure show.
5. Watch a Guilty Pleasure Show
I know screen time is not the best for you but it’s one of the easy ways to just kind of forget all the stress and expectations of the day. As a mom, I know we all know that each of us have a guilty pleasure show which we enjoy watching.
This is a cheap and easy way to practice self-care. Pull away after you put the kids down, watch while you fold laundry, during a nap or as you take a hot relaxing bath.
Whatever show it is you enjoy just turn it on and watch a episode or binge watch if you need it and have the time. I enjoy watching Food Network or HGTV. Watching other people do what I’ve done all day somehow brings me joy haha! I also really enjoy watching Married at First Sight and it is my true guilty pleasure show.
So grab some snacks (popcorn and chocolate), fix a cup of hot tea (or coffee) and curl up on the couch with a blanket. Take that break and enjoy that guilty pleasure! You deserve it, Momma!!
6. Finding A Mom Bestie
An act of self-care that is probably overlooked and not thought of as self care is finding a mom bestie. This has been so refreshing for me as a mom! Find another mom that you just instantly click with; someone who maybe has kids around the same age as yours. Find a mom who is on the same wavelengths as you. A mom you get along great with and just start forming that relationship.
I have a friend from church whose kids are literally the same age as mine. We set up play dates and try to meet every week/every other week. We set up play dates and it keeps the kids somewhat occupied…I mean we still have to break up a lot of toy sharing fights and be referees. But, it is our time to just sit, talk, catch up and share what’s on our hearts.
We us this time to pray for each other and I always leave feeling so refreshed, at peace and just full (even if the kids have been crazy and wild). I always leave feeling better so I’m starting to realize it has just really been medicine to my soul.
Having a best friend who is in the trenches with you and understands what you’re going through is so important for your sanity. They are with you in the moment. It’s not something that they did 20 years ago or something they haven’t experienced yet. It’s something that they’re currently in with you.
You can share life together. Even if we don’t physically see each other just a simple phone call or a text saying, “this is what I’m struggling with pray for me” has been great self care for me.
7. Spending Time in God’s Word
I have noticed that the days I don’t spend reading my Bible or having some quiet time with Jesus are the days that I go crazy. The kids are wild and my nerves are shot. I lose my temper or just feel defeated as a mom.
Spending time reading my bible each day has become a practice of mine for my spiritual self-care. I hate waking up early! I’m a night owl but I have come to realize that waking up an hour before the kids has wonderful benefits for me. The biggest being that I get quiet time with Jesus.
Try to find a time that works best for you. It doesn’t need to be any big or grand process. I simply get my devotional or bible and read. Some mornings I just know I need to spend my quiet time in prayer. It is a time for just you and Jesus. Let Him sustain you and fill your soul.
Spending time with Him everyday has sustained me, given me new life and it really helps me stay refreshed in motherhood.
The final way to practice self- care may not be your cup of tea. This isn’t something you would think of as a relaxing practice but exercising is making a choice to better your body. You are choosing to better yourself which is the definition of self-care.
Getting the blood flowing can energize your mind and body in new ways that bring such joy to you. I have found that exercising has made me feel like I’m doing something important for not only myself but my kids. I am working to ensure that my body is in the best shape it can be so I can play with them for as long as possible.
Find a time that works best for you, figure out how many days a week you want to workout, start slow and work your way up. I originally just picked random videos on Youtube to workout to. This didn’t entirely work for me so I signed up for a BeachBody on Demand subscription.
I love having the routine set and having a variety of options to choose from. I have a coach who encourages me and pushes me in my goals. It is great motivation and accountability.
Find whatever works for you and let one other person know and hold you accountable. But most of all…have fun doing it and relax in it.
Start Practicing Self-Care as a Mom
Momma, self-care isn’t selfish. I truly hope you discover this and work toward practicing self-care methods. Find ways to just pause and relax. You can’t take care of others well if you aren’t taking care of yourself as well.
I know it’s hard to find the time and sometimes it is just a minute here and there. Work with what you’ve got and build up from there. Find little ways to start practicing self-care and eventually it will become second nature.
I have seen such benefits in how I take care of my family when I take care of myself. I am not as stressed so they aren’t as stressed. I’m more at peace so they are more at peace.
And finally, seek Jesus through it all because without him it’s all fruitless and will lead to burnout. Rest in Jesus and his promises. Be encouraged that you are doing a phenomenal job! You deserve to put yourself first at times!
What is your go to self-care routine? Be sure to follow me on Instagram for all things motherhood related.