Self-Care Tips for Busy Moms: How 17 Moms Practice Self-Care
When I mention the word self-care to a mom I often get an eye roll or sarcastic laugh. Most moms say something like “I don’t have time for self-care, I’m busy taking care of everyone else!”
Here’s the thing, moms – If you’re so busy taking care of everyone else, that you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of others well. Your children sense your stress and overwhelm and it may affect them more than you realize.
My Mom Fail
I recently had a really bad day. It was the first day of school vacation and I was trying to catch up on housework in preparation for a busy weekend with family visiting. I had been sick (and still was) and never slowed down to rest because I was too busy. So, by Friday, I was a cranky, overtired mom.
As I was trying to do laundry and clean up the exorbitant amount of kids “stuff” I find in every corner of my house, I found myself short tempered and impatient. My kids wanted nothing to do with cleaning and were constantly challenging me and each other.
Given the circumstances, I quickly became that mom that I strive so hard not to be. I was raising my voice and acting more like a drill sergeant than a mom, and at one point my daughter told me I was scaring her because she wasn’t used to seeing me this way. Major mom fail!
At the end of the day, I felt defeated. As I reflected on the day I realized how my attitude had affected my children, but I also gave myself grace. We are all allowed have a bad day. My lesson from that day was the importance of self-care for moms. If I don’t take care of myself, I become that tired, overwhelmed mom and can’t take care of others well. And I could see how much it affected my kids!
I also realized how far I’ve come. A few years ago the day I just described was more common than not. I was always tired and impatient. I worked too much and didn’t spend enough quality time with my kids.
I’ve worked hard to find more balance and make self-care a priority the past few years. I have implemented new routines, worked on finding my Why, started reading more, and set goals related to my wellness and self-care. I’m happy to say those cranky mom days are few and far between, but they do happen. I am human after all!
I’m on a mission to help other moms find more balance, confidence, and fulfillment in their lives, so they too find those days are few and far between. I asked some other online business owners who are successfully balancing self-care, family, and business to share how they fit self-care into their day.
We are all moms from different walks of life, with different circumstances, living in different countries! But we all have the same struggles and challenges and we are all devoted to sharing our gifts through our blogs, and being the best version of ourselves for our families.
Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms, from Busy Moms
“I practice self-care through my morning routine. I’m up a mere hour before everyone else in the house and use that time to fuel my soul. My routine changes frequently but always includes some time for prayer and for planning. I also am quick to remind myself of how much I do when I feel my to-do list is growing faster than it shrinks.”
“I love to put makeup on and play around with it when I’m alone! I also love to enjoy a cup of coffee in the sun and go for runs in the early morning.”
“I have a kick butt morning routine so I get up an hour before the kids and spend time praying/meditating, journaling and visualizing my goals.”
“I make sure to get a good night’s sleep each and every night. Sometimes that might mean 8 hours, others it might mean 6 hours but when I wake up the next morning, I’m refreshed and ready to roll. Things and people that cause me stress are kicked to the curb – no time for that! One of my guilty pleasures is binge-watching British television, especially the British soap, Eastenders.”
“As an introvert, I need time alone to recharge my batteries. I love my loud, energetic family dearly, but when I start to feel overstimulated by all of the movement and noise, I know that it’s time for a mommy time-out (which usually happens after dinner)! So, every night after I put my youngest to bed, I watch one of my favorite shows alone in my bedroom with the lights off. That little break gives me enough energy to get through the rest of the bedtime routines, chores that need to be finished and a little bit of bookkeeping work before heading to bed myself.”
“I read every night after my girls are in bed. I was always a reader before I had kids, but got away from it for a while and it felt so good once I started making it a priority. We are members of the YMCA and I make exercise a priority to keep me feeling healthy. Last thing, I got over the “mom guilt” and leave my kids with my husband at least once per month to either go shopping (not for groceries!) or just go window shopping by myself.”
“I write haha. Writing is my main form of therapy right now, but once my schedule starts to slow down I will be returning to my yoga practice.”
“I practice self-care through exercise, drinking my morning coffee in peace and quiet, and spending time reading and journaling.”
“By taking time each day either in the mornings before my baby wakes up or when she goes to bed to pamper myself, meditate, read a book, take a bath and just do anything that I feel my body needs.”
“I have my me times. Usually after my daughter goes to sleep. I either listen to music or do some silent cleaning as a therapy. Otherwise, I hate cleaning work ?”
“By putting my heart into everything I do. If you practice self-love, you also practice self-care.”
“I do my best to keep up with a healthy diet, regular fitness routine (yoga is my favorite for stress relief!), adequate sleep and alone time (where I can read a book, meditate, journal or take a relaxing bath!).”
“Find 1 simple thing to do for me each day. Maybe it’s a quick 15-minute workout, wearing my favorite shirt, or let the dishes sit so I can enjoy my coffee or play with my child.”
“Almost every single day, I swim for about 45 minutes. It’s my time away from my business and from my family. I also love to relax with wine too!”
“This is still one that I am struggling with some, but I have started really trying to take care of myself better. I have started going to bed earlier so that I get enough sleep even if that means the house isn’t clean before bed. I have started taking a nap when my little ones are napping if I am extra tired. (Wow a lot of these is around sleep, maybe I’ve been sleep deprived a little too long and that is all I can think about :). I also have made a point to attend ladies nights out with the ladies in my homeschool co-op and actually asking my husband to get home on time so I can attend. And of course, for me, there is the going to the store by myself and leaving the kids with dad. I’m not sure why I enjoy this so much because I really don’t enjoy shopping but it just gives me a little bit of a breather and gives me a chance to just roam without being in a rush or constantly having to get on my kids in the store.”
“Taking a few minutes to do something just for me every day- even if it’s small. Read a chapter in a book, put whipped cream in my coffee, or have the girls do a chore I normally do myself.”
Over the past month, I have been doing the 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Adriene via YouTube. Some friends invited me to join them in this challenge, and it has been a great source of relaxation and much-needed me-time. Especially right now as I’m getting my blog off the ground, nearly every spare second is devoted to my business. Any time my husband can help out with dishes, laundry, and the baby is vital for my peace of mind. Before bed each night, I try and read a few chapters of the New Testament (light reading, I mean I”m trying to go to bed here!). This helps me wind down my day, focus my mind, and let go of the to-do lists (of which there are many!). I practice a tad bit of gardening, which allows me to get some fresh air, and so far this season I haven’t killed anything! So that’s a plus for my self-esteem as well. 🙂 Friends and family readily volunteer to help me out if I need a break, and I am extremely blessed to have this support system in place. My husband is also very gracious to watch the baby for an hour or two every few days to let me get away and go shopping or go out with friends. Any time without the baby feels like I’m missing an appendage, but it feels nice to be just “Emily” and not “mama” for a little while.
Are you ready to make your self-care a priority? Click here to Join my free challenge! We will be working together to make sure you take a little time for YOU every day!