I often look back at my pretend mom ideas from before I had kids, and laugh. I used to think that it would be so easy to make sure that I kept my individual identity as a mom. Now as a mom, I know that this is nearly impossible.
It seems like there are always dishes to do, laundry to fold, or a permission slip to sign. For me, parenthood feels like I am trying to juggle all of the individual balls, such as my career, marriage, children’s needs, and whatever else is thrown my way. It seems like whenever I have one ball where it needs to be, another ball gets dropped.
In this life of juggling everyone else’s needs, I often put myself last. I find that I can sustain this for a few months, and then I just burn out. When I burn out, it isn’t pretty. I am short with my children and husband. I often think about how much work I am doing, and how little everyone else is doing. I fantasize about checking into a hotel for a night, and calling my husband and letting him know that I won’t be back until the morning.
It isn’t good.
I have realized that I need to start to take my own self-care more seriously. I can’t be pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion, just to burn out and then to start the cycle over again. My children need a mom who is consistent and predictable, not a super mom for a month, and then a checked out mom for a few days.
Because of this, I am starting to take my self-care a little more seriously, and I think that if you are a mom and you feel a little too drained right now, I urge you to add a little bit of self-care into your day as well. After all, we can’t pour from an empty cup. Each day I try my best to put a little more into my cup to make life better for everyone in my family.
Here are five ways that I have added self-care into my daily routine.
1: Put down the phone.
Yup, put it down. Stop mindlessly scrolling. I find the more time that I spend on social media, the worse that I feel about myself and the more I start to compare. I look at a home blogger and her beautiful house, and I think why can’t I be as creative as her. I look at a beauty bloggers makeup and I think why can’t I be that put together. I look my nutritionist and I think why can’t I get my kids to love kale. It isn’t good for my mental health, so I often take breaks from social media.
2: Face masks.
My skin gets super dry in the winter time. I recently went to the drugstore and bought several different types of face masks. Every Sunday night, I put a face mask on and curl up in bed with a good book. My husband knows that it is face mask time and he leaves me alone. There is something so calming about using a face mask and being alone with a good story. It really sets the tone for my week, and as an added bonus, my skin has never felt better.
3: Get a good night’s sleep.
This is something I struggle with. I love my free time after the kids go to bed. I also tend to be a night owl and really enjoy staying up late. However, I always regret it in the morning. Lately, I have been trying to get to bed around 10:00 pm. By getting more sleep, I have noticed I have more patience during the day and can focus better.
Whatever it might be, move. Park in the furthest spot away from the grocery store and take a few more steps, take a yoga class, or check out a YouTube exercise video. Whatever works for you do it, and get those endorphins going.
There is nothing better than a good book. Lately, I have been checking out books from our local library. Currently, I am reading Young, by Gabrielle Zevin. It is about a young girl who has an affair with an older Congressman. I highly recommend it. Don’t get caught up in feeling that you have to always read some deep, intellectual novel, just crack open a book and enjoy.
There are five simple changes I have made this year to improve the amount of self-care in my day to day life. However, I am always looking for more suggestion, so leave a comment below on how you keep your cup filled in this crazy stage of life.