Let’s talk about those days that there is a never-ending list of to-do’s and you have an angry little human demanding every ounce of your energy. With these days come mental exhaustion, physical fatigue, and sometimes a point where you just can’t keep it together anymore. This is real life motherhood and it is okay to be here! What is not okay, is to not nourish yourself through this.
If you are thinking, it is absolutely impossible to feed my soul, let alone myself, on these days – you aren’t alone. But I want to have real talk right now. You CAN nourish yourself on these incredibly hard days. You CAN schedule self-care into your day. You SHOULD be doing this – it takes as little as five minutes to take some you time. Here is another kicker, you can practice self-care without being by yourself. The ONLY excuse to not practicing is the decision to not incorporate it.
So, now that we have covered this, let’s get down to how to practice self-care when we are barely able to finish our first cup of coffee and have to pee with a child on our lap.
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1. Have a morning routine. I don’t care if you get up before your kids. I don’t care if you aren’t pushing out balanced nutritious breakfasts. What is important, is that you have a routine! It brings balance into your life and allows for busy schedules to have time!
My schedule includes waking up, staying in pajamas until breakfast and my first cup of coffee are finished. Yes, finished! Then we brush our teeth, wash our face, get dressed, and go on a walk! That is our morning – in two hours.
2. Finish your coffee. I know, I know! This is real life. But seriously, whether it is coffee or tea, get your drink in! I manage to do this with an 18-month-old and being pregnant (and I get up when B does). I drink my coffee when I holding B, when she is eating in her high chair, when she is sitting on my lap reading, and when I am on my walk! If I lose my coffee, well, I just reheat it or move on with my day!
3. Go on a walk. You are getting in exercise, stimulating your little, and having some great bonding time. It gets you out in nature and soaking up Vitamin D. If it is raining, we break out our raincoats – and I am not joking. This walk just turned into a crazy sensory activity and B is learning about our world! We also invite my Grandpa to walk with us and because if this, B has an extraordinarily close relationship with her great-grandfather.
4. Put your phone away. A big part of life feeling rushed is the constant ability to be connected. We are always talking to someone, scrolling through feeds, doing something on our phone (or tablet or computer) that pulls us away from the present. When we disconnect from the distractions, there is suddenly a little more time.
5. Breathe. When you are frustrated. When you are sad. When you are excited. Just….breathe. Sit down or stand up tall (hold your kid) drop your shoulders, and breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Let your breath move like waves and relax your muscles and move on.
6. Read. If you are laughing and saying you don’t have time, well, you just read this far. It doesn’t have to be a book. Find articles, read a couple pages, or even read your child a book!
7. Pick up one room. I hate cleaning. Absolutely despise it BUT when I have at least one area picked up, it takes a load off. And then when naptime rolls around or when B goes to bed, I can quickly pick up another room and I have even more areas that are nice. Have a kid that has to be held constantly (even to nap)? That’s when you baby wear and you can accomplish a whole lot of stuff!
8. Build your Mom Tribe! There are tons of resources out there to find moms – especially online groups of local moms. You can check out my Baby+Me Facebook Page, find local moms groups on Facebook, MOPS, and even mom groups at your churches and local fitness centers! It breaks the isolation and builds a great support system.
9. Tell yourself something nice every day. Let go of all of your imperfections and say something nice. I’m a great mom. I really did avoid job at keeping my cool. I kept everyone alive another day.
10. Give yourself grace. You are doing a lot and it’s hard to get everything done. You don’t have a clone or endless time and energy, so meet yourself where you are and be okay with it. We can always improve but it isn’t worth sacrificing your happiness, because your happiness impacts your mothering.
You have so many opportunities to nourish yourself in motherhood. You are so important so you need to be able to give yourself time too. With your job, you don’t get a ton of time to yourself but you can build it in to your daily life. Self-care isn’t something that has to be done in isolation. It isn’t something that has to cost money. It is really easy to implement self-care.
Let me know what your favorite way of self-care is or what you thought of my list – and don’t don’t forget to share the love!
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