You get up early, and your first frantic thought is how you need to rush and make breakfast for the family. You run around, putting together what you hope is a nutritious meal while the baby cries, while your partner keeps asking you where their socks are, while the doorbell rings, while the mug of coffee you made for yourself is going cold because you just don’t have the time to drink it right now. You’ll do anything for those around you, but what about yourself? When was the last time you allowed a lazy afternoon, or a spa day, or just some quiet time to indulge in your favourite book? For me, it took a long time to realize just how important those self-care moments are. I was stressed, exhausted, and irritable because I thought that I simply had to push myself past the point of reason to ensure my family had all they need. Do you know what this led to? Misery for everyone. Dear moms, hear me out because your family needs you to be healthy and happy.
Make time for your interests
I was always a pretty great cook, and I used to really enjoy making these complex, incredibly rich and delicious lunches. It’s just my thing, I’ve been cooking since I was a kid and I find the whole process to be comforting. So when I realized that I groan and feel dread every time I’m supposed to cook, I knew that something was wrong. When did I lose my passion and interest in something that used to be so important to me? Being a good mom does not mean that you have to change who you are, it does not mean you stop living and enjoying things that aren’t related to your kids. These passions give us joy, and in turn they give us strength and energy to be better parents. As soon as I allowed myself to get creative with my meals instead of always making what everyone else wants, and picked a few times a month to just order takeout and use the time to rest, my love of cooking returned.
Make time for self-care
This is especially important for new moms. Postnatal depression is a serious condition, and a lot of mothers experience anxiety and dread, especially because their bodies change, everything aches, and they’re constantly exhausted. Your baby needs you, yes, but you’ll actually be able to care for them better if you’re more relaxed and rested. Small self-care moments are so important – taking time to read and drink tea, going to a salon to get your hair and nails done – simple soothing activities that build back your confidence. Don’t be afraid to rely on your friends, family, and your partner when you need it.
Make time for peace
A kid in the house, regardless of their age, generally means constant noise. Whether it’s your baby crying, or your seven-year-old playing with loud toys, or your teen turning up the volume as they listen to music in their room, noise seems to be ever-present. That’s why it’s so important to find a few quiet moments of complete peace, where you do nothing but breathe deeply and relax your mind and your body. You can meditate or do Yoga, just make sure you focus on yourself. Opt for comfortable maternity yoga pants and try to find a quiet place in your home where no one will disturb you. Regain your focus and you’ll be happier and more productive.
I’m a great mom. It took me so long to say that, and then even longer to really start believing it. I’m a great mom because I take time for my own health, for my own interests, and for my own life. I realized that the world won’t end if I take a break, and that I’ll actually be a lot more fun, cheerful, and supportive if I’m happy. Don’t let chores, problems, and nervousness degrade who you are as a person. Your kids need you to be well, so you could be there for them.