Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, chances are good that you are your family’s “sacrificial lamb” so to speak. You expend all your energy on your family and children and making sure they have everything they could need or want. But what are you doing to make sure you are taking care of yourself? For you to be the best mom you can be, it is essential you prioritize self-care. With every move we make as mothers being judged these days, it's difficult to do just that. No, you shouldn’t feel guilty about making some time for yourself!
Here is why it is so important to prioritize your own self-care as a mother and tips on how to start doing it right now.
That’s right, making it a priority to take care of yourself is setting a positive example for your children. Your kids need to see it’s healthy and normal to put their own needs first and to make sure their tanks are full, so to speak, so they have plenty left over to give to others. If you see prioritizing self-care as making time to spend with friends, then your children will see it is important to have close friendships and make time for them. If you see prioritizing self-care as taking some alone time to read a book, then your children see reading is important to continue to grow their minds. If you see prioritizing self-care as taking the time to exercise a few times a week, then your children see they should also prioritize a healthy lifestyle.
No matter what your image of prioritizing self-care looks like, your children will see that it is important to include fun and joy in aspects of their everyday life. And the better you take care of yourself, the happier and more patient you will be for your children in the long run.
It may be a given that prioritizing self-care is good for you, but it’s good in more ways than simply giving you time to relax and enjoy yourself. When you are prioritizing your own self-care, you are also making for an all-around healthier and happier version of yourself. The healthier you are, the less you will worry about the ever-dreaded mom burnout. And the happier you are, the happier everyone in the family is going to be.
When you are prioritizing your own self-care, you will be able to give more to not only your children but also to your spouse, which will make for a much more meaningful relationship and will eliminate the buildup of resentment.
Okay, so now you know you need to start prioritizing self-care, but that’s a lot easier said than done is what you are probably thinking. It’s true that it can be difficult to put other things aside and prioritize ourselves, but it’s not impossible and it doesn’t have to mean that you don’t have time for everything else that is piled on your plate.
Prioritizing self-care simply means that you take yourself from the bottom of the list and put yourself closer to the top of the list. And if you are one of the thousands thinking “I’m not even on the list” then it is time that you get yourself on that list and close to the top of it right now!
Before you can start to prioritize your own self-care, you must decide to have a shift in your mindset and commit yourself to this decision over and over again. Don’t let mom guilt take over. Prioritizing your own self-care is not selfish. It is simply making sure you are keeping your own mind, body, and emotional health at its best, so you can be at your best for everyone else.
Taking care of yourself is something you must do to really be able to care for anyone else! Never apologize for making time to take care of yourself. In fact, celebrate with your children the fact you are taking care of yourself, so they will learn just how important it is for them to prioritize their own self-care as well.
Just because you are going to be prioritizing your own self-care doesn’t mean you must give up a lot of your time to do so. Self-care can be as simple as taking five to ten minutes a day just to do something for yourself. Many women who don’t have a lot of time to sacrifice for self-care find a lot of joy and relief in taking a few minutes a day to write a journal or waking up a few minutes earlier to make sure they get a nice shower before the day’s endless tasks begin.
Spending quality time with your friends and your spouse is one of the best ways to prioritize self-care while also maintaining the relationships in your life. It is important for us to have a strong support network in our friends and our spouse to help us de-stress from everyday life. Try to make it a priority to get out of the house and spend time with these people now and then. At a minimum, you should be getting out of the house with your spouse for some alone time at least once a month, and it’s even better if you can manage more often, like once a week.
The easiest way to ensure we get something done is to make a clear, well-defined appointment for it. When you schedule a meeting or a doctor’s appointment, you don’t miss it. Scheduling time for yourself should be the same way. Deliberately make room on your calendar to schedule time for your own self-care and then make a no-cancellation policy with yourself.