I’m Calling Bullsh*t on Not Having Time
Yesterday, I saw a former co-worker’s post on Facebook, declaring how insensitive posts and advice about self care are because not everyone has time for self care. I commented, and learned that essentially, because she is a mom of two young children who is also attending university part time and working full time, that she simply doesn’t have time for self care. She can’t even get a good night’s sleep because they wake up and interrupt her sleep.
Sound familiar? You have no time for yourself, not even time to shower or have a healthy snack because you’re a mom? Sorry, but I’m calling bullsh*t. Everyone has time for self care. Self care doesn’t have to mean booking a massage every month, or taking a weekly hour long bubble bath. It does mean taking care of yourself, starting with your physical health. Prep healthy meals–meal planning here helps. Take one night a week when the kids are down for the night, or busy with a favourite activity, and chop up some veggies so you have them ready for a snack with hummus or a nut butter. You do this for your kids right? Your health matters too, Mom.
But Really, I don’t Have Time
Bullsh*t. You have time to prep healthy meals for your kids so you have time to have healthy meals too. I know kids can be picky eaters and sometimes decide that all they are going to eat is a carb and one protein. Like chicken fingers and fires. Or pizza. And you want to pull your hair out and just want your kid to eat, and that your dinner table may not be Instagram photo worthy for healthy eating. But kids being picky eaters doesn’t mean you can’t have healthy options your kid *may* enjoy that you can eat too. Make your own chicken fingers and grill some chicken for your meal. Have a salad. Quick, easy healthy options make sure you’re eating properly and your kid will eventually come around, and you’re not exactly prepping two meals. Guess what Mom…this is self care and taking care of your kid too.
But I’m Exhausted Because My Kids Don’t Sleep
This is a hard one. I know a lot of moms struggle with this. It seems kids suffer more from night terrors now than they used to, or just wake up a lot. And this is where I’m going to say, do you have a bedtime routine? A consistent bed time? Because those things may help. You can also consult a sleep consultant for children. Usually it’s one or two things that are affecting your child’s (and therefore your) quality of sleep. Sleep hygiene will help with this a lot. Because, remember….you slept through the night at the age of four. And probably did even younger. So children today can too.
Ways to Practice Self Care as a Busy Mom
Please do not think I am criticizing mothers and how how they mother their children. My goal here to remind all women that we have time for self care. It’s not easy being a parent. It changes your life and it’s a huge responsibility, and I get that. Parenthood is the biggest game changer there is in this life. But I know you want some time for yourself, and that’s why I think a lot of parents fall into the trap of getting into routines and habits that are not the greatest for their kids, and cause them as parents stress. As a result, they scowl and declare they don’t have time, they have kids. Again, sorry, but bullsh*t. I know it’s hard. But, once you address the above obstacles, you will feel you have more time and energy for self care. Here are some suggestions of how to include self care into your busy mom life.
Have an Easy to do at Home Hobby
Hobbies are way for your to express yourself. You are more than a mom. You are person, and were a person with interests and hobbies before you were a mom. You can still have hobbies as a mom too. What did you used to do before you were a mom? Paint? Read? Yoga? Well, you can do this at home. Have a craft table for your little ones and a work area for your paints or scrapbook supplies. They play while you indulge in your hobby. Can you do this every day? Probably not, especially if you work full time. Can you do this a couple of times a week? Sure, maybe after dinner one night. You enjoy your hobby, create something you are proud of, and hey, look at that! You are practicing self care.
Have a Self Care Night
You’ve have a rough day, the kids have been cranky and you’re just done. They are finally in bed and you can breathe. What do you do with your time? Too many moms tell me they just crash onto the couch to watch TV. While this is super tempting, it’s not going to make you feel better. Instead of spending that hour in front of the TV, have a self care night. Give yourself a mini facial, scrub, mask, then maybe lie down for ten listening to some relaxing music from an app like Calm. You don’t need to pay to access a lot of great self care tracks on this app. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel!
Journalling is proven to reduce stress and support your mental health. You can journal in a wide variety of ways such as bullet journals, gratitude journals, and so much more. I like just getting a notebook and writing down my thoughts feelings. I let them flow. It really helps me express my thoughts and emotions, and by the time I’m done writing I feel a lot calmer and have sometimes resolved conflicting emotions or come up with a plan of action. Do this in the morning before your kids get up, or at night before bed. Maybe take ten minutes and journal in the car before you head into work, or during a break.
Your kids need routines, and so do you. Have a before bed routine for yourself. Maybe you lay out your clothes, take off your makeup, read before bed. A routine doesn’t have be time consuming or involve a lot of steps. It just needs to be consistent. And just like your kids, you need a bedtime. Be sure to stick to it for quality sleep. Having routines is practicing self care just as much as taking a long bubble bath.
Get Out In Nature
Do you bring your little ones to the park? Why not indulge in a little nature exploration while they play? Instead of sticking your head in your phone to scroll through Facebook, observe the birds, watch the clouds move. Maybe take some nature pictures of the trees or flowers around you. There are apps that help you identify plants and birds, so you can use those too. Or, just take a walk around the block on your own while you’ve got your SO or friend watching your little ones. Being out in nature really helps your mental health.
You Can Do it Mom
Ladies, we can do this. We can be moms and practice self care. It doesn’t have to be time consuming, or mean that you need your kids out of the way. Self care can happen in the little things, such as having routines, giving yourself a mini facial or reading a book. You have time for this. Even if you work full time. And if you are still skeptical, just ask yourself, is my lifestyle one I enjoy and benefit from emotionally? If the answer is no, then it’s time to look at how you’re living. You might be overextending yourself, and you may even be overextending your kids with too many activities. When we say, we don’t have time, what we are really saying is my world feels too chaotic and that needs to be acknowledged and addressed. You are in control of your life. You make the choices. Not time or a lack thereof. Just you.
How do you practice self care as a mom? Let me know in the comments below.