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How Self-Care Helped Me be a Better Mom

    Finding the time or the energy to take time for myself as a mom has been extremely difficult, but oh so rewarding! Many moms (especially young moms), struggle with this on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis! How they do it for that long and still manage to function is beyond my comprehension. Whilst it is not impossible to function on a “non-self-care diet”, it is highly recommended against. 

 It is known that moms burn out quicker than most women. Imagine the kind of burn out or inevitable and eventual explosion that will occur when they’ve been neglecting self-care and functioning at mediocre capacity at best for months at a time! Exhaustion is a real thing, and if time to rest is not taken, you can even end up in the hospital! Then who will be there to take care of the kiddos and their needs even half as well as you can? 

 This is why self-care is imperative for moms! I luckily have not experienced the explosion, but have had the “pleasure” of going through severe burn-out! What this looked like for me was my brain literally stopped working, I could not comprehend the most simple questions (“Hey, how old will your daughter be this year?”). I couldn’t remember how I got to where I was in my personal life, career, physically, etc. I knew I had 8 million things on my to-do list and couldn’t figure out how to do a single one. I was so frustrated, all I did was cry for an hour and get more frustrated that I had just wasted that hour crying instead of accomplishing something on my list. 

 It took me a bit to realize what was happening and that it will only get worse and  I would not be able to do anything if I did not make some time for myself. So, I did the easiest thing I could think of that I knew would help me at least unwind. I turned on a movie for my pooch, and got in the tub. That day I took a 2 and a half hour bubble bath, complete with an excellent glass of a vintage Bordeaux. During my bath, I decided even though my schedule was crazy and always kept me running, I would make sure to schedule in little slots of self-care not only weekly, but daily. 

   I began to follow the plan I made and immediately felt the difference. I was more alert at work, I was excited to get my day started, I had fun with any task I had to do, I was more friendly to everyone who I came in contact with. I could be my witty, fun-loving, extremely efficient self again! My head was clear and I could focus on giving my little one the best of me instead of the rest of me, and have fun with her again. I could be the “cool” mom that everyone wants to be. (no, not like the mom on Mean Girls). I was not only ready for life, but I was excited for it! 

 Having even just a little bit more energy and patience changed the game completely. I was no longer annoyed any time my daughter even just wanted to talk around me. I didn’t immediately snap back any time something was asked. My answer to doing anything outside of the home together was not an immediate “NO!”. I made time to focus on her and her needs and was able to leave work at work so I could be a more present mom. I had all sorts of left over mom guilt from the times those things did happen, so I would take weekends off and have full mother-daughter retreats where we would just spend quality time together. 

  By making the time to take care of myself first, I was able to set my priorities straight again and continue to be the best mom I could be. It felt as though I had been brought back to life, and actually enjoyed every moment of it. Now my daughter knows when I need a self-care day or a 30 minute “me time” session, and understands the importance of me taking that time. If you don’t take care of yourself, how will you properly and effectively be able to take care of others? Your loved ones? Your kids? It all begins with you! Even when riding in an airplane, in case of an emergency they tell you to put your oxygen mask on before you help anyone else with theirs.

Life works the same way. As a mother, self-care is one of the most selfless things you can do. It directly affects your family and lives and will have a positive impact on everything you do, and everyone around you.

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