This is probably a given, but I’ll say it anyway: motherhood is hard.
There are, of course, the physical demands: gaining 25+ pounds, healing from childbirth, watching our breasts transform before our eyes (even if you don’t breastfeed, I presume you experience a brief period of engorgement), and a rush of hormones so severe that we seriously question our sanity and parenting abilities.
Even once you get past those first few weeks, there are “hiccups” such as growth spurts, teething, ear infections, feeding troubles, sleep changes, separation anxiety, and myriad other joys of raising an infant.
If a mother is to survive, she must find a way to care for herself. Whether it’s taking a steamy 10-minute shower or dropping off the kiddo at Mom’s Day Out for the morning, you have to practice self care is some form or fashion.
Since I work outside the home and don’t have a flexible schedule, it’s tough for me to find time for myself. Nevertheless, I’ve found 5 ways to ensure that I practice self-care as often as possible.
1. Finding a creative outlet
Obviously my blog is my outlet. I don’t get to post as frequently as I’d like, but when time permits, I write my little heart out. I also enjoy the interaction from commenting on other blogs—even if these folks are just “virtual friends.”
2. Putting effort into my appearance
If finances permitted, I’d probably treat myself to a mani-pedi once a month. However, we currently reside in the poor house, so the best I can do is spend a few minutes each morning putting on makeup and fixing my hair. I enjoy the quiet (well, when Iggy’s not barking) and slight pampering. Slightly concealing my under-eye circles makes me feel less like a zombie.
3. Going to the gym
Since I only have time (right now) to work out after work, I’m limited to just one night a week. Even so, I look forward to my fitness class all week long—and it refreshes me for the rest of the week. Hooray for endorphins!
4. Quiet time during the day
My co-workers and I enjoy talking to one another when time permits, but one thing I do daily is enjoy my lunch in solitude. I eat really quickly (probably a bad habit) so I can take a 20+ minute walk off the facility. It breaks up the day and gives me a much-needed change of scenery while allowing me to just be in my own thoughts.
5. Alone time with my husband
Let me explain. Although we’re individuals, our relationship means we’re a team. When we’re individually at our best then we’re our best together. We’re trying to implement periodic date nights (it’s easier said than done) and put Bazooka Boy to bed earlier so we can have our own time together. This is not something we’ve perfected; in fact, it’s very much a work in progress.
I obviously would love to have more time to care for myself—endless money for spa days, weekend trips with girlfriends, working out every day, etc.—but this is what I’ve got right now.
[linking up for thinking out loud]
- How do you practice self-care?
- What do you find most challenging about being a working mom (or SAHM/WAHM/)?