Being a mom means sacrificing a lot of your free time for the sake of, well, being a mom! When you become a parent, your child becomes your main focus, your biggest passion, and your number one priority (sorry, hubby). While this is good, this can also be extremely rough on a busy working mom.
For my first child, I was a stay-at-home mom, and my husband was at work all day paying the bills. We made this work for a while, but because of various money issues, I’ve had to pick up a job as well and have grandma help out with the kids around the house while I’m gone. For this reason, I’m always on my toes trying make sure everything is taken care of and accomplished in a timely manner (and it never is).
If you’re a new parent, you’re probably starting to see how stressful and exhausting it is just ‘being a parent’ everyday. And because we’re constantly worrying about everyone else around us, I and so many other moms often forget about worrying about ourselves because our life is so fast-paced and there’s isn’t enough time for that. Because of this, it can put us in a very painful, depressing, rough period in our life, which is why I want to talk to you about how important it is to have self care for yourself no matter how busy you are, and a few simple ways you can do this everyday!
Remember, postpartum depression is real and more prevalent more than ever. I didn’t suffer from it myself, but I know so many new moms that have suffered from it. Women close to me and others that have reached out to me here at ThinkBaby. Hence, I know it’s a major issue and I encourage any of you, here reading this, if you are going through a rough patch after giving birth, you are not alone. We will talk more about Postpartum Depression and also touch on other topics that really intrigue me, like How to Be a Happy Mom, in the coming months. For now, you can read a touching story from another blogger, Emily, in her Postpartum Depression blog post.
1 ♥ Get That Body Moving
One of the absolute best ways for anyone to de-stress and have fun is to get moving. Whether that’s going for a run, joining a Zumba class, or going to the gym. When you get active, you’re not only taking care of your body, but you’re also helping to clear away all the negativity, stress, anxiety, and frustration that is pent up from everyday life (including the stress changing. So. Many. Diapers.). Doing this everyday is a perfect way for a busy mama to make time for herself, have fun, and just let loose. And another perk? You can do it just 5 or 10 minutes a day if you’re in a rush! Seriously, where is your excuse?
A fantastic blog post that I always find myself reading called, NauandForever, Healthy Tips For Busy Moms, has incredibly insightful posts all about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle as a mom, and how to do this properly when you’re on the clock. You should definitely go have a look a her blog if you need a little extra push or inspiration, as she has helped me immensely to get back on track!
We all know how hard the post-partum period is for us moms, this is when it’s extremely important to look after ourselves both physically and mentally. And no, doing exercise isn’t recommended during the first few weeks, but there is indeed ways to look after ourselves during this time. Liesel from LaborTeen.com is not only a labor and delivery nurse, but she is a blogger too that shares some really useful information about labor and post-partum care. During this time, it’s important to get the information you need to look after yourself properly.
2 ♥ Do Something You Love
One of the things that new parents tend to do often that causes so much stress is put their full focus on their babies, but forget about who they were before they had babies (oh honey, I’m so beyond guilty of this!). This is very easy to do, after all, our purpose as parents is to put our children first, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still think about ourselves too. Ask yourself, honestly, is there a hobby you gave up that you really enjoyed in the past when you became a parent? If so, what’s stopping you from picking that up again? It is so simple, and so much easier than you think, you just have to get out there and go for it, even if it’s just 5 minutes a day. Believe me when I say, you will not regret it! And if anything, you may find that you actually love it, and where’s the hurt in that?
Another fantastic blog I’ve been eyeing the past couple days discusses just how hardcore the stress that parents experience can be, and how important it is to find something you enjoy doing to separate yourself from this for the well-being of your overall health. In the blog, WorkingParentStories, and their blog post, Stress Test, there is a heartbreaking story from a struggling dad that is battling a terrible case of stress and anxiety as a new parent, and pours insight on how the stress that’s effecting you can have a terrible influence on not only yourself as a mother, but also on your husband. This is something a lot of moms may overlook when caught up in everything going on around them. Your husband is right there with you, and he’s feeling the same frustration you are. That’s why it’s important for you and him to work as a team to maintain both of your sanities (is sanity even possible when you’re a parent? …Just kidding. Well, partially.).
But sometimes (most times), it’s not just about doing something you love, it’s about loving yourself. Looking after yourself, aka ” self care ” is caring for yourself. That means to be a good parent, you need to work on your own inner happiness and be healthy. I’ve been inspired by reading a few ‘happy moms’ blog posts lately and I’m intrigued as to what makes ‘happy moms’ or ‘happy parents’. I know that there is a lot of parents that are truly ‘UNhappy’ with themselves or their life for many different reasons. It’s a subject that I’d like to deal with more on Thinkbaby.org, however for now here are some habits to help you be a happy and healthy mom from Amerytina.
3 ♥ Spoil Yourself & Your Spouse…A Lot
When parents first become parents, they are all about, ‘work and no play’, as they are worried about doing every little thing ‘right’. I’ve had 3 babies now, and I can tell you I have definitely loosened up over the years (I’ve reached the level of the ‘cool’ parent now… no matter what my ‘uncool’ husband thinks). Because of this, we tend to spoil our babies because we want to give them the best life, but we forget how important it is to spoil ourselves and look after our own husband and wife relationship. Just because kids have come into the scenario doesn’t mean we should forget about spoiling each other with love, affection and intimacy. This is a topic that generally husbands and wife’s can talk about in a passing comment, however I believe with life, kids, work and stress, the lack of intimacy is becoming more of a prevalent problem.
I read this blog post the other day by Hilary about Improving Intimacy. If you are lacking intimacy in your relationship, this is an exceptionally good read. I’ve really learned this while being a parent, and learned that learning to care for another little human, it’s also learning to care for yourself and your relationship with your spouse. And hey, you went through a lot to create that perfect little human, and that’s pretty awesome! You have to give yourself and your husband a little credit, time and energy for once for once!
No matter how old you are, you are never too old to treat yourself or and make yourself happy. After all, how can you make others happy if you yourself aren’t happy as well? Buy yourself some roses, have an extra slice of cake (or 3… don’t judge me), take a long bubblebath, or whatever your ‘guilty pleasure’ is, do that, and do it frequently! Aimee from The Modern Mamanista mentions in her 5 Easy Self-care Ideas blog post the importance of spoiling yourself, cutting loose, and indulging in guilty pleasures if you want to live a happy and balanced lifestyle. She has some fantastic ideas on how to do so that I have not mentioned here that I would highly recommend you take a look at!
4 ♥ Take The Next Step
When I say take the next step, I’m referring to any and all areas of your life. Have you been stuck in a certain placement at a job you don’t like, and you know you have the skills to advance, but you just don’t try as hard as you should? Well, why not start trying? Or perhaps you’re an avid runner who can run a mile in 7 minutes, but why not push yourself for 6? Whatever it is, make a goal for something you want to do, and chase after it. You don’t wanna be stuck in a stagnant, repetitive period of your life and regret it later when you can’t change it. So keep moving, keep setting goals, and keep pushing! Not only will this give you the extra boost of motivation you may have lost, but it will always help to keep you happy, and keep the stress away, which will have you in tip-top shape for your family. After all, where would ours little ones be without us striving and grinding for them?
Just like over at thehappywholesomemama, you can’t pour from an empty cup, meaning that you need to look after yourself to look after your family. This is what Self Care is all about. You can read more about how she maintains a happy and wholesome life in her article about Taking Care Of Yourself.
Overall, it is so important to not only focus on your baby, whether you’re a mom, or a dad, but also focus on you. Making time for all the things you enjoy is what life is all about, and you will soon start to learn that when you stop letting life control you, and start controlling your life. Perhaps the biggest lesson motherhood has really taught me is how to take care of myself, and how important it is that I do so I can be the best possible mom and wife for my beautiful little family.