As a busy mom, I know how challenging it can be to put your needs before everyone else’s without feeling guilty.
Being a mom is a full-time responsibility. Besides the endless to-do lists, you have to also deal with toddler tantrums, sibling rivalry and also your work. Self-care is the last thing on your mind!
We often feel guilty when we try to take a break. But why do we feel guilty? Why is self-care so hard?
I think the main reason for us to feel guilty is because there’s always something on the list to do, and we cannot afford to spend 30 minutes just doing nothing.
Mom guilt is especially prevalent among professional working moms. I know I’ve struggled with this for a long time myself. We often feel torn between spending time on work over leaving our kids alone. “They are only little for a short period of time. I should really spend some quality time with my kids”. But there is also that deadline that we need to meet at work.
Because of competing priorities, we often guilt ourselves into neglecting self-care.
Self-care is a lofty dream that we all dream about, but I’m here to tell you, self-care is not selfish.
Self-care is essential!
As moms, we work tirelessly for our families all day long. We spend a great amount of time taking care of our kids, and by the end of the day, we often feel like we have no more energy left in us. This is when self-care becomes so important. It helps us to recuperate and gives us the motivation that we need to do it all over again tomorrow.
We like to think that we’re supermoms and we can do it all, but we shouldn’t buy into that lie. We are human beings, and we need to rest too! If we don’t take care of ourselves, it will catch up to us eventually.
So moms, you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your loves ones. It’s time to stop feeling guilty about self-care.
How do you incorporate self-care into your daily routine? Let’s first talk about some simple steps that you can follow to treat yourself without feeling the mom guilt.
- First and foremost, make a to-do list every day. However, don’t make it such a long list. Then add self-care to this list. By making it a manageable list, it’s easier to cross self-care off the list without feeling much guilt because you would have accomplished other things by the time you get to self-care. Also, by including self-care on the list, you are validating the need to make it a priority.
- Set aside a budget to treat yourself occasionally. It doesn’t have to be much, but make sure you don’t spend this money on your kids or your husband. Treat yourself to an activity that you really like.
- Hire help. If you can’t afford to take the time off, hire external help. For example, if you usually take 15 minutes to clean the bathroom, and another 30 minutes to get the laundry done, outsource these tasks. There is no shame in hiring someone to help you with household chores so you can take back that 45 minutes to do something else.
- Ignore judgy family members. We all know that unsolicited opinions can trigger mom guilt. But always remember, this is your life. Just because they raised their children one way (without taking breaks) doesn’t mean you have to do it the same way too.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Social media can be misleading. Some moms make parenting look really easy, but in reality, she probably curated her highlights on her Facebook account. So, take everything with a grain of salt and be proud of whatever you have accomplished as a mom.
Now, after talking about ways to put yourself first without feeling guilty, what can you do to treat yourself?
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In order not to go crazy, I have made a list on some easy ways to treat myself. Check out my list below if you need some self-care ideas for busy moms. Learn how to incorporate self-care into your daily routine without bursting the budget. With some of these ideas, you can even pamper yourself without leaving the house.
1) Take a 5-minute breather in between tasks. It can be as easy as closing your eyes to relax.
2) Grab yourself a hot cup of tea and read your favorite book. If you can set aside just 15 minutes a day to do it, it’s something that you can look forward to every day.
3) Watch a short episode from your favorite TV show.
4) Take cat naps. These short daytime naps can be very powerful against afternoon sleepiness. It has also been proven to improve your memory and keep you attentive. Ever since I’ve mastered the skill to fall asleep within minutes and keep my naps short to 20 minutes, I can confidently say that cat naps really make a difference to my day! I find myself more alert and it’s so much easier to focus.
5) Listen to your favorite songs while you’re working, or when you’re doing house chores.
6) If it’s nice out, open the windows to breathe in some fresh air.
7) Take short walks and soak in the sun. A few minutes under the sun is beneficial for your mood.
8) Light incense in the house.
9) Buy yourself some flowers, or if you have a garden, pick roses from your backyard. Leave them in the room where you will be spending most of your time for the day and enjoy them.
10) Buy a new houseplant. Adding greens to your common areas can be soothing.
11) Squeeze in a quick workout during the day. This is a great way to stay active and boosts the production of feel-good hormones. Step out for a brisk walk around the neighborhood in the morning. I’m sure your husband can take care of the kids and get them ready for school.
12) Plan for your next vacation. Start planning early so you can have something to look forward to.
13) Declutter. While this sounds like a chore, it can be very satisfying to throw out unwanted things in your life!
14) Teach your kids a game from your childhood. It is a great way to relax and bond with your kids.
15) Go to bed a little early for the day. I’m sure work or the other house chores can wait another day.
16) Get a homemade facial. Fill up the sink with hot water and add a few drops of essential oil. Then hang your head over the sink and place a towel over your head to hold in the steam. The essential oil will help you relax. Best of all, this only takes a few minutes, and doesn’t cost much, but will make you feel so much better.
17) Trade massages with your spouse. Massages are a great way to relax your muscle after a long day.
18) Get a manicure or pedicure.
19) Get a blowout, or a new hairstyle. This doesn’t have to be expensive but it can make you feel like a whole new person.
20) Take up a hobby. It can be something as simple as crocheting, blogging, or painting.
21) Learn something new. Mastering a new skill or simply just gaining knowledge about a new topic can be exhilarating. Here’s what I’m doing right now: I just started my new blog and I’m currently working through e-courses on blogging topics. Learning something new keeps my mind active and engaged.
22) Have a glass of wine (after the kids are asleep).
23) Have your husband watch the kids for an hour and take a long bath. Check out my other post here on how to encourage dads to be more proactive at home!
24) Order dinner from your favorite restaurant. You won’t need to cook or do the dishes!
25) Take a day off from work. Arrange for the kids to be at daycare or somewhere else. Give yourself permission to be “lazy” just for the day. You can even take advantage of a digital detox and be completely away from technology. Let me tell you, it is absolutely amazing to be completely free from the outside world and do nothing at all!
26) Hire a babysitter and enjoy date night with your husband.
27) Enjoy a girl’s night out with some girlfriends.
So here you go, 27 awesome ways to pamper yourself and make self-care a priority through small little ways.
Try these easy and budget-friendly self-care ideas to reward yourself. I promise you, if you take the time to take care of yourself, you will feel more motivated to achieve more without ever feeling guilty.
So fellow moms, ditch the mom guilt and shrink your stress starting from today! It’s all about taking baby steps. Take that 5-minute break today, and tomorrow, you can take 5 more minutes of relaxation time. Baby steps will add up to big, positive changes.
How do you take care of yourself when you are feeling stressful? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your ways to treat yourself.
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