As a Mom, there are many balls that we juggle constantly. Kids, spouse, house, pets, work, and the list goes on and on. There are many characteristics, we as parents have, that add to our capability to care for all of these aspects of life. It is not easy by any means. It can be challenging, difficult, and exhausting. You’re taking care of the kids, getting them to school, to the doctor, and to their various activities. You are making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning the house, caring for the family pet, and making time for that special someone. These stresses are compounded if you are a single parent. Out of every habit you have to keep these balls in the air, the absolute most important one you can do is to take care of yourself!
Why is Self-Care So Important?
Let me give you a very real life example of what happens when you put off taking care of you
About five weeks ago, I had a cold that was turning into a sinus infection. I get the often enough that I start OTC care immediately to try to stop it in its tracks. I spent the next 5 weeks doing this. My symptoms came and went until finally a few days ago the proverbial poo hit the fan. I woke up absolutely exhausted. I was going to bed at a decent time, Scarlett was sleeping through the night, but I felt horrible. I was having problems with shortness of breath while talking. My equilibrium was out of whack. The second day that I woke up feeling so awful, I knew that I could no longer put off going to the doctor, well urgent care in my case.
I bet, by now, you are asking, Raina, why did you not go to the doctor 3 weeks ago? I’m asking myself that. Here’s why:
- I’m still in my 90 day probationary period at my job and cannot miss work.
- As soon as I get home, I try to spend as much time as possible with my family.
- I put their needs before my own. It is what I do as a partner, wife, and mother
- From past experience, I usually can get it to go away with OTC products.
- I try to cook and prepare dinner on the weekends, spending at least the majority of one day meal prepping for the week. The other day I spend as much time with my family as possible. I do not stop moving at work or at home.
Separately, these would be normal day-to-day life. Combined they are a recipe for self-care negligence. If you are not in fighting condition, so to speak, then how can you take care of your family.
Self-Care 101: It’s Pretty Simple
Self-Care does not have to be a big to do. It can be as simple as going to the doctor without delay, taking a five-minute break to meditate, or a hot bath. Something that takes a few minutes to focus on yourself qualifies. As a parent, you have to make sure that you are healthy in order to take care of your littles. If Mom is sick, the world is ending! Okay, not really but it may seem that way.
Here are twenty ideas for Self-Care:
- Take a walk
- Take a hot bath/shower
- Meditate for 5 minutes
- Do yoga for 10 minutes
- Practice deep breathing for 3 minutes.
- Have a cup of tea/coffee***
- Journal for 5 minutes
- Get a haircut
- Take a weekend vacation somewhere local alone
- Dinner or lunch by yourself or with another person
- Go play on a playground with NO Kids allowed
- Feeling sick – rest or go to the doctor in a timely manner
- Date night
- Stay hydrated
- Love on an animal (either your own or go socialize animals at a local shelter)
- Take a class
- Read a book
- Play a game
- Play music or an instrument
***I took a Mom Poll and this is the most popular way to take a few minutes to relax for some self-care!***
As you can see self care does not have to be an expensive or time consuming thing. Just a few minutes a day to journal or mediatate. Something to help you relax and melt a little of the stress away. Please learn from my mistake and make sure that, while you are juggling all those balls in the air, you make the time to take care of you!