Secretsofmommyhood

Self-Care: Taking Care of Mama

Posted on: April 3, 2016

Today I am excited to introduce you to my friend Erin from Mama Is Joy! I very much enjoy Erin’s writing and I’m sure you will too. Erin is a stay-at-home mama of two beautiful little girls. She has a degree in psychology, has a passion for writing, and is a wonderful friend. So, today, please enjoy this guest post from Erin!

Self-Care

When I worked in the mental health field, self-care was an important part of my job.  Self-care is essentially this: remembering to care for your own needs so that you’re physically and mentally able to care for the needs of others.  Now that I’m a stay-at-home mama, I’ve found that self-care is just as important as it was when I was working out of the home.  I guess this makes sense, though, when you stop to think about it.  Have you ever heard the phrase, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?”  To me, this speaks to the real need for us, mamas, to take care of ourselves and make sure that our needs are being met so that we’re better able to meet the needs of our loved ones.

For instance, I know that I personally function so much better when I’m feeling healthy, well-rested (ha!), and contented in life.  I can absolutely tell a difference in my parenting, and even in my personal relationships, when I’m taking good care of myself mind, body, and spirit; versus when one (or more) of my own basic needs aren’t being met (sleep deprivation? It’s real…very, very real!).

It seems to me that we mamas, in general, tend to be pretty self-sacrificing by nature.  I remember when my daughter was a newborn, I literally had to remind myself to eat, simply because I was so focused on meeting her needs, that I’d sometimes forget about my own.  But as I mentioned before, addressing my own needs is not only important for myself, as a person, but it’s also important for my family because it affects how I treat them and interact with them.  As a result, I’ve made a very conscious effort to set aside a small amount of time each day (usually at night after the little ones fall asleep!) for me.  It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but a time nonetheless when I can focus on what I need to be a happy mama.

The following list shares a couple ideas for self-care that have helped me as a mama:

  • Sleep: I’m the proud mama of a preschooler and an infant.  Naturally, then, sleep can oftentimes be hard to come by.  However, I’ve found that for me to function well in my day-to-day routine, getting enough sleep is essential.  So whether it’s going to bed early (aka, once everyone else is asleep) or sneaking in a little catnap during naptime, I try to know my own body and get the appropriate amount of rest that I need.
  • Shower: I feel like showers are on every mama’s wish-list! It’s not always easy to find time for this; but I know that, for me, taking a shower at the end of the day is one of the most relaxing things in the world.  Even if it’s super late, I’ll grab the baby monitor and take just a few minutes for myself – it feels like such a treat!

Self-Care2

  • Coffee: Okay, truth moment…I love coffee.  Coffee is an absolute must in my world.  Seriously, this is one of my go-to’s for self-care, especially after those sleepless nights we mamas are all too familiar with.
  • Get out of the house: There are days when we just need to get out of the house.  Whether it’s a playdate, a trip to the zoo, playing at the park, or simply a Target run, sometimes just stepping foot outside can brighten the day.
  • Socialize: I’m just going to say it.  Commiserating with other mamas is healthy for the soul!  If you haven’t found a group of mamas to call your own yet, I’d encourage you to get out there and meet some.  You just might find new, lifelong friends (bonus: playdates are the perfect opportunity for mamas to sip coffee together and visit while the kiddos play!)
  • Read a book:  Nothing beats curling up on the sofa after a long day with the kiddos and losing yourself in a good story.  Just remember to put the book down before sunrise so you can get a little shut-eye yourself!
  • Know yourself:  You know what you need, better than anyone else does.  What invigorates you?  What makes you happy?  Is there a hobby that you’ve been meaning to pick up again?  What would happen if you took a little time each week just for mama?

Self-Care3

Relax. Smile. Play.

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1 Response to "Self-Care: Taking Care of Mama"

[…] self-care and how to practice it in your own life, please check out my guest posting at “SecretsofMommyhood” […]

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