True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms

It’s 8:00 pm, and your kids are finally tucked in their beds, where they will hopefully stay until morning. In the past thirteen hours, you cooked meals, braved the carpool line, and kissed tear-stained cheeks. There’s a damp spot on your shirt that is most likely some sort of bodily fluid, and the unfolded, clean laundry completely covers the couch. You read Brown Bear, Brown Bear six times to your two year old, and you worried endlessly about your four-year old’s snarky attitude.

All freakin’ day long, you cleaned up messes, broke up arguments, and scheduled appointments. Embarrassed, you try to recall the last time you took a shower, put on pants without elastic, or drank something other than coffee. You can’t remember. But still, you are a good mom. Without fail, you love your kids and you meet their every need, day after day, hour after hour. But what about you? Who is taking care of you? You are tired, weary, and gasping for breath. 

We’ve all heard it a million times :: Put your oxygen mask on first. You can’t save anyone else if you yourself aren’t getting enough air

Translation :: If you want to be a good mom/wife/employee/friend, you have to practice self-care. 

“Self-care” has become somewhat of a buzz-word in our over-scheduled, frenzied society. And because the concept has become so popular, naturally the hashtags, memes, and GIFs are rampant on social media. Case in point — the hashtag #treatyoself has over 2.6 million posts on Instagram. 

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

How do you define self care? Is it taking a temporary break from parenting to indulge in a pedicure or solo trip to Target? Is it a glass of wine and bubble bath at the end of a long day? A Netflix binge while lounging in your blardigan or splurging on an expensive purse or new makeup? While all of these are wonderful, and shouldn’t induce one iota of mom-guilt, the reality is these indulgences are self-comfort, and they produce temporary relief from the frenzy of parenting, not actual, lasting self care

Self-Comfort vs. Self-Care

When we repeatedly practice self-comfort, we are putting a proverbial bandaid on our stress. That glass of wine will relax you for a few hours, but does it actually help you wake up the next morning with more patience for your toddler’s shenanigans? Staying in your pajamas all day Saturday and binging the entire first season of This is Us certainly is fun and relaxing in the moment, but is it going to get you through the following week with your sanity intact? By contrast, self-care are regular practices and habits that help both our body and mind stay healthy, long-term. 

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Practicing Self-Care

There are many ways to practice self-care, and sometimes they actually overlap with self-comfort. Everyone’s needs are different, depending on their stage of life and current situation, but here are some basic ways most moms can take care of themselves while also taking care of their little people. 

Eat Healthy Food & Exercise :: We’ll start with the obvious. Being a mom takes a lot of energy, and taking care of your physical body by feeding it foods and moving it to maximize that energy is the cornerstone of self-care. But you already know this. You don’t have to invest in a gym membership to get the exercise your body needs; even a daily walk around the block or a game of backyard soccer with your child counts. Do what works for your life, your budget, and your body. There is no one eating or exercise plan that works for everyone. 

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Practice Good Hygiene :: It’s amazing how taking a shower and putting on actual clothes does wonders for our energy and our mood. Don’t be a martyr – make time to bathe or shower, brush your teeth and hair, and put on clothes that fit. {Listen. Stop waiting to buy clothes for when you are the size you think you should be; you deserve to feel good NOW}.

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Get Enough Sleep :: When our children are small, often the only time we have any time for ourselves is after they go to bed for the night. Instead of listening to our bodies’ cues and going to bed at a decent hour ourselves, we stay up far too late {many times indulging in counterproductive self-comfort}. Then we wake up tired, grouchy, and don’t have the energy to make good self-care choices the next day. Adults need between 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Are you getting enough? For some practical, as well as scientific reasons why you should be getting more sleep, check out this episode of the podcast Sorta Awesome. {Note :: If you have a newborn or young baby who is up every few hours, this obviously will be impossible for you. Hang in there, you will sleep again!}

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Invest in Relationships :: In this busy season of life, it’s so hard to maintain healthy friendships and relationships. Don’t allow yourself to use motherhood as an excuse to let this crucial part of life fall by the wayside. Schedule dinner with an old friend. Go on a weekend getaway with your husband. Instead of scrolling Facebook during nap time, send an email or handwritten note to your college roommate. Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health, and investing in loving, mutually-supportive relationships supports emotional self-care. 

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Have Sex :: Not only is sex an important part of a healthy relationship, it’s also great for your overall health. And, it counts as exercise. {See, you really don’t need a gym membership!}

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Consider Seeing a Mental Health Professional :: While this may not be financially or logistically feasible for everyone, if possible, consider finding someone to talk to and making an appointment. Professionals such as counselors and life-coaches give unbiased, practical advice and can help you get “unstuck”, heal past hurts, and move forward with a healthy plan for your life.

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Read a Book :: Put down your phone, and pick up an actual book. Instead of scrolling social media mindlessly, get lost in a novel or memoir. Add the library to your list of places to visit regularly. Consider joining a book club to develop or nurture friendships, as well as exercising your brain with intellectual conversation. 

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Do Your “Thing” Regularly :: As moms, it’s so easy to let ourselves become consumed by our children’s activities and interests and we often don’t make time for our own hobbies. What do you love to do? Is it painting? Writing? Going to the theater? Whatever your “thing” is, make it a regular priority. 

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Practice Spirituality :: Whether or not you choose to practice a particular religion, spirituality allows you to connect to life’s meaning outside yourself. This can be achieved through prayer, meditation, journaling, and/or participating in organized religion. 

True Self-Care for Tired, Weary Moms | Houston Moms Blog

Do you find it difficult to practice true self care in this busy season of motherhood? Share in the comments any self-care tips you have for our readers.

Gif Credit :: GIPHY


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