Mums wear a lot of hats and often do not keep themselves on their to-do lists. Here are four simple ways to look after yourself in the hustle and bustle of motherhood.
Simplify Your Home.
You may look around your home just a few years after becoming a mum and wonder, “Where did all of this stuff come from?” For some reason, with children, our homes can explode with so much “stuff” that can clutter our counters, floors, and our minds. You do not have to join the minimalist movement to simplify your home.
While I love my kid with my whole heart, I do limit the number of things we have scattered around the house. I do not count them. It is simply a matter of, “Do they fit in your bins?” One thing I have done is to have one basket in the living room for storage. I have another two bins in the bedroom room and a nice little shelf in the bottom of the closet closet. So far, we have filled those storage areas with toys, crafts supplies, and books. When we notice those areas getting too full, we do a little cleanout and donate the toys that aren’t being used anymore. This simple practice keeps our home from turning into a toy store.
You could try a similar idea when that closet of toys just won’t shut. Set a limit, say pull out around a third of the items, donate them, and let someone else enjoy them. You will feel lighter and you will be able to find certain clothing items much more easily.
As a mum, it probably feels like an impossible task to schedule a massage and be away from work, home, and your children. I certainly advocate doing what your body needs to thrive and to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with a relaxing massage at a spa. But, in the meantime, there are so many helpful tips for a massage for mum (or dad!) that can be done right at home. These massage massage strategies will help alleviate some of the aches you have in your back from carrying your little one around. Whether you are a new mum and recovering from childbirth, or you are carrying around a heavy toddler, give them a try! Your shoulders and back will thank you.
Pray and Meditate.
Soul care is crucial to surviving motherhood. It is easy to run from task to task and never assess your own heart. When was the last time you experienced real silence? When was the last time you took several deep breaths? Our lives are so fast-paced that it is easy to start the day running and not stop until we fall into bed at night.
In light of the demand on my life as a working mum, I have had to create a few rhythms that have helped me take care of my heart and soul. I take deep breaths in the shower. Even bathroom time is not sacred when you have young children but I do try to take those few minutes to connect with myself and calm down. I do not find fancy words or memorize long scripts. I simply breath and connect to something much bigger than myself. I need the stillness and you might find it relaxing as well.
If you need something to focus on, pick a verse, poem, or song lyric and think about each word for just a moment as you breathe. You can pick another space other than the shower. If you have time in the car or on the train for a commute, turn off the music and breath. Fill your mind with words that speak to your soul. Your family will thank you, and you can also model this healthy behavior for them.
It might seem counter-intuitive to expend more energy when you feel you have nothing left to give away. Exercise can be surprising. When you build a bit of movement into your routine, you actually will gain energy. You will grow stronger, clear your head, and leave behind some stress as you sweat. You do not need to run five miles to see the benefits of a bit of exercise in your day.
If you are like me, it is often hard to find time to fit exercise into my routine. One helpful way to make it work is to incorporate your children into your movement. You can bring your kids (and stuff!) along in a double jogger stroller or you can get active along with your kids. Even just chasing kids around when you go to a playground or the splash pad can help. Intentionally adding more steps and movement to my day has helped me feel less lethargic and more engaged.
What are ways you keep your sanity and take care of yourself as a mom? We’d love to hear your ideas for thriving as you raise your little ones.
About the Author, Li Tan www.fulltimebaby.com
At home our names are Mom and Dad, but in another life we’re Ron and Li. Li’s big dream is to have 8 hours of sleep, spend quality family time, and still be fulfilled working, all while maintaining the insane image of an ideal mother. Ron’s dream is similar, to be a super hands on Dad even while running a business, though a little less sleep is fine. Then we hit reality. There are only 24 hours in a day after all.