Being a mother is arguably one of the toughest jobs on the planet. It can exert a physical as well as mental toll on you. It’s a rewarding experience, but the road to those rewards is paved with sleepless nights, physical discomfort, and many personal sacrifices.
However, there are many ways to smooth out this road and no reason not to try them. In this article, we want to talk about why you need to make self-care a priority throughout your journey as a mother and offer some suggestions that you can try out.
Why is Self-care Important For Moms
Once you have a kid, a huge portion of what you own, your time, and your liberties tend to be traded. The most instinctive part about becoming a mom is the immediate recognition of the importance of your child. It sets in almost as soon as you hold your child, and it can be a daunting, strange new feeling. But that’s what this blog is here to get you through.
It can be really difficult to uphold a self-care routine given the time raising a kid demands. A lot of mothers dutifully surrender to this unwavering instinct towards their angel. They accept the sacrifices their role comes with and that’s unquestionably noble. The sad news, however, is that it’s not sustainable.
Depriving yourself of relaxation, recreation, and a personal life can make you unhealthy in many ways. Should that happen, it won’t bode well for you or your family. Raising a child requires you to be at your best mentally and physically.
You need to make time to recharge your emotional and physical batteries so you can be the best mom to your child. Self-care can help you come back stronger each time.
Is it Normal to Feel Guilty Of Practicing Self-care As A Mom
In short, yes.
All mothers feel this way, and in fact, many of them develop obsessive-compulsive habits and paranoia. It has often been observed that mothers are unable to enjoy a break without worrying about their child every few minutes. Raising your child might be the one and only time obsession and paranoia are forgiven.
Nonetheless, self-care is something you need in order to do your job in the best way you can as a parent, and it can also be an avenue for bettering yourself.
How To Practice Self-Care As A Mom
Self-care has a broad definition, but to put it simply, it includes anything and everything that makes a positive contribution towards both your physical and mental health. That’s everything from mud masks, massages, and movies to exercise, diet, and hobbies. Self-care isn’t always fun but it’s rewarding towards your experience as a parent.
Here are just some of the ways you can start to practice self-care:
Your child is your responsibility, but you’re only human, and you’re likely to make mistakes. Every parent needs an extra hand from time to time. Don’t be shy or feel guilty about asking someone for help, and this goes especially for single moms.
You may need your mom to watch the kids for a couple of days if you need to travel for work or have some medical emergency. Or you may need to ask your neighbor to pick your kids up from school because you’re running late. All kinds of situations can emerge where you may have no choice but to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all alone.
Benefits Of Asking For Help
Asking for help can allow you to forge better relations with the people around you. Having people around to help can make you feel more relaxed, and it’s also an opportunity to socialize your children with different kinds of adults or kids.
There will also be times when you’re asked for help. When it comes to kids, people who have them will always understand your plight and reach out. Kids can unite people from all different walks of life, and that’s a huge part of what makes parenting an incredible experience.
As you may already know, pregnancy and childbirth change a woman’s body in many, sometimes irreversible, ways. Weight gain is an obvious and healthy change that will occur. During pregnancy and the early postnatal stages, this is healthy as it helps you nurture your baby.
But once your baby is born, you will need to recuperate and exercise will help you remain fit for the tough part, which is raising your child.
Making time for exercise can be tricky, but here are some suggestions for how you can go about it:
- Have a friend or an exercise partner who can keep you motivated.
- Go for long walks because you can keep your baby around the entire time. The extra weight of the baby will help you strengthen your shoulders and burn more calories.
- Do abdominal exercises at home on your bed or on an exercise mat. You can do them while having your baby around.
- There are a number of tummy and pelvic exercises you can do while you’re doing other tasks, be they sitting or standing.
- Take your baby out in the stroller rather than driving for short grocery trips.
- Watch 15-30mins exercise tutorials for moms. You can either purchase DVDs or find them online.
Types of Exercises:
- Brisk walking
- Aqua aerobics
- Light weight training
Remember to consult your doctor before taking up any strenuous exercise regimen, and make sure you purchase high-quality sports gear made specifically for mothers.
Pursue a Hobby
There will always be more to you than just being a mother. Now is a better time than ever to reflect on what your life was like from when you were a kid to when you became a mother. What were the things you enjoyed doing the most, spent a lot of time on, or were deeply interested in?
Pursuing hobbies is a way to reconnect with your past self and keep all the best parts of you alive throughout the tenure of maternity. It’s a criterion of self-care as important as exercise or asking for help. You may even discover some new hobbies in the process. Constantly building upon yourself, your skills, and your passions will set a strong example for your kids to follow.
Since you’re raising a baby, you’re probably learning a lot about the human body and its nutritional requirements. You need to apply this knowledge toward improving your own nutritional intake.
There’s an old saying that 70% of your health comes from food while 30% comes from habits. They’re not official numbers, but scientists corroborate frequently that eating better can help you prevent a litany of medical conditions, illnesses, discomfort, and worst of all, bills.
A breastfeeding mom’s diet must include adequate fluids and a variety of calorie-building foods. In terms of nutritional value, here are the foods that offer the most and are easy to incorporate into your diet:
- Leafy green vegetables
- 100% fruit juices or vegetable juices like carrot
- Bread, cereals, and grains
- Milk, cheese, and eggs
What To Avoid Consuming
There are a number of everyday guilty-pleasure foods and beverages you will either need to minimize your intake of or cut off entirely when you’re breastfeeding. They include:
- Caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea
- Peppermint, parsley, and sage
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Fish high in mercury
- Highly processed foods
All of these directly affect the quality or quantity of the milk you produce. If you consume them, you may need to wait for a day before breastfeeding again to make sure the toxins from these foods don’t get passed on to your baby.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep can be challenging in the early days of your baby being born, but your body needs somewhere between 6-8 hours of some solid sleep to function. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you manage your sleep schedule while caring for your newborn:
- Create a sleep-inducing environment for both you and your baby.
- Try to synchronize your sleep timings with your baby and always sleep together.
- Accept help from others.
- Take turns with your partner.
- Finish your work so you only have to relax once you’re home. It warms you up for a good night’s rest.
- Cut down your intake of caffeinated and sugary beverages.
Not something you need to or should do often, but shopping for recreation as opposed to groceries just once in a while can be a great mood relaxant. You can also bring your child and buy some baby clothes, socks, and shoes while you’re at it. That way, self-care isn’t getting in the way of mommy work.
Treat Yourself To A Day At The Spa
Spa treatments can help you support everything you’re doing to keep yourself healthy while raising your family. At a spa, both your mind and body are taken to the pinnacle of relaxation. These treatments offer a number of benefits, including:
- Better regulation of stress
- Helps fight aging
- Relieves aches and pains
- Supports weight loss and exercise
- Improves blood circulation
- Increases happiness
- Promotes better sleep
Self-care is necessary to revitalize yourself from the stress of being a mother. It’s not selfish to want to look after yourself; your mind and body have certain needs that can’t be compromised. Your child needs you to be at your best, so when you think about it more holistically, self-care is really just childcare. This is not something you want to skip out on; self-care will only help you become a better mother.