Posted on behalf of Zayaan Schroeder who is a mother to two kids and is passionate about making their childhood memorable and happy. She has been a parenting journalist for 10 years and also runs a parenting blog called Surviving the Madness dedicated to making things easier for moms. You can follow her on Instagram www.instagram.com/survivingmadenss
As mother's we tend to take care of everyone else around us and we're usually last on the list. But as the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup and if you don't take care of yourself, how are you going to be the best mother for your kids?
But being a mom is not only hard work but it's time consuming. There's so much to do so you don't exactly have time to take a leisurely bath with a book and some candles. Chances are the kids will come knocking because they can't find that thing they're looking for that's in the very obvious place. But that doesn't mean we can't find things to help our mental and physical health.
Self-care is so much more than just relaxing. It’s taking the time and making decisions that are good for your life mentally, physically and spiritually.
So here are 5 self-care tips for moms.
1. Say noThis is a big one for me but your time is precious. You're allowed to say no to things when you're getting overwhelmed. A lot of people want a lot of things from you, so prioritise the important ones (doctor's appointments, school events etc) and say no to your mother's aunty's 70th birthday or that third birthday party your invited to on the same day as the other two.
2. Plan your day
This one is difficult for me because I want to get every second of rest I can for the day before the kids get up. But if you get up half an hour before your kids do, you can make a cup of coffee, enjoy the quiet and mentally prepare yourself for the day. It's useful to have a notebook or diary where you plan out:
• The 3 most important tasks for the day.
• Any extra curriculars or appointments happening that day.
• Something you’re looking forward to.
• What’s for supper.You can also use this time to meditate or pray while the house is still quiet.
3. Exercise with the kids
Have you ever tried doing a home exercise routine with a toddler? It's insane and everything just falls to shambles while they use you as a jungle gym. Instead, find other activities that will keep you all moving and having fun like racing in the park, playing a bit of soccer outside or going for a lovely walk. Fresh air does wonders for everyone.
4. Date your kids
When you have more than one kid not only are their lives busy with schoolwork and extra-curricular activities, there's also only so much one on one time they get with you when they’re sharing you with siblings. Take each of your kids on a date so that you can spend some time with them and develop your relationships. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just going for an ice cream or doing something that they like to do is fine. And speaking of dating, don’t forget your partner.
5. Make time for yourself
Life is busy so this can be hard especially if you don't have anyone else to watch the kids. But it's so important to block out some time for yourself where you can relax and take time to recharge.
But it’s important you do something with yourself that’s not being a mom. So either send them to the grandparents for a sleepover or make sure your partner is around to be in charge of the kids for a while. Then book that spa day or have that quiet soak in the bath. Take yourself out on a date or schedule that girls day you sand your friends never seem to have time for.