Self care for mums. We’ve all heard about it. We all know we are supposed to be doing it. But do you really know what it is? Hint: it doesn’t mean spa days. Which is great, because I know how hard it is to find time for that when you are home alone all day every day with your kids. So what does it mean and how do we do it?
I’ve asked professional Mindness Mentor and mum to 4, Stacey Wilson, for her help in figuring it all out. And it’s just my luck, she is also my sister!
Side note: I know I promised this post a while ago and I’m truly sorry it has taken me so long to post it. If you’ve been watching This Whole Home on YouTube you will know that I have been struggling with my own mental health recently.
I wanted to make sure that when I did post this for you, that it was coming from a place that was healthy, helpful and honest. I didn’t want to be preaching self care at you when I wasn’t doing those things myself. And let me tell you, looking after myself again has made the world of difference to my mental health.
Interview with A Mindset Mentor
Now in case you missed it, Stacey is my sister. She is also #mumgoals.
Aside from being a Mindset Mentor (her vision board workshops are Ah-Mazing!), she has 4 kids and runs her own daycare business. This woman knows what it is like to be a busy mum with no spare time on her hands. And she still makes self care look easy!
TWH: Why is self care so important for us mamas?
Stacey: Self-care is the best gift you can give yourself and the ones you love. Sounds weird, right? Us mums are so conditioned to give, give, give, go, go, go. This leaves us burnt out, overwhelmed, ill and dare I say it, at times resentful.
Oh and don’t talk about the mummy guilt for feeling like that!
When we learn to nurture and truly take care of ourselves we are more present with our families and able to take on life’s challenges with more clarity and understanding.
TWH: What are 3 simple things all mums can include in their self care repertoire?
Stacey: It’s always important to try and start our day as positive as possible and yes I know that’s easier said than done if you’ve had a bad night or wake to kids fighting. Something I often suggest is taking a few moments before you get up to stretch and look at a few photos that take you back to a happy place.
The attitude of gratitude is everything.
Each day list 5 things you’re grateful for. If you’re kids are old enough include them in this and teach them about gratitude. Something I also like to suggest to parents is when the kids are driving you crazy write a list of all the things you love about them. It helps shift your mindset about the behaviours going on.
And give yourself permission to breathe. Our breath is one of the most powerful things and we often forget to take intentional breaths. It amazing when you need to ground or centre yourself.
TWH: What advice do you have for the mum who doesn’t think she has time for self care?
Stacey: Self-care isn’t always about massages, bubble baths or yoga retreats. I mean those things are fabulous, but it’s really about taking care of your mind, body and soul on a daily basis.
I get mums tell me all the time they don’t have time for this stuff, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s about learning ways to layer little bite sized practices into your day.
Something I always get mums to ask themselves is “when your child is older would you like them to treat themselves the same way you treat you”?
If the answer is “no”, why is it ok for you?
Your kids are watching and you’re their number one role model on how they should look after themselves.
Want more help? Join Stacey’s FREE Facebook group!
10 Self Care Ideas For Busy Mums
Being a mum is hard work. Maybe not so much physically, at least not once we are past those first months of their life, but definitely emotionally and mentally.
When we choose to stay home with our children and pour everything we have into their wellbeing, we can quickly become depleted ourselves. That’s why self care for mum should be at the top of your to-do list every day.
Yes, I said EVERY.DAY!
Try these simple ideas:
- Start a gratitude journal and spend 5 minutes writing in it every morning or night.
- Fill your home with music that makes you feel calm and peaceful, or that gives you an energy boost. I love streaming YouTube and usually choose something with a spa feel.
- Take a walk. The fresh air and sunshine do wonders for mood and it’s something you can do with the kids if they aren’t old enough to stay home on their own. Just once around the block with time to stop and smell the roses is all it takes.
- Learn to meditate. There are lots of apps and guided meditations to choose from and it only needs to be a few minutes for you to start feeling the benefits of a calmer mind. You can even do it while you’re in the shower!
- Sit down. Just sit down on the couch and do nothing for 10 minutes. Don’t scroll on Facebook or fold the laundry. Just sit and relax. If your children are small try doing this during nap time. If they are older, they can be playing quietly without you for 10 minutes.
- Phone a friend. I know you are home on your own with the kids and that can get overwhelming. Chatting to a friend is a great way to feel connected again.
- Book in a health appointment you have been putting off. It’s important to care for ourselves physically, not just mentally and emotionally.
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Now I’m a night owl, so I’m not going to tell you to go to bed at 9pm so you can get up at 5am. But make sure you are going to bed early enough to get your 7-8 hours in before the kids are due to wake you in the morning.
- Take up a hobby. If you can’t get out of the house alone regularly, find a hobby that you can spend time doing at home either during nap/quiet time or after your kids are in bed. Bullet journalling is all the rage at the moment but it could be flower arranging, photography, cake decorating, yoga… Choose something that suits your personality and interests.
- Listen to podcasts or watch YouTube videos that make you feel good. They might be clean with me videos that motivate you, meal planning videos that inspire you to nourish your body better or family vlogs that help you feel like you aren’t alone in this motherhood gig.
Sneaky Ways Mums Can Find Time For Self Care
If time is the one thing you believe is holding you back from showing yourself the love and care that you deserve, try these options.
- Get up before your kids to spend some time alone and start your day in a way that makes you feel great.
- If you’re not a morning person, try spending some time on a hobby, yoga or meditation before bed instead of bingeing on Netflix.
- Create routines that help you stay on top of the day to day running of your home so that you aren’t running out of time for self care activities
- Use the time you are in the shower to do something for yourself. Whether you spend it meditating, giving yourself a pep talk, belting out your favourite tunes or simply using a scented soap that you reserve just for yourself. It doesn’t matter so long as you are being mindful that this is 10 minutes just for you.
- Use your children’s nap time to recharge instead of using it to clean.
- If your kids have left naps behind, start a daily quiet time instead and use this time to take care of you.
- If you have a partner and their work schedule allows it, leave the kids with them and take yourself out and spend an hour a week on you. It could be an exercise class, a coffee date with friends or just spend the hour alone. Blissfully alone.
- Arrange with a friend to take her kids one day a month to give her a break and she can return the favour and give you a much needed day off too. I do this with a friend one morning a week, alternating weeks. It’s great!
- Enroll your kids in an activity you can drop them off at and spend the hour doing something for you before you pick them up again.
- Ask your friends and family for help when you need a break. Sometimes when we feel we are drowning and there is no life line to grab, all it takes is asking and someone will throw it to us. If they don’t know we are drowning they can’t help.
Remember, self care for mums is not selfish. It is vital to being a happy and healthy wife, mother and woman.
I hope you found the advice and ideas here helpful. Share this post with another mama and help her too xx