Okay, I’m just gonna get real here: I went four days without a shower this week. Four. Days. Yes, I know, I’m gross. Trust me, I felt gross. And if I hadn’t of felt that way, who knows how much longer I would have prolonged bathing. I was so incredibly busy – I can honestly say I didn’t even think about the need to shower. As long as everyone else had what they needed – my job was done. But I hadn’t worked any job in my life that left me completely exhausted, burnt out, and just plain gross. And I’ve worked in the healthcare field.
I want to analyze this scenario because truthfully it isn’t the first time I slacked when it came to taking care of myself. I’m a mom. And that usually means that everyone else’s needs are on my mind before my own. Maybe you are in the same place in your journey with motherhood. You might forget to eat, shower, or go to sleep at a decent hour.
I know I can handle anything the Good Lord hands me….but it can get pretty damn tough sometimes. Anyone that says being a SAHM isn’t that tough has no idea what they are talking about. I’m proposing a challenge of sorts to help us moms get back on the right track – and start really taking care of ourselves. Here are a few of the things I do to practice some health self-care:
Shower 4x A Week
I feel really sad writing that. As if I wouldn’t know to do that, or I think you wouldn’t (that’s not it at all!). But it’s really easy to forget when you’re just that busy. So instead of waiting four days like I did this week, change that #4 into something positive, and choose to shower at least 4x a week! At least every other day, take a shower. If you happen to go two days, so be it. The children can stand to be taken care of by Daddy or Paw Patrol for 20 minutes while you freshen yourself up.
I can go a total of four days (apparently) before noticing that I’m starting to get pretty gross. Not that this happens all the time. But it happens. And when I finally jump into the shower and feel the hot water on my skin, I realize how much time has gone by that I’ve neglected myself. All the worry, tension, and mental clutter are erased and I feel BETTER. I am also alone (no children banging on the bathroom door or trying to clog the toilet with power ranger action figures) and practicing self-care.
One really awesome way you can treat yourself is a milk bath! Have you tried milk baths? OMG. If only my bathroom had better lighting, I would totally do my own photoshoot!
Get Some Of Your Favorite Things
2-3times a week, do something special for yourself. Visit your favorite barista for your favorite special drink, or splurge on that really nice shade of nail polish that you’ve been eyeing at Target.
I have literally thrown on some sweatpants, grabbed my laptop and keys, flung myself into the car and driven to Starbucks while shouting, “Okay, you’ve got the kids. Love you!” Once I was there, I politely explained to the barista that I’ve had one HELL of a week, and I needed her to make the best coffee of her life for me. I told her I needed some jazz, some spice, and some sugar all in one cup to make the trip out by myself worth it. Oh, and caffeine, of course.
She giggled and flipped her perfectly conditioned hair, and I was jealous for a brief moment. I was jealous that she had time to wash her hair, and put fresh makeup on every day, and had the energy to smile. But she happily made my coffee, and I looked at it like this: If she hadn’t of taken care of herself and showed up to work all greasy and gross, no one would want her to work there. Everyone would be grossed out and she would probably get fired because she’s dealing with food and drink items. And if this barista girl couldn’t take care of herself, how could I expect her to competently fashion a great cup of coffee?
In a way, the same goes for us moms – we are in charge of taking care of tiny, vulnerable, defenseless HUMAN BEINGS. I need to take care of myself to do my job. And sometimes, part of taking care of myself means I have to do something for me and just breathe.
I know that isn’t practical for everyone, but if you set aside the time and have the support to do it – DO IT.
My husband and I have made it a priority for me to recharge my batteries in one way or another so I can be the best wife and mother for everyone. He goes out a lot between hunting in the fall/winter and kayak fishing in the spring/summer, so he gets a lot of opportunities to recharge his batteries. I’m absolutely fine with this, because we have that understanding with one another, and we end up truly appreciating the time we spend together. It truly benefits everyone in your life when you take care of yourself.
So get your nails done.
Go grab a cup of coffee and sit in silence.
Drop the kids off at Grandma’s house.
Enlist daddy in a daddy/daughter or daddy/son date at the park or the movies so you can take a nap.
Organize your life
Motherhood is an amazing and chaotic circus of cuddles, playdates, and pure insanity. The days get pretty crazy and can blur together. Before you know it, you don’t have any clean clothes for picture day or snacks for school. UGH.
Organize your day, month, and year with a planner! Trust me, having things written down in front of you is not only a way of keeping things in order – you can actually start crossing off those never-ending to-do lists that we moms have adapted to and start making goals for yourself. Read more on that below with bullet journals….
Play With Your Children
Believe it or not, self-care for a mother actually involves spending time with your littles. You aren’t always going to have the chance or the time to run away. But there is a way to still spend time with your kids and practice some easy self-care. One of the most important things we can do as mothers to take care of ourselves is to just relax. Easier said than done, I know that all too well.
Drop the mop. Toss the hamper. Hang up the dish rag. And play with your kids. Just sit down on the carpet, roll out the toys, and help make the mess! You can always teach them to help you clean up the mess later, and make it a game!
- dress up in a costume
- neglect two chores from your day
- include your kids in chores [my kids actually love helping sweep, load/unload the dishwasher, and load the washing machine]
- turn on a virtual fish tank on Youtube and pretend to be fish swimming in the tank/ocean
- read a book together
- do yoga together
- play ‘mom’s the road’ [that’s what we call this game: lay on your stomach – let the kiddies roll cars over your back with the lights dimmed]
Sign Up For A Class
My girlfriend goes to yoga 2-3x a week, and she feels so much better afterward. Refreshed, enlightened, and ready for the next day. I’m really considering it, myself!
Examples of classes you can take:
- Wine + Jewelry Making
- Second Language
Start A Bullet Journal
So, we’ve covered organizing your life with a planner above, and I’m sure you’ve seen bullet journals circling around lately – but do you even know what one is?
A bullet journal is like a planner on STEROIDS! It is basically a cross between a diary, a planner, and a to-do list. And maybe a scrapbook thrown in too! They are a great way to structure everything in your life from your goals to your daily tasks.
Go To Church
There’s nothing like the Holy Spirit to get my soul back on track. I have the tendency to slack on getting our family to church because there are so many other things I need to get done. I make excuses. I let the enemy convince me there’s better, more important work to be done.
But I’m growing in my faith. My understanding of what’s really important is changing. The way I see it, your soul is the biggest part of your self, so you better start taking care of it!
When you visit Church, you are enveloping yourself into a community of people that are deeply rooted in Christ. Renewing my mind with the teachings of Jesus reminds me of my beliefs, and fills my heart with positivity.
Find A Really Funny Podcast
So you’re a SAHM. And the only adult interaction you get all day is probably the ‘adult’ 18-year-old cashier at Target that’s politely asking you for your I.D. card as you graciously set down a $4.99 bottle of wine, a large package of paper towels, and a container of formula while your toddler is slowly attempting to stand up in the cart seat to attempt a free fall.
If you are lacking on playdates or speaking with someone above the age of 12, I would totally look into a podcast! Putting a podcast on in the background while the kiddies watch Moana (for what seems like the 513th time) is like having another adult human being in the room with you. But you don’t actually have to talk back, you can just laugh and listen. I really love mom podcasts because they help me feel more normal, and engage in ‘conversations’ about pregnancy, motherhood, religion, funny stories, and also pursuing your passions outside of homemaking.
If you haven’t already jumped on Google to search for some good podcasts to subscribe to, here are a few you can check out! The ones with asterisks are faith-based.
Some Great Mom Podcasts:
- The Busy Mom*
- One Bad Mother
- Stuff Mom Never Told You
- Risen Motherhood*
- Common Sense Pregnancy & Parenting
- Coffee + Crumbs Podcast
- The Boss Mom Podcast
- MomTalkRadio’s Podcast
- Naptime Radio
- Mama Bear Dares
- What Fresh Hell: Laughing In The Face Of Motherhood
What are some ways you practice self-care? Share with me in the comments below!