Self Care is such a hot topic. If you’re anything like me, when you hear the words “self care” you instantly think of bubble baths, pedicures, massages, solo shopping dates, and hair appointments. Let’s be real – as amazing as all of those things sound, how many moms REALLY have the time or money to do those things regularly? This mama sure doesn’t! So what does self care for moms really look like? And is it really that important?
(Spoiler alert – the answer is YES. It is vitally important!)
First, why is it important for moms to prioritize self care?
As a mom probably 90-99% of your time, attention, and energy goes into taking care of everyone else around you. Am I right? You make sure that your little people get the necessities like healthy food and water. You make sure they get naps and go to bed at a decent time so that they get the sleep their bodies need. You make them take their vitamins. You take them to the doctor when they’re sick. You do laundry and cook and keep the house relatively clean (or clean-ish?). All all of that is just seeing to their physical needs! You play, you cuddle, you kiss boo-boos, you pray for them, you meet their emotional needs.
The job of a mom is this amazing, wonderful, incredibly important role. And it’s EXHAUSTING!
And you know what?
You can’t just give and give and give without taking time to get filled back up.
You cannot give what you do not have.
You cannot pour from an empty cup.
You MUST take time to fill your own cup if you expect to have anything of value to pour out.
Self care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Second, what does self care really mean?
Self care means taking care of yourself.
I know, such an earth shattering statement. But let’s unpack that.
Self care means taking care of body, soul, emotions, and mind so that you have the reservoirs that you need in order to meet the needs of your family.
Remember when we talked about alllllll the things you do for your kids and your family? Do you do those thing for yourself too?
Do you make sure you’re eating well so that your body has what it needs to function well? Or do you make your kids eat their vegetables while you shovel in a handful of goldfish while standing up and call it lunch?
Do you make sure you’re getting adequate sleep so that your body can rest and repair itself? Or do you burn the candle at both ends without taking a break when you need it?
Do you prioritize going to the doctor for preventative care so that you can be at your best for your family? Or do you neglect it because of the hassle of arranging the necessary appointments and childcare?
Do you make sure you get exercise for your physical health, but also for your mental health? Or do you put it off because you don’t feel like it, or because you feel bad leaving your kids to do something for yourself?
Do you prioritize spending time reading the Bible and in prayer so that you’re ministering to your family out of the overflow rather than running on fumes? Or do you allow the busyness of your schedule to interfere?
Do you prioritize seeking counseling when you need it? Or do you put it off because it feels uncomfortable, is expensive, or is inconvenient?
Do you put off all of your own needs in favor of meeting everyone elses?
My friend, that is a dangerous path to take.
Sometimes it feels selfish to prioritize meeting our own needs, but it is vitally important. If you don’t meet your own needs, you’re headed straight for burnout.
Self care isn’t always about doing things we feel like doing. Sometimes it looks like doing things we know are good for us, even if we don’t feel like it. While bubble baths, massages, and pedicures sound amazing – and can be part of self care at times, that’s really not what self care looks like on a daily basis.
Finally, what does self care really look like on a daily basis for busy moms?
It can look like getting up 30 minutes before your kids so that you have a few minutes to drink some coffee and read your Bible.
It may look like prepping some salads or smoothie packs Sunday so that you have quick, easy options that are healthy.
It might look like sitting down to eat a real meal instead of eating on the go.
It may look like insisting on maintaining a household quiet time in the afternoon after the kids have outgrown naps so that you can have a few minutes to regroup midday.
It could look like taking a nap.
It can look like prioritizing hiring a babysitter every now and then or paying for a gym membership so that you have a little time to take care of you.
It might look like setting an alarm at night to remind you to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
It may look like addressing those feelings that you keep stuffing down and ignoring.
It can look like spending the money for counseling or therapy when you need it.
It might look like budgeting for & prioritizing a regular date night with your spouse.
Self care isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. You cannot give what you do not have. Motherhood is exhausting. You must take time to meet your own needs. Sometimes self care means doing the things that you don’t feel like doing, simply because you know it’s good for you. If you feel like you need a whole lot more than just self care, it may be that your plate is too full. See Hope for the Hurried Mom – Tips for Surviving Until You Can Slow Down.
Now that we’ve talked about the importance of self care for moms, check out this post about Signs that You Need Some Self Care and this one about Simple Self Care Ideas that You Can Do Today so that we can continue the conversation!
If you’re tired, worn out, and feeling like you have nothing left to give, join me in a 7 Day Challenge to Rest by signing up below!