I used to have a pretty good self-care routine. That is, before I had kids. I would take care of my body, and my mind, read tons of books, educate myself on cultural novelties, see friends regularly and even use a day cream, a night cream and an eye cream: daily!
And here I am now. I know you’ve been there too: tired, without makeup for days, drinking cold coffee and feeling down. There’s always something to do, right? Lunches to prepare, babies to change, dishes to be done, laundry to fold and this last-minute family visit to prepare to. So forgetting about medical appointments, not seeing friends for months, not getting a real haircut and putting my self-care on hold is the norm, right?
That’s what I thought. But I can’t pour from an empty cup, and nor can you! It’s important to take some time for yourself, if only 10 minutes a day.
Because kids of happy moms are happier, kids of moms who take care of themselves will know how to take care of themselves in the future, and kids of moms who set their boundaries will know how to set ones for themselves too.
So it’s about time to find your self-care routine! To drink that coffee while it’s still warm, to let your hubby put the kids to sleep, and to go meet that friend that you were supposed to call two months ago!
It’s ok to take the time for yourself. And here are seven steps to help you with that:
1. Plan your day.
You don’t need a fancy calendar to start being intentional with your plans. Plan your whole day down on paper, including kids naps, meals, play time and your little break. Actually, while planning your day, make sure that you find time for yourself in it!
2. Define your needs.
What is it that you used to do for yourself that you think you don’t have time for anymore? Well, find time. If only once a month, it’s still better than nothing!
Write down what you need daily, weekly and monthly to actually feel alive and well. Whether it’s the smallest things like a hot coffee, or a monthly girls night out, try making it happen.
3. Write down your dreams, and start calling them plans.
The only difference between a dream and a goal is a plan. So write down what is that you really want and what are the steps to achieve that. Then look at those steps, and divide them in to even smaller ones. And then add them to your day plan. By making what you really want happen, you’re taking care of yourself the way that nobody else can!
4. Keep your body fuelled.
I know you remember about your kids healthy snaks, but how about yours? Make yourself a real breakfast, snack on these cut in pieces fruits with your kids, and don’t skip meals! You’ll feel better, I promise.
5. Mark the day in the calendar for some extra me-time.
Find a baby sitter, a family member or a friend and take some time off to do what you like doing, without kids!
6. Teach your kids to wait.
I know, as a mom of two, that kids are not very patient creatures. But give them a couple of days, and they’ll learn that mommy’s coffee break is not to be disturbed.
7. Ask your hubby to help you with one task a day, and use that time for yourself and not for extra cleaning!.
It doesn’t have to be a big change, but if you don’t have the time to take a shower, or put makeup on, then it means you need help. And wasn’t it supposed to be in sickness and in health type of the deal? Well, consider it a good timing to test this one!
8. Once a month do something more fancy then usually- be it a pretty picnic, a dinner with candles or a spa 15 minute shower!
Sometimes it’s the little things that can make us more happy- and we don’t necessarily need to be all alone to make an everyday thing more fancy and pleasurable! Having lunch with kids on a pretty blanket in the backyard, reading a book ( if only a page a day!) while the kids are playing or taking 10 extra minutes to put on a face mask might make you feel more relaxed without necessary the need to plan some alone time!
I know it’s complicated to find some time for yourself and to plan your self-care routine. I know that it’s not easy to start focusing on your needs while living in the constant movement of a family life. But for the sake of your kids, and your sanity, it’s worth trying!