Do you feel inadequate if you accept help? Do you feel terrible when you need a break from being with your kids all day? Do you feel like you have lost your identity beyond motherhood? Do you find yourself lacking patience, and feeling like you aren’t as present with your kids as you want? You are in a mom funk, and it can be challenging to get out.
You are more than a mother; you are a woman who deserves to be a priority. I know you chose motherhood. It’s the most incredible journey; we shouldn’t need a break, right? Wrong! Being a SAHM (a woman whose work is running or managing her family’s home), it’s exhausting, mentally and physically challenging, and never-ending. That’s the thing we can’t clock out. Of course, working moms and spouses have equally demanding jobs, and they need self-care as well. The difference for a SAHM is that the scenery doesn’t change. Bottles, meals, diapers, rocking, bouncing, chasing, cleaning, crying, tantrums-repeat. You get it. If you don’t schedule in self-care, it can turn into Ground Hogs day. By the way, I seriously despise this movie. For the same reasons, I know that Mom Funk comes from this never-ending repetition. There is no escape unless you create a routine where you don’t crave escape.
All I ever wanted was to be a mom. I know many moms who hoped and prayed for a little bundle of joy. What do you do when all your dreams come true (borrowing that line from the movie Coyote Ugly)? What do you do when all your dreams come true, and it’s all you hoped, but still HARD? You adapt, you find new goals, and you enjoy your life by letting go of the guilt. Let’s break it down and try below, guilt-free self-care tips:
Taking care of our bodies is a significant component of taking care of ourselves, but it needs to be something you enjoy. Forcing yourself to go for a run when you hate running defeats the purpose. The activity you choose shouldn’t feel like an obligation. Here are a few simple ideas that support your physical self-care routine:
- Follow a bedtime yoga/stretching routine
- Go to a trampoline park or have a dance party with your kids
- Go for a walk or sit outside and enjoy the sun
- Make a gallon of flavored water for the day (try pineapple, it’s my favorite)
- Take some deep breathes while you hold a long hug
- Schedule one day a week to take a catnap or catch up on sleep
Take time to check in with yourself and become in tune with your emotions. Being self-aware of your feelings helps you to tackle them head-on, and not bottle them up. What’s wrong with me? How can I get frustrated at this precious baby? I’m failing. I should be happy; this is what I wanted. Just because your dream of motherhood comes true doesn’t make it any less challenging, and we should not feel guilty for demanding self-care. Baby blues and postpartum depression are prevalent. You are not alone, and the first step is doing things that help support your mental health. Here are a few tips:
- Start a gratitude journal
- Make a vision board
- Set an attainable goal
- Try five minutes of meditation
- Put positive affirmations on your phone screen saver or post-it notes on your mirror
- Find a hobby to help you connect with other moms
- Create a workout routine
Challenge your mind in a way that nourishes you. You don’t need to tackle a new language or do Algebra, thank goodness! Find simple ways to help you discount from the world for a moment.
A few ideas include:
- Listen to inspirational books that teach you something new
- Learn a new skill that the entire family can enjoy
- Watch a documentary that inspires you
- Find a creative outlet (coloring books aren’t just for kids)
We are social beings by nature, and a good laugh can be all it takes to turn around your day. Find a safe place to say, “You’ll never believe what little Johnny did…!” Once you find a group that allows you to be a Bad Mom- thank Mila Kuniz in Bad Moms for saying no to the picture-perfect facade. No mom has it all together all the time. If you’ve never left the house with mascara on one eye, are you even a real mom.
- Join online groups that have similar interests and participate
- Schedule time with friends even if it’s once a year – get it on the calendar
- Have a date night at home after the kids are in bed
- Make a coffee playdate with other mom friends
- Be present in your interactions
Self-care doesn’t have to be a weekly massage or an expensive trip. Find small things daily that gives you joy. To make guilt-free self-care work, you must schedule it into your routine. Sit down with your calendar once a month and pencil in a goal for each day as a “must-do” not optional. Motherhood isn’t about having it perfect all the time. It’s about embracing the chaos of kids.
Selfishness is caring for ONLY yourself, without regard for others. When we put self-care into our lives, this is not disregarding care for others. We are bettering ourselves for our kids, our husbands, and most important. Ourselves. That’s right, I said, “ourselves.” You deserve to live your best life, YOLO! Is that still a cool acronym? How about Baby Boot Camp’s MOLO or Mother Love. The MOLO Wellness challenge is a guided program that is designed to inspire lasting changes in health, fitness, and overall wellness. The next challenge will begin in February 2020 in our community! Maybe the MOLO Wellness Challenge can help you check some of these Self-care ideas off the list.
I am the owner with Baby Boot Camp- Hamilton County and Indy and AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor. I have a B.S. in Public Health Education focusing on Women's Health from Indiana University in Bloomington. My husband and kids are born and raised in Indy, and love to spend time exploring our community. My passion for Educating Women about Health, and the importance of "self-care" lead me to Baby Boot Camp. We have a place for you, no matter where you are in motherhood. Come be "Fit for the Journey" with us!