3 Real Self-Care Tips All Moms Need to Hear

Honest Insights for Expecting Couples

Come join me for Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival for Baby's First Year to learn all the stuff the books and doctors don't tell you, so you can thrive as parents and partners.

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I talk about self-care a lot.  Like, A LOT, a lot.

 

And it’s not just me.  Self-care became a buzzword years ago and it doesn’t show any signs of disappearing anytime soon.

 

I think this is a good thing… and a bad thing.

 

It’s great because we would all do better to slow down and tune into ourselves a little more often to ask, “What do I need right now?”

 

But, it’s also kind of a bad thing because there’s so much misunderstanding about what self-care really is.  

 

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Mass marketing and social media would have us all think that self-care is luxury manicures and fancy vacations.  Or even at-home face masks and anti-wrinkle creams, bubble baths and red wine.

 

Don’t get me wrong, every one of those things can be amazing...IF those are things you can afford, are things you’re into, and leave you feeling rejuvenated for longer than the 5 minutes you’re indulging in them--or at least don’t leave you feeling worse afterward.

 

It’s complicated, right?  Because I’m not here to knock anyone’s preferred style of self-care.  

 

What I am here to tell you is that self-care doesn’t have to take up a lot of time.  

It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money (or any money at all).

But it does have to be something you do and can keep doing on a consistent basis, preferably before you’re completely depleted.

 

Now, when we become parents--moms especially--this gets really challenging.  The demands on our time and attention increase significantly.  

 

It can create almost a catch-22: It can take a lot out of us, which means we need that self-care even more.  (Even our babies need us to prioritize self-care.) But, because we’re so busy and overwhelmed, it gets that much harder to work it into our day to day.

 

It becomes easier to see how impractical it is to think we can keep up the mani/pedis and massages and hair appointments and workout regimens, and, and, and…  

 

All that stuff still would be nice, but it can start to feel like, well, work.  And I don’t know about you, but “work” sounds like the opposite of self-care to me.

 

So, let’s take self-care back to basics.  

 

That’s what this week’s video is all about.  Watch or read the transcript below.

 


WATCH THE VIDEO:

This video previously aired as a Facebook Live.  You can follow Happy With Baby on Facebook to catch all their live videos here.

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

 

Hey, guys.

 

Are you tired of people talking about self-care? And does it feel like self-care is something that's like a luxury of time and money that you don't have?

 

Hi, I'm Catherine O'Brien at HappyWithBaby.com and today I want to talk to you about the importance of self-care. Last week, I was talking about how our well-being is really important to our children's well-being and that it really is about the quality of time we spend with them versus the quantity of time.

 

 

And I talked about how important that piece of self-care is and so today I kind of wanted to go into how to kind of make it realistic, how to make self-care a thing that you can do.

 

 

It's not as, you know, it's not always about going to a spa and getting a mani and a pedi and you know maybe taking little mini vacations and things like that. It's really about taking time for yourself and some of the day-to-day stuff that we tend to not do.

 

 

So I came up with three little tips that I thought would be helpful. And you definitely don't have to do all of them and I could probably come up with like 10 more tips, but we're gonna start small and since, if you're watching this, maybe self-care something that you struggle with, I know you don't have time to listen to me rattle on for like you know 10, 15 minutes about all the tips that you should do, so what I'd like you to take away from this today is coming up with like one thing that you could try to look at and do for yourself.

 

 

So the #1 tip that I have for you is: Self-care is saying no.

 

 

What can you take off your list? I know there's a lot of things on there that you think that you have to do that maybe somebody else can do. Or there's three parties that you are invited to and you feel like you have to go to all of them. I'm here to tell you you don't have to go to all of them. You don't even have to go to one of them, if it's too much for whatever you have planned for the weekend or the day or whatever. You can say no to it and maybe you just send a gift. Or maybe you don't even send a gift. Whatever you need to do. You don't have to do all the things that are presented to you.

 

 

If you have older children and the PTA wants you to volunteer time and you don't have the time, then maybe you donate like a product or something like that. You don't have to always do all the things, if you don't have the time or the resources to do it. So what can you say no to?

 

 

Or if there's something that somebody else is supposed to do and they're not doing it and then you feel like you have to go and do it for them, you don't have to do it for them. You can let them figure--either suffer the consequences of them not doing it or you can figure out how can you delegate that out to somebody else.

 

 

So if you haven't [checked it out] already, a couple weeks ago I shared my home life management hub spreadsheet and, you know, it lists like all kind of all the tasks that we have to do in our in our home to make things balance out, and so maybe you go through that and you start figuring out like, okay, what are the things that I do and is there something here that somebody else in my family can do? Or there's something on here that somebody else could do or we could hire out or, you know, whatever it is. Like, take a look at it and figure out what you can take off your plate. Because I know that you're doing too many things and somebody else is capable and maybe they're not gonna do it like you and that's okay, but somebody else is capable of doing it and letting some of that go, alright.

 

 

So my tip #2 is: Self-care is doing that everyday care for yourself.

 

 

So what I mean by that everyday care is, I imagine that your child, your small baby--they get their face washed and they get a new change of clothes and probably even their teeth brushed before they go to bed. Even the small babies that don't even have teeth, I know parents brush their teeth their mouths, right. Are you doing the same thing for yourself? Because you probably aren't. And I know because I talked to many moms that don't. And I know from experience for myself that there were many times where I didn't wash my face before I went to bed and was lucky I just like rolled into bed, because most likely either I fell asleep in their room or they fell asleep in my bed and I hadn't even like changed or whatever.

 

 

So I want you to start figuring out how you can get those basic things that you need for yourself in your schedule. And maybe it's when your child is like splashing around in the tub. Maybe that's when you're washing your face or when they're getting their teeth brushed, you're brushing your teeth because it's also important that they see you do those things for yourself. So where can you fit some of those things in?

 

 

Or maybe they're playing in their playroom or playing on the floor or whatever and you get some yoga stretches in, or you do a little mini workout, or you guys go for a walk and then you stop every block and do you know ten jumping jacks or do some squats or whatever you need to do to get some exercising. Because you know it makes you feel better, but you don't have time to like get to the gym or whatever. Like, how can you fit some of these things in to your daily things, so it's like daily self-care that you need for yourself? Alright. So I'd love to hear how you manage doing some of that.

 

 

I know it definitely changes over time and because what what our kids need now changes. And so things that might be hard to do now, eventually we'll be able to do. So your exercise schedule will change and just over time.

 

 

Like now I can go and do the workout classes and things like that, whereas before it wasn't a possibility. Like that all comes around again. So where can you fit in the small things now, if you can't do the big things?

 

 

Okay, and tip #3 is: Self-care is not adding another thing to your to-do list.

 

So if you're like, oh I've got to get to that yoga class, and then you're so stressed out getting there because maybe your husband was running late or whatever or you were doing all these chores and stuff like that you just couldn't get there, and by the time you get there, you're frustrated and you're angry and you can't even relax into whatever you're doing, then maybe that's not something that you need to do right now. Maybe that's something eventually you'll get to do, but maybe now is not the time.

 

 

Or you can look at it and like, no, this is really important to me. This I really--I know I really need to do, so maybe then you have somebody else put your baby to bed, so you can get to the yoga class. Or they get up in the morning and maybe it's that early morning one or whatever, like let somebody else do something to help you do those things.

 

 

So, if you have to add to your calendar, which I usually suggest people to add to their calendar their self-care for themselves for their partner because you both need to be taking care of yourself and even just fitting in these daily these daily to-do things. Okay.

 

 

So I hope this is helpful. I was kind of inspired to do this post by an article I read--that's why I was inspired to do this and it said and one of the quotes at the very end--it says, "It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life - not escape from it."  

 

And I was talking to my friend Nicole, and she was saying like, you don't wait till you're at a state of depletion where you need to go on vacation, right. Like those should be great things that we do and help rejuvenate us, but it shouldn't be like we're so--like, it takes us all of the vacation or whatever until we can actually enjoy those moments.

 

 

So definitely would love to hear what you guys are doing with small kids to like make time for self-care. I know it can be really hard, especially the younger they are, but there are small ways to get in to doing them and it's definitely is something you need to be looking into. Like, what am i doing for myself, on a regular basis.

 

 

So I hope this is helpful. Again, I'd love to hear your tips, feel free to post them below or share in a email to me.

 

So until next time, I hope you guys are having a great day. And I will see you next week because I'm gonna be talking about how to avoid some of the excuses we give ourselves when it comes to self-care

 

So can't wait to see you guys next week. Bye.

 

RESOURCES & LINKS:

"This Is What ‘Self-Care’ REALLY Means, Because It’s Not All Salt Baths And Chocolate Cake" featured on ThoughtCatalog.com

My post from last week, Are You Spending Enough Time with Your Kids?

Find my Home Life Management Hub & video tutorial here

Find my tutorial on using shared Google Calendars with your partner here


Honest Insights for Expecting Couples

Come join me for Mine, Yours, Ours: Relationship Survival for Baby's First Year to learn all the stuff the books and doctors don't tell you, so you can thrive as parents and partners.

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