If you’re new to self-care, meaning you’ve somehow managed to miss the 183,739 posts and articles telling you ways to practice self-care, welcome. Self-care is this added thing we’re supposed to put on our to-do list because in modern times we’re drowning in too many to-do lists and self-inflicted busyness that we now need another to-do to help us wind down from all the to-do’s. Fitting, right?
This includes, but is not limited to, regular massages, facials, manicures and pedicures; waking up ahead of your kids to shower, meditate, practice yoga, exercise, plan your day, drink hot coffee, journal, read; regularly scheduled date nights with your significant other, adult vacations and girls nights out… separate from strategically scheduled alone and self-reflection time; eating healthy, organic, sugar-free, gluten-free, keto-friendly, pre-prepped homemade meals, alongside drinking your daily requirement of water; at least two days of cardio and three days of strength training a week, 10,000 steps and 15 minutes of stretching each day; and if you’re lucky, regular visits to the therapist…. I’m sure I missed a few.
Y’all, it’s truly amazing that more moms don’t practice self-care!!!
I mean it’s only a few more to-do’s on top of parenting, work, household chores and basic life commitments, and it will save your life from modern-day craziness.
If you are struggling to put yourself first, maybe you can start by trying a few plays from a practical guide to self-care:
Step 1. Buy a Yeti (or similar brand) coffee mug.
This keeps your coffee hot so you don’t have to wake up two hours early to drink your coffee alone. You heard me. You can pour a cup of coffee, help get your kids ready, and your coffee will STILL be hot.
Step 2. Join a gym with childcare.
You are talking 1-2 hours of glorious alone time that is FREE while you work on your mind and body. (Ok, gym memberships are not free, but this is assuming you already pay for a fitness membership.)
Step 3. Turn on videos.
Tired? Exhausted? Want to enjoy a sane dinner out? Give yourself a break, and let the babysitter do its job. Your child’s brain will not fry while you take a shower or rest on the couch.
Step 4. Experience a real hangover.
Remember those? Buy a bottle of wine, get childcare covered the next day and then drink it. All of it. Suck it up, have a hangover, and forget trying to be productive while the kids are away.
Step 5. Watch a reality show.
You will quickly learn that your life isn’t that bad, we all have problems, and money doesn’t buy class. You also may actually lose a few brain cells rather than having to use them.
Step 6. Buy take-out.
It’s OK! Your body and family will survive, especially if you need a break. Quit trying to be so perfect. That’s what self-care is all about.
Step 7. Say no to the birthday dinner.
YOU KNOW you don’t want to get yourself ready and sit in traffic for an hour to go to an over-priced birthday dinner for a friend with a bunch of people you barely know. Just don’t go.
Step 8. Leave your kid at daycare till the last minute of pick-up.
You may feel guilty about not picking your kid(s) up early to spend extra time after work, but ditch the guilt every once in a while. Shut down from work and spend that last hour till pick-up (in peace!) folding laundry, prepping dinner or just sitting there. You’ve earned it (and literally paid for it).
Step 9. Shop for some new clothes.
Ok, this may seem expensive, wasteful and even stressful, but you know what’s more stressful? Trying on old clothes and looking like a stuffed sausage 3 months postpartum. Get new stuff. Feel better.
Step 10. Hire a house cleaner.
I KNOW you are capable of cleaning the house on your own, for free. And I KNOW you don’t want to actually do it. Keep your house picked up, save money by skipping a dinner or two out and have your house cleaned once a month. Self. Care. Mama.
Less guilt. More “you do you.”
That’s what I call real self-care.