Be an even more awesome Mom by making time for YOU!
By Jenny Beaudette, Health Educator
I remember a sign in my grandmother’s kitchen that read, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” While grammatically incorrect, it’s an interesting quote to think about.
Mom is usually the one to put her own needs last and put herself on the back burner. She has kids to take care of, schedules to manage, home chores to tackle, often a demanding job, and perhaps even aging parents to care for — and there are only 24 hours in a day. Mom can feel guilty for taking time for herself, as there is so much that needs to be done. If she takes time for herself, she may think she’s being selfish.
Attention all moms: Taking time for self-care is not selfish — it is a necessity! If you do not take care of yourself, who will? Here are a few things to make sure you do each week, if not each day.
- Take personal time for hobbies. Find something you enjoy doing (gardening, knitting, painting, reading or anything you enjoy) and take time to do it each week. We need to identify with something outside of being Mom.
- Connect with your friends and spouse. All relationships need attention and we all need to spend time with others away from our children. It is OK to get a babysitter.
- Laugh each day. Listen to a funny podcast or watch a show that tickles your funny bone, for when we laugh, our entire mood lightens up.
- Be grateful. This could involve something spiritual or perhaps keeping a journal; whatever works for you. Gratitude is good for your health.
- Eat a healthful diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables. This does not mean you can’t have the occasional treat; just remember, all things in moderation.
- Drink plenty of water. Water is good for your skin and your overall health.
- Exercise. Even if you do not think of yourself as an exerciser, just take a walk through the park or be active in some way. It will give you more energy to tackle everything that’s on your plate.
- Sleep. Some moms have been known to stay up late and get up early to get the cleaning done, get shopping done etc. Make sure you do not sacrifice your sleep. The average adult needs six to eight hours of sleep per night.
The thing is, we usually put these things aside because they take time — and we need that precious time to take our kids to their activities, to work, to clean, to do laundry, to plan birthday parties, etc. The list is endless — and that’s just the point — the list is endless. You could keep doing everything that needs to be done, always putting yourself last, and then you can become angry, resentful and unhappy.
By doing things to take care of yourself first, you will be a BETTER mother. You will be happier, healthier and a good role model, too. Your kids will see that they should also take care of themselves and that it is not selfish to do so, because children learn what they see. If you want your children to grow up and take care of themselves in a healthy way, and take care of their family without guilt, then take the advice given on an airplane in case of an emergency: Put on your own oxygen mask FIRST and THEN assist others.
Once you take care of yourself, you’ll find it easier to get all those other things done with delegation and multitasking — two things that Moms can be champions of. Happy Mother’s Day!