Ankita Sapra, who’s a mom to a 4-year-old girl, said, “The day Jas came into my life was the best day, I felt complete. There was happiness all around. The tiny finger trying to hold my hand gave me a feeling of irreplaceable warmth and love. But it carried lots of responsibilities with it – A never-ending list of tasks that were always pending. I used to feel exhausted all day.
Soon, I realised my ‘me time’ was gone. I didn’t even have time to rest—no time to hang out with friends or care for myself. Sometimes I could not even get time to comb my hair the entire day.
As I took some time for myself like engaging in self-care and spending time with my colleagues, the society and family made me feel guilty for not paying attention to my girl by saying, ‘Dekho kaisi ma hai, baccho ka dhyan nahi apne mein hi lagi hui hai’.
I feel it’s totally okay to take care of yourself as even a machine needs time to rest, or otherwise, it may break down. A mother also needs time to take care of herself to perform better in all roles of her life.”
So, mama, if you’re still feeling guilty about prioritising yourself or your happiness, you must read ahead and change your mind as we would also be sharing some practical tips to help you take out your “me time”.
Related: To Be or Not to Be – a Parent
Reasons why self-care is important for moms
Prioritising yourself doesn’t equal being selfish. Below are three reasons why you should give yourself time, care, personal space and love as a mom.
- Self-care benefits you and others
By taking care of your own needs and wants, you also benefit others because you become happier and healthier and are able to help others better.
- It is done to nurture yourself, not to harm anyone else
By practising self-care, you are nurturing yourself or taking care of your needs. You are becoming physically, mentally or emotionally stronger and not harming someone in the process. So, why feel guilty?
- You’ll feel overwhelmed and stressed if you don’t
Being a mom isn’t easy. You have to take care of the family, household chores, kids and also your professional life if you’re a working woman. But, if you don’t take out time for yourself, you will face burnouts that will hamper your overall productivity.
Tips for self-care for moms
Now that you know self-care is the key to happy motherhood, below are some ways you can take care of yourself.
- Sleep adequately
No matter how busy you are, make sure you sleep for 7-8 hours every night. Sleeping adequately is important to stay fit – physically and mentally. In turn, it would help you take care of your child and other responsibilities better.
- Eat Healthfully
We know, mama, you’re always looking to feed your baby and family first. But, it is important to eat healthy as a mother. Make sure you’re not starving yourself and taking a balanced diet every single day.
Move your body for at least 30 mins each day, even if you just walk. And busying yourself in household chores doesn’t count. Some workouts you can engage yourself in include zumba, weight lifting, cardio or anything that you find interesting. To make your workout routine interesting, do it with your partner or a friend, and/or play music alongside.
- Practise your hobbies
Remember that one thing you loved doing a few years back that made you feel happy? Engage in your hobby again or practise something that de-stresses you.
- Practise gratitude
Being grateful for the things you possess or the people you have in your life can give you a whole different sense of joy and perspective towards life. So, every night or morning, list down the things you’re grateful for.
- Pause and reflect upon motherhood
Your life has changed in the past few months or years, and it’s time to reflect back. No matter how busy you’re in this new phase, take out a few minutes to notice what has changed, how is it now, how have you been adapting to these changes and what can be improved to become a happier and healthier mama.
- Meet your loved ones
Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you’re no longer a friend, sister, cousin or daughter. Relive old memories by meeting your loved ones with whom you once stayed, hung out or ate.
- Pray and meditate
Praying and meditating is yet another activity that can make you feel more peaceful and joyful. Take out five to ten minutes every morning to pray or meditate and make your soul more spiritually connected and lively.
- Take short breaks
Taking short breaks throughout the day can make you feel less overwhelmed with the household chores and your role as a mother. Short breaks can also mean taking out a few days for yourself to travel solo or with your friends.
Tips to get time for yourself
Now that you know what you need to do next for yourself, you might be wondering how to get time for yourself amid your hectic routine. So, here we’ve listed some practical tips for self-care for
- Make to-do lists
Creating to-do lists a night before sleeping can give you a clear idea of how your day would look like and help you prepare accordingly.
- Know what is not urgent
You do have a lot of chores, but not all are equally urgent. Try to prioritise what’s important at the moment and do it first. As per Stephen Covey’s popular time management matrix, your priority order should be: urgent and important, urgent but not important, important but not urgent, neither important nor urgent.
- Seek help and divide the chores
Yes, mama, you have got lots of responsibilities, but it’s okay to take help and only indulge in the ones that really need your presence. Maybe you can seek domestic help for cleaning the home and utensils, and your husband can help with preparing the dinner.
- Adjust your sleep cycle
If you have a toddler, sleeping at night might be a little difficult. Try to adjust your sleep cycle as per your kid by taking a nap during the day and waking up before your little one so you can complete your work.
- Multitask what’s possible
Multitasking seems like a productivity breaker for some. But it is possible to do some tasks that don’t require much of your focus or thinking. For instance, you can go out for a walk and talk to your loved ones or eat and watch your favourite web series simultaneously.
- Make a career change
If you think your full-time in-office job is hampering your work-life balance, try to look for a work-from-home role. Or maybe switch to freelancing or starting your own business. It would help you delegate your tasks and get more time for yourself.
From the aforementioned tips, you can carve out a self-care routine that fits your lifestyle and needs. See what works best for you and let us know in the comments section below.
How did you fit yourself in the new mom lifestyle? Or are you still trying to fit in?
Let us know in the comment section below.