Don't take this the wrong way... we love the way you're bringing your kid up and the way you’re always there for him or her, but we think it's time someone told you straight out:
Moms, let’s face it, you need to relax.
Think about it. Not only are your kids depending on you for their basic needs, but they also look to you to make decisions. We all know that the soundest minds are the ones that have had time to drink their morning coffee and put on proper clothes. According to experts, self-care is just as crucial to you as it is to your child.
Genevieve Shaw Brown, ABC news reporter and author of “ The Happiest Mommy You Know: Why Putting Your Kids First is the Last Thing You Should Do” says, “You can’t just think, ‘Someday, I’m going to take a day for myself. We need to prioritize the same as we would for our kids. We’d never miss an appointment for our kids because they are important. Equally important is prioritizing yourself and your own needs."
The New Motherhood
If you’re a mom, you don’t need to be told that the transition into motherhood is a tough one. Not only are babies delivered without instruction manuals, but there is also no manual for how a mother should behave in her new role.
Although traditional social norms tell moms that a woman needs to care for her baby, there is no set wisdom about how, or if for that matter, a mom should take care of herself. Both stay at home moms and those with active jobs NEED a little TLC (and not just once in a while...)
In 2010, an article published in the Journal of Women’s Health shed some light on the issue by providing a new definition of motherhood. According to the research, a highly functioning mother:
- Has adequate social support
- Is able to take care of her self (self-care) and her physical and psychological well-being
- Is able to care for her infant
- Is able to form a connection with her child
- Can juggle her own responsibilities
- Can adapt over time to her new role
Finally, a kinder and gentler way of viewing motherhood. Surely, this would help to remove some of the motherly guilt caused by taking time away from their children.
Unfortunately, old habits die hard. A study of a group of mothers showed that while most recognize the importance of self-care, many have a hard time practicing what they preach. Apparently, time, limited resources, and unwillingness to accept help still pose barriers to embracing the concept of a self-caring mother.
Tips for Practicing Self Care
We get it, its hard to give up the self-sacrificing act cold turkey. Here are a few tips to help you recharge your batteries without feeling the guilt.
Request “Alone- Time” in the House
No one gave Garbo any grief when she “vanted to be alone.” Every woman is entitled to a little personal downtime. According to Aimee Danielson, director of the Women’s Mental Health program at MedStar Georgetown University, “There are some women who really feel like what they need is solitude.”
Ask for Help
Whether its help from your partner in splitting the responsibilities, or just finding someone to lend an ear, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’ll be surprised by how many people are not even aware that you’re having trouble (hubby included). Sometimes you need to be the squeaky wheel in order to get the grease.
Just Say “no”
If you’ve just survived your child’s terrible "two's," you may never want to hear the word "no” again, but it does serve its purpose in the English language. Danielson encourages moms to pick and choose. Says she, “Say no to things that don’t serve you. Say yes to things that are fulfilling and replenishing.”
Speaking of all things fulfilling and replenishing, how about some morning coffee?
As a mom, you know how important your morning cup of coffee (or tea) is in helping you qualify as ” highly functioning, "That's why you should take the time out to make your coffee breaks as invigorating as it can be. We suggest perking up with the Gold “Boss Lady” Coffee mug form SOOJIN INC. Made with fine bone china and embellished in real gold, this mug reminds Mom to look out for number one while achieving her highest level of performance.
Also, check out SOOJIN’s Relax Bath Salt. With detoxifying sea salt and vitamin E, this rejuvenating bath salt might just be your wake up call to a future of self-care. Enjoy the "new motherhood," ladies, it's yours for the taking.
How do you exercise self care? What's your go-to ritual to unwind? Or like many moms, do you struggle to carve out time to take care of you? Let us know in the comments below!