If you are a tired mom right now, I get it. We love our babies so much we can get lost in the day to day. Here’s why it matters that we mothers take good care of ourselves. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom’s of Maine for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
“I’ve made it, I’m finally feel like a mama. The baby spit up on my hair and shirt and I had to go shower!” my sister-in-law wrote on her Facebook page with a smile speaking of her newborn daughter.
What did the more seasoned moms comment?
That you’ll really know you’ve made it when you don’t even shower or change until the evening.
Because what’s a little spit up for 12 hours? Your nose will block it eventually, right?
These are the things we moms deal with day in day out. Bodily fluids, tantrums, meltdowns, and lots of squishy cuddles from our babies. We are happy to go through it, it’s a great privilege. And yet, sometimes we get so focused on our kids that we forget ourselves.
And I don’t mean in a beautiful and sacrificial way.
I mean in a detrimental way.
5 Ways Moms Forget Themselves… And Why It Matters
Every mother has different priorities and what you need to thrive and function will differ from my own needs. This is why it’s so important we moms stay in touch with our own needs. This will enable us to be the mothers we really want to be.
1. We forget to fill our own cup.
It is pro forma to admit we don’t bathe, wear normal clothes, or leave the house for days at a time as new moms. And you know what, if you’re an introvert, this might not be A Big Deal to you at all.
However, it can become an issue. Days turn into months turn into weeks and, on the odd occasion you do leave the house, you begin to feel frumpy, out of shape, out of style, and old. And this no matter your age!
It’s important to remember the things that bring you life and fill your cup. When you know what these things are, it’s important you keep them as a part of your daily routine. These things vary by person, but they may be:
- Reading good books
- Praying and studying the Bible
- Meeting friends
- Painting your toenails or fixing cute hairstyles
- Going on day trips or traveling
Your “cup filling things” may be completely off the wall, or totally Basic, but the fact is you need to know what they are and you need to fit them into your daily routine. And read, how moms can find time to themselves.
2. We forget basic hygiene.
Okay, okay, I’m not talking pointing fingers here. But this happens. It’s a phenomenon. Moms are so busy getting up early to feed, running around like a chicken all day, then crashing into their pillow dirty and spit stained at night.
This is okay sometimes. This is life. There is no “right” or “wrong” standard hygienic practices. However…
When we no longer feel like ourselves… when we no longer look like ourselves… when we no longer act like ourselves… we begin to lose confidence. Our every day walking self-esteem flounders. We start to feel a bit more insecure. A bit lost. We wonder if we’ve lost our identity.
If we still are those fun loving women we used to be.
The answer is yes, but we may have to get back some of the habits, routines, and basic practices that have lately been squeezed out.
It is one of my nightly rituals to have a nice bath or shower almost immediately after I’ve put the kids to bed. There’s something about washing off the day and smelling good afterwards that is great for relaxing and self-care. Lavender is my go to scent (for myself and the kids) for its wind down properties.
Tom’s of Maine has new body wash and bar soap varieties (lavender and creamy coconut to name two) and these go a long way in helping you feel pampered instead of just hosing off under the shower and falling into bed.
3. We forget that kids don’t even need us 24/7.
Yes, of course, our babies and toddlers need our attention and care throughout the day. We need to feed them, carry out our daily routines, and make sure they don’t do anything dangerous. Since all that toddlers and preschoolers want to do are dangerous things, this can be an all-consuming job.
But this doesn’t mean we can’t teach our children independence and learn to find pockets of alone time throughout our days.
Here are ways we can actually go “off duty” for a bit in our days:
- Wake up earlier than our children for quiet time. Even 20 minutes makes a difference.
- Institute an independent play time each morning or afternoon where children must entertain themselves.
- Put everyone down to nap at the same time (or rest if they’ve outgrown naps).
- Use their screen time effectively. Turn the TV on when you need to get something done, not just to make them calm down.
- Put them to bed at a reasonable time and require them to stay in their rooms.
You get the idea. While their safety and well-being are our responsibility, that doesn’t mean we must stare at or chase our children around 24 hours a day. We can create boundaries that allow some breathing room.
4. We forget we used to have hobbies and interests.
Maybe you used to do a lot of active things that are difficult with a baby and toddler in tow. Perhaps you used to go off each weekend with friends. These are hard adjustments, not to mention adding a baby to the mix.
If you feel like your life is utterly and completely different than pre-baby, maybe it’s time to bring back in some of those interests. Sure you can develop new hobbies (here are some conducive to the stay at home lifestyle), but don’t let go of everything you loved just because you had kids.
Bring kids along with you or make room for it somehow in your life. Even if you can only go hiking once a month instead of every weekend, you’ll still feel refreshed and energized.
If you love reading, make time during naps or the evening to read. Don’t just zone and veg out to escape, dig in and make time for what matters. It’ll improve your outlook.
5. We forget how short this season is.
It’s so easy to feel like the rest of our lives as mothers will be consumed by feeding, being up all night, and disciplining our children. Sure, to a certain extent we’ll forever be on duty now sleeping with one ear open, but life won’t always be so intense.
So hectic. So all consuming. And, when you feel like your entire life has gone and you’ve been given the life of a martyr… we begin to make decisions we aren’t proud of.
Instead of enjoying each moment with our kids, we begin to escape. We pick up our phones to scroll around on something unimportant because we’re exhausted. We’re exhausted because – well… the obvious – and because we so easily forget this time is short and won’t be here for long.
When we attempt to escape the now we end up unfulfilled and guilty. When we focus on our present, on our children, and really aim to connect with them we feel life and relief.
We’re called to serve our children, not martyr ourselves.
We’re to be patient and kind, not frazzled and angry.
We don’t need to forget ourselves to be mothers because ultimately…
We can only give our children what we possess ourselves.
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