What job is full time, high stress, doesn’t include vacation and has no paycheck? Motherhood!
Caring for children can be overwhelming when there’s dinner to make, school lunches to prepare and other household tasks that need to be pulled off by bedtime. And unfortunately, a busy mom’s health and wellness needs often get lost in the shuffle.
Here are 5 ways a busy mom can take care of herself:
- Ask for Help
You can’t—and shouldn’t-- do it all alone. Asking someone to lend a hand can be the best thing you do for yourself. Enlist your partner to take care of the children while you go out shopping, or hire a cleaner so you can hang with the kids rather than clean up after them. If the kids are small, you can even swap responsibilities with another mom—watch her little ones and then she can mind yours another day.
Decide what would be the most helpful for you and ask for it!
- Take care of yourself
It sounds obvious- but taking care of your physical self is imperative. Even though it can be difficult, get the recommended seven hours of sleep a night you need to function better. Take the time to prepare healthy, well balanced meals (and freeze some for later). If you’re unsure about what you should be eating, check Canada’s Food Guide to confirm you’re getting the nutrients you need most, like iron and calcium.
Also, don’t forget to exercise! Go to the gym, take a walk or drop in a yoga class. Not only is exercise good for your health, it can boost your mood too. (Visit nvrc.ca for ideas on how to get more active).
- Connect with others
For your mental health, make the time to hang out with others who have common goals or similar interests. If your kids are young, meet new friends and share parenting stories at a new mom drop-in or playgroup. If you have school-aged kids, join your school’s Parent Advisory Committee and build key relationships with other parents similar to you.
Or seek out experiences not associated with kids (or kids talk) at all. Sign up for an art class, hit a movie or go for coffee with girlfriends who don’t have children. Hook up with others to connect and recharge your batteries.
- Treat yourself
Love Netflix, a good book or a hot bath before you go to bed? Or maybe a pedicure or massage on the weekend? Think of how you can reward yourself—and don’t feel guilty about it. It’s great to have something to look forward to after a long day or hard week.
- Accept imperfection
If you’re busy, recognize that you don’t need a spotless house, a four-course meal or organized Lego blocks to survive. Does it matter if the house is a little messy when company pops over? Pick what is most important to you and let other little things slide.
Without a doubt, demands on moms are high. But looking after your own needs can bring better health and greater happiness to an often hectic and unpredictable role. And in the end, that means everyone benefits. Go take care of yourself.
Be sure to read North Vancouver Recreation & Culture’s Active Living Blog regularly for health and wellness information, nutrition tips and much more.