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The Importance of Self-Care for Mamas

Being a mama is tiring; there’s no doubt about it! You’re always busy, and there seems to be a never-ending list of things that need to be taken care of. Your mind is constantly swirling with thoughts and questions you ask yourself: When did I last change the baby’s nappy? Has the laundry finished yet? What should I make for dinner tonight? Am I a good enough mother?

Life can be hectic, but it’s important to take a moment for yourself every once in a while. Breathe. Let yourself recover with some proper self-care so you get back to tackling the challenges of motherhood feeling recharged. Here’s our blog on how important self-care is for busy mamas, and our top tips to help you practice it!

What is self-care?

People often think self-care is about pampering yourself by going to the spa, having an indulgent meal, buying something luxurious for yourself, and so on. While all these can be forms of self-care, they do not wholly define what it encompasses!

Self-care refers to anything we do with the intention of taking care of our mental, emotional and physical health. More importantly, meaningful self-care is a daily commitment to ourselves so that we can be mentally, emotionally and physically ready to take on the unexpected challenges motherhood throws at us.

Why should I practice self-care?

Many mothers don’t prioritise themselves enough. They often put the baby, then other family members first, and then themselves at the very bottom of the list. Mama, you’re the one running the show – it’s essential to take care of yourself too! You can’t leave your body running on empty, with brain fog from the lack of sleep, and expect to have enough energy to do everything you need to for the day. Show yourself the same love and care you give your little one. 🥰

Self-care lets you put yourself in a better position for your duties and role as a mother. If you’re taking proper care of yourself, you will find that you will have more energy to fulfil your mama duties as best you can!

How can I be a happier mother?

There’s so much about being a mother that makes the whole journey worth it. Nothing makes our hearts fuller than watching our bubs grow up to be their own little people! However, because motherhood is so complicated, there are little things here and there within ourselves that can hinder how fulfilled we are.

You might feel guilty about spending time doing things for yourself when you consider what else you could have accomplished during that time. This is a totally natural mama instinct, but it can hold back your self-care. Try your best to ignore the guilt, because it’s actually necessary for you to spend the time taking care of yourself so that you can properly accomplish the tasks you need to take care of your little one.

Another way to be happier is to stop comparing yourself to other mothers that you might see. Just as every child is different, so is every mother’s journey. Things don’t always go smoothly, and everyone is bound to have their ups and downs – even if they don’t always show it. You don’t have to feed your tot gourmet, free-range organic baby food every day and buy them the most extravagant, expensive toys to be the perfect mum. As long as you are trying your best, you are doing enough.

How do I make time for myself as a mother?

A good way to organise your week so you can make time for yourself is to create a calendar or a schedule that reminds you when to practice self-care. Not only will this help you manage your time and keep on top of things, but it will also give you something to look forward to as well.

If you simply can’t free up any time because you’re doing so much, know that it’s okay to ask and accept help from others. If you have a partner, rotate child duties with them. You can also ask a family member or close friend to lend a helping hand now and then while you rest, or even get a babysitter you trust. Having your own personal time is important, so really try to find a way to make the time for yourself!

How can I practice self-care as a mother?
  1. You’ve probably heard this time and time again, but exercising is an excellent form of self-care. You don’t have to go hard on the machines at the gym. Just do whichever kind of exercise you enjoy the most, whether it’s taking a yoga class, doing tai chi, or going for a run. It’s great not only for our bodies to move around but our mental health as well.
  2. Feed yourself with healthy eating and drink plenty of water. It’s important that you get the right fuel to tackle each day! When you cook, focus on nourishing your body with whole foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. If you struggle to find the time to cook balanced meals every day, you could set some time aside at the beginning of each week to meal prep in advance.
  3. If you haven’t already, start a journal. This is a safe space for you to pour out your feelings and express your emotions. Write about what you’re grateful to have in this life so that you can remind yourself later on when you’re having a rough day.
  4. Go on a walk and practice mindfulness. No need to bring your phone – just focus on being in the present and being in tune with your body. How does the ground below you feel? What sounds can you hear around you? How does the breeze feel against your skin? Research suggests that practising mindfulness helps to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression.
  5. Create! Whether it’s drawing, painting, writing or crafting, a creative outlet is a great way to practice self-care. It’s a fun way of expressing your thoughts and feelings, and allows you to hone your artistic talents as well. Creating also helps to boost your self-esteem because it inspires you to reach new levels of skill, which gives you a sense of fulfilment and achievement.
  6. Do a digital detox. Stop checking your phone and social media so you can get some peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of digital disruptions. Although it might seem almost impossible in this day and age, staying away from our technological devices can do so much good for our mental health as it allows us to focus on the good things around us.

Mama, you do so many amazing things every day during motherhood, so don’t forget to look after yourself as well as your little one. We hope our self-care tips can help you improve your wellbeing while you watch your child grow up.

 

Haakaa New Zealand