Raising kids is one of the most life-changing and rewarding times of your life, but it can also be the most exhausting and draining. While moms typically make their kids their top priority, putting them above their own needs and wants, moms need to make time for themselves so they can continue to be at their best when it comes to supporting and taking care of their families. Moms, it’s time to make you a priority.
Why Make Yourself a Priority?
Your mental health is a important
Being a mother has its emotional highs and lows. Your body goes through amazing changes both physically and mentally during pregnancy, birth, and the years that follow. It is important for moms to make their mental health a priority. Ask your significant other or a trusted friend to help you monitor when you are struggling. Ask for help if you feel you are not at your best emotionally. Taking care of your family on a day-to-day basis can be draining on your emotional reserves, but when you have participated in activities that make you feel happy and healthy, it is easier to be attentive and supportive to those around you.
Your physical health is a priority
If you are physically exhausted, it is hard to be patient with your kids or get anything productive accomplished at home or work. Getting good rest, exercising, and eating healthy are important for moms to feel at their best. It’s also important for moms to make their health important by visiting the doctor, dentist, and other appointments to maintain health on a regular basis. So often moms will delay their own scheduled doctor visits to make time for their families but routine check-ups can prevent issues before they arise.
How to Make Yourself a Priority?
Find your tribe
Having a group of friends that understand what it’s like to raise children, work, maintain a healthy lifestyle,and commit to a loving marriage is important for moms to feel “normal” and supported. Moms groups (like MOPS), online meetups or groups, book clubs, or church groups are great places to meet other moms that you have things in common with and connect.
Set aside time
Between running errands, extracurricular activities, housework, and spending time with your kids it can be hard to set aside time for yourself. Spending time alone, with your spouse (without your kids), and with friends is so important for moms to feel energized for another day. Add time for you to the family calendar to assure that it happens on a regular basis and any child care needs are met.
A good exercise routine not only keeps you healthy and fit, but it can also help you feel better about yourself as well as give you an extra energy boost for the long days of mothering. Taking time for exercise can also give you a chance to be alone and listen to a podcast, audiobook, or music you enjoy while working out. If your exercise takes you outside, you also get an added boost of Vitamin D which has been proven to help you feel happier too.
Moms work hard. Allow yourself a treat such as a coffee, a new outfit, a fresh haircut, pedicure, or a sweet treat on occasion. Giving yourself permission to treat yourself can boost your mood and acknowledge that you work hard and deserve something special. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money, it’s more about putting yourself first on occasion.
Talk to someone
Sometimes we just need someone to talk to about our feelings, what is going on in our lives, and share the details of everyday life. One way moms make themselves a priority is to find a friend or family member you can chat with on a regular basis. Some may find it helpful to talk to a counselor if you have a lot to work through and have dealt with depression or feel like you could use some unbiased advice.
Ask for help
Moms are used to helping others and many of us have a hard time reaching out and asking for help. However, when a friend asks, we are the first to offer assistance. Give others a chance to help you. Set up a carpool so you are not always the one playing taxi with the kids for their after school activities, accept help when offered, or trade babysitting with a friend so you can have a much needed date night. If your significant other offers to help out around the house, let them, even if it isn’t exactly the way you would have done it. Accepting help can be a big relief and can give moms the chance for some much needed time to focus on themselves.
Take up a hobby
What do you love to do? Many moms find they have forgotten the hobbies they used to enjoy prior to kids. Make time for yourself and your interests. Seek out an old hobby or find a new one – reading, running, sewing, scrapbooking – whatever activity gets you excited is what you need to make time for. Whether you do your hobby with a group of friends or on your own, you will not regret making time for something that is important to you.
It’s not possible to put yourself first all the time when you are a busy mom but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set aside time when you are the priority. It’s important for your mental and physical health and well-being and will make you a better mom overall.
Sarah Lyons writes for numerous parenting magazines throughout the U.S.