Let’s talk self-care for moms. This post is for all the busy mothers who truly want to support and nurture themselves but don’t know how to fit it into their day.
May 2, 2023
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Self-Care for Moms
I used to be the Queen of Self-Care.
I had a nurturing morning routine that included journaling, meditation, and creative writing.
I even left my corporate career because it caused too much stress and wasn’t in alignment with my authentic self.
I know self-care.
But then I birthed my daughter and everything shifted.
Okay, This Mom Thing is Hard
And while I was trying my best to balance motherhood and self-care, in the summer of 2020, I gave birth to my son. And then 3 weeks later:
- my dad transitioned into the light quite suddenly
- I was barely sleeping because my son suffered from silent acid reflux
- I had a busy 2-year-old that needed my attention
- I was starting my blogging business
- I was grieving
- and I had very little support (it was the height of the pandemic and my husband tried his best but was busy with work)
I fluctuated between superwoman and completely depleted and overwhelmed.
Some moments, when postpartum anxiety crept up, I felt like there was a tornado swirling around me and I couldn’t step out of it.
Long story short. If you’re experiencing overwhelm and a deep desire for self-care, know that I’ve been there.
Had I known then what I know now, it wouldn’t have made those moments sunshine and rainbows, but it would have definitely supported me through the toughest days.
Related Post: 11 Micro Spiritual Practices for Busy Women
The Self-Mothering Wound
No mother intentionally neglects self-care.
Learning how to meet your needs while also meeting your children’s needs is challenging, and this can create a very specific mother wound.
Psychologists and spiritualists often talk about “the mother wound” as a trauma that’s passed down from a mother to her children through dysfunctional coping mechanisms used to process her pain.
But I believe there’s another type of mother wound. A self-mothering wound. The one that’s created through self-abandonment when you become a mom.
Self-care for Moms Approach 1
Motherhood Mindset Shift
One magical day, a thought formed that completely shifted the way I looked at motherhood.
I have an additional child to nurture: my own inner child.
It was one of those realizations that take your breath away.
I didn’t have two children. I had three. And one of them was neglected and borderline abused.
And that had to change.
Since my brain was so tuned in to the mother role, considering myself a child that I was responsible for made me more mindful of my own self-needs.
For example, at lunch, “Okay, I fed two kids, now what does the third one (me) want to eat?”
“The two kids are playing nicely, now what does the third one (me) want to do?”
Beginning to take on the mother role for myself was a game changer.
But How Do You Balance Self-Care & Being a Mom?
It can be so tough.
I also understand how triggering articles can be that offer a “self-care for moms list” that’s completely unachievable (I’ve read so many).
But self-care doesn’t need to add stress to your day by taking time away from your children.
When it comes to self-care: It’s not about the duration. It’s about the impact.
Here’s how it’s actually accomplishable:
1: Micro Self-Care
2: Self-Care Layering
Self-care for Moms Approach 2
Create a list of simple activities that nurture and light you up that take no more than 3-5 minutes a day.
- Make yourself a cup of tea.
- Dry brush before you get into the shower.
- Read a few pages of an uplifting book before bed.
- Paint your nails.
- Use a tuning fork on your body (I do this morning and night for 3 minutes).
- Plan (whether it’s a vacation or just a dinner with a friend, get some inspiring events in your calendar).
- Do a 5-min meditation.
- Grab a snack (keep some dark chocolate in the cupboard).
- Write a quick journal entry every night. Or try The Cycle Tracker to tap into your body’s feminine wisdom.
- Diffuse essential oils or put a few drops on your pillow at night (I love eucalyptus or cedarwood for sleeping — just note that oils may stain a white pillowcase).
- Send a friend a voice text.
Then weave several of these throughout each day.
Weaving is the key. Not rushing through it all once the kids are asleep.
Why? Because by creating nurturing touchpoints throughout the day, when you look back, you realize that you mindfully took care of yourself the ENTIRE day.
Self-care for Moms Approach 3
This approach to self-care doesn’t take ANY additional time out of your day.
Identify self-care ideas that can be layered on top of activities with your children.
- Sit on a grounding mat while your child plays indoors.
- Use a Healy while doing … anything really (I’m using mine right now).
- Get morning sunlight while your child plays in the backyard.
- Listen to an uplifting podcast while you take your child for a walk.
- Listen to a meditation (I’ve got a beautiful free one here), hypnosis, or positive affirmation audio while you fall asleep at night.
- Colour in an adult colouring book (creative mindfulness practice) while your kids colour.
- Listen to uplifting music while doing housework.
- Do a breathing exercise while making lunch (inhale for 4, hold for 7, exhale for 8).
- Have a dance party while making breakfast.
- Listen to an audiobook or inspiring podcast as you get ready for bed.
- Meet up with a friend for a play date.
It’s really that simple.
But you have to commit to doing it.
Try for at least 5 micro or layered self-care activities a day and see how it changes your outlook and energy. Then move it up to 7-10.
To make this even simpler, I’ve created a beautiful Mama’s Self-Care List printable (just write in the little things that light you up and refer to it throughout the day).
It’s yours free when you subscribe here.
This is the Key to Self-Care for Moms
By recognizing that you’re consciously making an effort to nurture yourself each day, you begin to deepen your self-trust (with your inner child).
And when you deepen your self-trust, you begin the process of healing the self-mothering wound.
Because the person you need nurturing from the most is ALWAYS yourself.
Sending so much love, Mama.