Taking Care of Mum: Looking After Yourself as a Busy Parent
March 19, 2020
This is a collaboration
Before having children, you may have heard tales of sleepless nights and explosive tantrums from friends and family members with kids. The chances are that you listened sympathetically to them telling you that they hadn’t slept in five years, heck, maybe you even made them a coffee to wake them up a bit. But, in your head you probably thought, ‘it won’t be like that for me, I won’t let myself turn into a sleep-deprived zombie, dressed in clothes covered with part-chewed rice cakes and raisins.’ But, then it happened – you became a parent. Despite your best efforts to introduce bedtime routines, and reading every parenting manual going, you too ended up as a sleep-deprived zombie, covered in the remnants of your toddler’s snacks.
Being a parent isn’t easy, it really isn’t, and anyone that tells you otherwise is obviously lying. Becoming someone’s mum is the most powerful change that happens in a woman’s life, and is at the same time, both utterly incredible, and downright exhausting. You will hear it said a million times or more, but taking care of yourself is extremely important as a parent. The trouble is that taking care of yourself often feels impossible – it probably feels like there simply are not enough hours in the day. Having time to yourself may feel like a distant dream, and you have probably heard the term ‘self-care’ so many times that you cringe when you hear it, but looking after yourself is possible. Here’s how even the busiest of mums can take care of themselves:
It’s the Little Things That Matter
Having big chunks of the day free to wallow in the bath with a face pack on is probably not going to be a realistic option. However, don’t write off those small windows of opportunity to do something to take care of yourself. Spending 20 minutes on the sofa with a cuppa is not wasted time; it is a chance to get your breath back and re-energise. Take the opportunity to be kind to yourself and take a break where you can. If you spot a chance to snuggle up on the sofa with the kids, then take it. Make the most of being able to sit down, relax, and hug them whether you are watching a film together or reading stories.
For many mums, their own health comes in last, somewhere after the dog and the goldfish. Making time to stay healthy is vital for mums, too, especially when you are continually running around taking care of everyone else. If you have aches and pains or don’t feel well, it is all too easy to try and ignore them and hope that they go away. Neglecting yourself now can lead to problems in the future, so taking care of your health as part of your daily routine is vital. If you feel ill, don’t wait until things get really bad before you visit the doctor, try to get seen as soon as you can to get your symptoms under control.
To keep yourself healthy, it is also a good idea to take preventative measures as part of your regular routine to reduce the likelihood of you becoming ill in the first place. Products such as CBD oil can be used everyday, and many people take vitamin supplements to keep them on top form.
If you struggle to find the time to fit in eating your five a day fruit and vegetables, then why not whip up a tasty smoothie instead. Blending your own smoothies is an excellent way to get your recommended amount of fruit and vegetables into your diet, as they are quick and easy to make. Kids love smoothies too, so they are an excellent way to help them eat more fruit and vegetables.
Looking Good, Feeling Good
There is so much more to life than the way that you look, but there is no doubt that looking good really does make you feel better. When life is busy, it is so easy to slip into the habit of wearing the same clothes every single day. While you probably have very little desire to do the school run fully glammed-up, or to brave the supermarket in stilettos, feeling better about the way that you look can help you to feel ready to face the day.
Looking good to make yourself feel good isn’t about how much makeup that you wear or having the latest designer clothes. Looking good is all about wearing clothes and makeup that suits you and brightens up your day. Get ready for each day and add something that makes you feel happy, whether it’s a slogan t-shirt or painting your nails your favourite colour. Adding something to your day to make you smile can really make a difference.
Parenting and stress seem to be two words that go hand in hand. Whether you are rushing to get the kids to school on time or trying to deal with the 50th toddler tantrum of the day, life as a mum can feel full of stress. By the time bedtime comes around, most parents are ready for a lie down themselves. Finding ways to reduce your stress levels is crucial. Being in a permanently stressed-out state can leave you feeling run-down and under the weather.
Finding outlets for your stress is essential. Otherwise, it can become all-consuming. Exercise is an excellent stress buster, and it doesn’t even need to be anything too strenuous still to have a positive impact on your stress levels. Learning mindfulness techniques is an excellent way to calm down your stress levels. Mindfulness is particularly useful for people that tend to overthink their worries. If you are someone that always worries about the past or future, mindfulness is an excellent tool. Mindfulness will help you to focus your attention on the here and now, and alleviate some of those worries. Just keep doing your best; no one can ask for more than that.