How to Take Care of Yourself So You Can Be a Better Mom
It’s 2019, moms. It’s not selfish to think of yourself, and your child will be better for it.
CREATED WITH JOHNSON'S® BABY
Being a mom means you’re on-call 24/7. One study even likened it to having two full-time jobs. And when you’re juggling multiple roles—mom, wife, career woman, household manager, etc.—self-care often takes a back seat.
That’s too bad because when you’re unhappy or exhausted, it affects the people around you, especially your child. Parenting can emotionally and mentally drain you, and you're more likely to lose your cool and let your emotions get the best of you when you don’t know how to give yourself a break.
Let’s start you off on a simple routine. Keeping these two things in mind will make a big difference in your desire to be a better mom.
It’s okay to ask for help.
Moms shouldn’t and can’t be expected to do it all, but often the pressure to do so comes from yourself. According to the Bright Horizons Modern Family Index, women are more likely to juggle full responsibility for home and childcare on top of working full time, compared to men.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, so don’t hesitate to approach your partner, trusted family members, and even household helpers when you need a helping hand.
Here’s what you can do to lighten your load, mom.
#1 Learn to say no.
Working moms know how difficult it is to balance professional and family obligations, particularly when your job starts to encroach on your family time. Feeling obliged to join after-work socials when all you want to do is go home? Politely decline and set your boundaries so your coworkers will understand that your time with your kids is sacred. How to set that boundary for yourself? Phones now have a “Do not disturb” feature where notifications from apps, emails, and even social media will be put on pause until a time you specify.
#2 Take advantage of home care services.
Struggling to keep up with the mountain of chores at home? If you don’t have a helper, you can take the more “modern” route by using home care services. Contact a meal or grocery delivery service if you don’t have the time to head out for a grocery run. There are also laundry, cleaning, and gardening services to help you with your household chores. (Check here for a list of home care services.)
#3 Ask your partner for help.
Keep in mind that parenting is a partnership. A study says dads also want to be more involved in their families. They’re eager to spend more time with them and are willing to take time off from work to do so. Consider asking your husband for help. Be open with him when talking about what you need. Make them a partner in every sense of the word.
It’s okay to take a break.
Even if it’s as simple as taking a leisurely shower or bath once a day, take the time for self-care and consider it an essential part of your day. Parental burnout is real. You need mental, physical, and emotional energy to be a parent, and you need to replenish this energy when you’re running ragged.
Here are some ways you can take time off for yourself to rest and recharge.
#1 Learn how to meditate or do breathing exercises.
Take an extra few minutes in the morning to clear your head before you start your day. Behavioral therapist Alice Boyes says meditation helps you manage stress and keeps anxiety at bay. It also makes you more aware of your emotional triggers, helping you to be more mindful when handling stressful situations. You can also try meditation apps like Headspace, or do a breathing exercise, like the following from the National Health Service of United Kingdom.
Make yourself comfortable sitting or lying down.
Inhale through your nose, letting the air flow into your stomach but without forcing it.
Breathe in gently and steadily. It may help if you count from 1 to 5.
Exhale through your mouth while counting 1 to 5. Let the air out gently without pausing.
Do this for three to five minutes.
#2 Keep bathroom time sacred.
Not being able to shower or use the toilet in peace is practically a running joke among moms. Being able to bathe without any distractions is a tiny luxury that you may want to give yourself. Allot 15 to 20 minutes for your warm shower in the morning and make it a ritual.
You don’t need expensive bath products. In fact, you can use cleansers that your baby already uses, like JOHNSON'S® Milk+Rice™ Bath, which is made with natural milk and rice proteins that can help moisturize and nourish the skin. It's also formulated with vitamin A, which can help maintain the skin's protective barrier, and vitamin E, an anti-oxidant that helps protect the skin. As a bonus, you'll love its sweet, clean, and mild scent.
#3 Find at least one thing to do for yourself every week.
If you’re feeling lost in your role as a mom and a wife, do something major for yourself. Enroll in a class you’ve always wanted to take, join a gym or yoga group, or even visit the salon and get a manicure and pedicure. Sometimes, all you need is some time and space when you don’t have to think about anything and just be.
You can even do this at home by having a simple spa date with yourself—using skincare items your baby also uses. For one night a week, take the time to keep up with your skincare routine. After a quick warm shower, cleanse your face and apply face cream. For your body—particularly your neck, arms, and legs—you can use a gentle and sweet-smelling moisturizing product like JOHNSON'S® Milk+Oats™ Lotion.
It can help lock in the moisture in your skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and supple. Oats, in particular, is a skincare ingredient that's suitable for dry skin because it helps soothe and relieve discomfort caused by dryness. JOHNSON'S® Milk+Oats™ Lotion is also made with natural milk proteins, minerals, and vitamins A and E that help nourish and protect the skin.
Whatever you decide to do as your daily self-care, remember never to feel guilty about doing something for yourself. It does not make you selfish. Instead, keep in mind that when you’re happy and well-cared for, your and your family’s quality of life will be better.
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This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with JOHNSON'S® BABY.