I’m so excited to host another guest blogger on The Mint Chip Mama! Please welcome: Halimeh Salem from Crying Toddlers. Halimeh is an English teacher, a freelance writer, and a mother of two. She is going to teach us the importance of making self care a priority as a mom. Because we all need it. Whether we admit it or not (everyone raises their hand at the same time).
Are you feeling guilty for wanting to separate yourself from your kids? Are you enjoying the alone time you have when going to the bathroom? You are not the only mom who enjoys being alone and feels guilty for it. I know I did especially when I had two under two. You are probably spending your entire day cleaning the house, taking care of the kid’s needs and cooking. But, you never have the time for self-care or me time. It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself. No one will care for your health as much as you can. So, stop what you are doing and fit self care into your schedule. I would recommend at least an hour daily for self care. If you’re interested in taking care of yourself, keep reading to find out the honest way to make self care a priority as a mom.
Being a mom is not an easy task. We, mothers, have so many responsibilities and put others as priorities before thinking about ourselves. Self-care should be a priority on your to-do list, and here is why.
Imagine two moms. One mom gets up with her kids and changes their diapers, cleans the house, plays with kids, drives them to extracurricular classes, cooks, and then puts the children to sleep. She then lays down on her bed mentally preparing herself for the next day. She dreads it. The only thing she wishes for is a change in routine or just a day without her kids.
The second mom wakes up early before the kids and drinks coffee while answering emails. She gets the kids up and changes diapers, cleans the house, plays with the kids, and tells her partner to drive them to extracurricular classes. Then she decides to take some time for herself and reads a book. She talks to her friends and before you know her kids are back home wanting to spend more quality time with mom.
Who do you think is happier in their routine? Mom One or Mom Two? I personally was just like mom one a few years back. Feeling helpless and depressed, I felt bad taking time for myself so I kept saying I don’t need help and time. I kept convincing myself I could do it. Well, I need to do it, I am the mom.
But, this is the wrong way of thinking. You should be more like Mom Two. Someone who takes me time because you would not be mentally happy. You would be depressed and your children would be affected by this. You need self-care because it decreases stress levels which tend to rise to extreme levels during motherhood.
Children thrive when they follow a routine or schedule. This will make your life so much easier. I have both my children on the Moms On Call Schedule. I highly recommend it. Schedules organize your day. Choose specific times when your children play independently or anytime they don’t need you. Those are the times where you are going to fit in some time for yourself. If you can’t find time when your children don’t need you, then make time. Include independent time, quiet time, or time with other people like daddy time or grandparents time for your kids. Make a self-care schedule that includes only the things you will do for yourself. Follow it and you will see how much happier you will be.
You can only prioritize something if you truly believe it is important. If you still do not think it is a priority, answer this question. Which would your kids like- a happy calm mom or stress out depressed mom? That should help motivate you to prioritize self-care before anything else.
When I say self-care, I am not only talking about alone time or me time. I am also talking about taking care of your health just like you take care of your children’s health. Remember to drink water throughout the day, eat healthy with your children, exercise, and take vitamins if you need them. If you forget like I used to, put sticky notes around the house to remind yourself. When I talk about self care, it could be in any form. You can take a small vacation with the family or go on family hikes on Long Island. Not everything has to be so serious with your children. You can also play games like dares for kids to help create a strong bond and relieve stress.
Be A Role Model
When you put yourself first and recognize the importance of self-care, you are teaching your kids to do the same. Be a role model for your children. Teach them how to take care of themselves and you can include them in your daily self-care routine like skincare, meditation, yoga, or much more.
Your parents probably taught you to let your brain guide you through decisions. This is not always the right thing to do. Listen to your emotions because only your feelings will tell you when you need a break. If you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, give your children to someone you trust or just step aside for a bit. Relax and come back because only then you would be able to think correctly.
Change Some Bad Habits
You might have some habits that are not really good for you. For example, you may eat while you’re doing something for your children. Stop, and sit down and eat. Also, you may be upset with your children, when in reality you only need a break. So, stop and step away. You may be putting everyone’s food desires in the grocery list and not include yours. Add the things you love!
You are important! Only you can take care of yourself. Add self-care to your routine. If you want to be happier and look refreshed, take care of yourself and put yourself as a priority. Remember, to enjoy your children in the journey of motherhood because their childhood doesn’t last forever. Time flies with children. The next thing you know, your son or daughter would be ten. So, it is best to get self care so you can enjoy time with your children.
About The Author
Halimeh Salem is an English teacher, a freelance writer, and a mother of two beautiful children, Basem who’s a 2 year old and Sama who’s an 8 month old. They are from California. To pursue her dreams of helping mothers overcome the obstacles of motherhood, she founded her own blog, Crying Toddlers. She loves spending her free time playing with her children and helping others. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!