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Do you ever feel mom guilt for taking (or wanting to take) some time for yourself? The term “self-care” probably jumps out on you from everywhere and you wonder how on earth can you find time for yourself with a newborn?
When my first son was born, my days were consumed by breastfeeding around the clock, diapering, carrying the newborn around so he would finally sleep.
I didn’t have time for anything. My household was a mess and so was I.
I struggled with finding some “me time” even for those basic needs like skincare, showering, or even eating a decent, nourishing meal.
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Can you really find time for yourself when you have a baby?
Because your bundle of joy is now priority number one, you may ignore your own needs. At times like these, you might be wondering how is it even possible to find time for yourself with a new baby.
But does that mean you have to neglect yourself? NO.
I was scrolling Facebook the other day and this quote has caught my eye:
“You were someone before you became their mom. And that person matters.“
Exactly. YOU are the most important person in your baby’s life. You need to care for yourself to be able to care for her.
Postpartum self-care is just as important as pregnancy self-care.
“You simply cannot do a good job taking care of someone else if you aren’t feeling safe, happy, and cared for. It’s that whole “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” you know? You must fill your own cup” says birth doula Carrie Murphy.
And she is absolutely right.
Is the idea of me-time a selfish one?
Look. It is not about taking a luxurious spa retreat weekend or getting nails done in a fancy salon. Because when you’re breastfeeding around the clock and seriously sleep-deprived, having a pedicure session will feel completely out of reach.
I have to admit that there were times in my early motherhood journey when a five-minute how shower with a body scrub and shaving legs almost made me feel guilty (ha-ha)!
Ways to make time for yourself
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend hours in a day spa to enjoy some serious me-time. The idea of self-care is not necessarily about improving your visage.
It’s more about being able to spend some time all by yourself, doing what makes you feel good. Here are a few easy ways how can you sneak in some self-care into your busy mom lifestyle.
When you become a mother, you won’t get many chances to dance in social events for a while, right? But dance is so much more than just a social activity or great cardio. When you move in tune with the music, your brain releases endorphins (also called the hormones of happiness), that create a feeling of comfort, fun, and power.
So put that Beyonce on, mama!
2. GO FOR A WALK
Similar to dancing, walking (or any kind of exercise) releases feel-good endorphins. Walking outside helps you to fight the postpartum blues by reducing your stress levels.
In fact, walking an hour a day can work wonders for you! On top of that – walking is actually the easiest way how to lose pregnancy weight naturally. I wrote a whole post about how can you start losing weight postpartum by walking, you can check it here.
3. BUY YOURSELF SOMETHING
I know going shopping with a baby is not “that” enjoyable. For me, going shopping with a baby was a huge stress. I rather shopped online (even the groceries) and was perfectly fine with that. So go ahead and check out online stores while your baby naps instead!
When was the last time you actually bought something for yourself that wasn’t related to pregnancy, motherhood, nursing or kitchen?
Can’t remember? Gift yourself with something you really want. Jewelry, shoes, dress, new linen or a piece of art. It doesn’t have to be practical or needed.
4. START JOURNALING
The purpose of journaling is to get out your thoughts and, of course, a little of your frustration as well. It serves as an emotional release.
You don’t have to write five pages a day about what have you been doing all day. Even a single-line journal will do. Create a routine where each day you write down one line about whatever you’re feeling at that moment.
Have a mom-friend who is on the same boat as you are? Write to each other one-lines about your feelings!
I did this with my BF (who gave birth the same month as I did) and it helped me tremendously! Just the feeling that you don’t have to keep your frustration for yourself and that there is actually another human being who totally gets it is awesome.
Take 5 minutes a day to meditate. It might feel a bit funny at first, but meditation can actually make a huge difference to your day. It can help you narrow down your thoughts and even ease your pain or anxiety, according to the National Institutes of Health.
So take some time to sit quietly, close your eyes, breathe deeply and harness your inner calm. If you do this first thing in the morning, you ĺl be prepared to tackle anything that comes your way.
6. DO A HOME WORKOUT
When you are a new mom, your days are probably filled up with diapers, burps, and feeding around the clock. Even if you manage to squeeze ten minutes-long precious break, you’ll rather enjoy your coffee while it is still hot than working out.
And I get it. I was the same.
You might just want to settle for the fact that at this stage of life, you don’t have time to exercise, but – hold your horses there!
No matter how busy we are, there is always SOMETHING we can do. I’ve put together some great ideas for you to choose a busy mom workout routine that fits your needs and schedule.
The Bottom Line
If you ever feel that mom guilt creeping in, mom, know this:
It is not selfish to make yourself a priority. Putting your family first doesn’t make you necessarily a better mother.
According to a survey done by HealthyWomen and Working Mother, almost 80% of moms say they put off taking care of their own health because they were too busy looking after their family.
How can you function as a good parent, when you neglect your own needs? Self-care for anyone, not only new moms, is a necessity, not a luxury.
Our children look to us, see the ways we treat ourselves and copy our habits. I don’t want to raise a kid who puts herself/himself last. I want him to believe he deserves his own “me time” to do whatever he wants because that is what his parents do.
How often do you enjoy me-time? What do you do? I would love to know!