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Self-Care for Moms

What does self-care for moms look like?

Rearing our children is every parent’s most important job. To do that well, we need to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. On an airplane, passengers are instructed to put the emergency oxygen mask on themselves first because if they become incapacitated, they can’t correctly apply their child’s mask. As a burnt-out mom, you can’t care for your kids to the best of your ability. Therefore, self-care improves parenting. 

When you care for yourself, you parent better. As a single mom, after a frustrating day with my three children, I take a long, hot bath. Once I emerge from my time of solace, I feel rejuvenated and more attentive to my family. My quiet time helps restore my positive attitude. 

Self-care is a big task when you parent and have a job. Carving out short periods for yourself is one way to accomplish self-care. Most mornings, before anyone awakens, I spend fifteen minutes meditating. This time nourishes my soul and gives me the spiritual energy I require to love my family unconditionally. If one of my children wakes early, I ask them to sit by me and spend a few minutes quietly praying. What time of day could you spend with the Lord? Is the evening, after your kids are in bed, better for you?

Physical Self-Care for Moms

To care for myself physically, I teach Christian yoga twice a week and work out at the gym. Demonstrating physical activity to your children encourages them to adopt this healthy habit. Exercise prevents disease, improves cognition and overall health. Explain to your child how important it is for you to exercise so your body functions properly. My habit of working out rubbed off on my kids. My two oldest, who are in college, attend yoga classes and go to the gym regularly. Since I made physical fitness a priority, my young adults do as well. 

Eating healthy foods is another essential component of self-care. Consume organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meat without hormones or antibiotics, and nuts and seeds. Don’t eat refined grain products made with white flour or rice; instead, enjoy quinoa, organic oats, and brown rice. Processed foods from boxes and bags provide no nutritional value and cause blood sugar to rise and then plummet. When your blood sugar bottoms out, you don’t feel like parenting, and you may lose your cool with your kids.

I included healthy items in my children’s lunch boxes. Instead of fruit roll-ups, I placed a piece of fruit in their lunchbox. I explained how fiber and vitamins from fruit and vegetables helped them grow. Fruit roll-ups were stripped of nutrients and likely had added sugar which was not good for them. Add fresh, crunchy vegetables, such as sugar snap peas, carrots, and celery, in your child’s lunch instead of chips and crackers. Since I taught my children about eating healthy, my two oldest daughters, have become health proponents and share their recipes with me.

What healthy foods do you include in your meal planning?

Mental Self-Care For Moms

Each of us need intellectual stimulation through work, reading a book, or calculating the monthly budget. I write and inspire others to improve their health through my prose. Finding what stimulates you mentally will keep your mind active and provide intrinsic satisfaction.

What activities challenge your brain?

Emotional Self-Care For Moms

Emotionally we need connection. Friends, family, a significant other, co-workers, neighbors, and participation in church provide companionship and a place to share our thoughts and feelings. We can also attain fulfillment through our relationship with God.

Our children need emotional connection too. Taking my daughter on a date to a local coffee shop or ice cream parlor increased her capacity to converse with me. Tucking a child in bed at night allows quiet time for him or her to open up and share. As a mom, be ready when the window of our child’s heart opens, and they want to talk. Stop and listen, because later on, their heart might be closed, and we missed that perfect opportunity.

Ideas for Self-Care For Moms

Family vacations, date nights, or lunch with a friend fulfill our emotional needs. Promote family relations at dinner time. During my vacation in France, I embraced the French tradition of dining for two hours. Serve appetizers at 20-minute intervals such as a melon and then a salad before the main entrée. In America, we may spend an hour cooking and eat our meal in twenty minutes. Time around the table allows feeds the family physically and emotionally. 

Self-care, like the oxygen mask on the airplane, is easier said than done. To provide time for yourself, sometimes we say no to events and activities. Explain to your child that when you take time for self-care, you become a more patient mother. When significant amounts of time are rare, use a few minutes here and there to read one page in a book or say a prayer to the Lord. Your body, mind, spirit, and children will benefit. 

What is one self-care tactic for moms you can employ today? 

Susan Neal

Susan Neal RN, MBA, MHS, is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She is the author of seven healthy living books. Her award winning Amazon #1 best seller is 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates. You can find Susan on SusanUNeal.com.

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Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.