Self-care as a busy mom may feel nearly impossible to focus on these days. In 2020, a survey of parents found that 78% of respondents reported putting off their own self-care even though 80% of women in another survey reported understanding the value of prioritizing self-care. So in today’s post, we aren’t going to talk about the importance of self-care. (If you wanna hear about my perspectives about that, be sure to check out the blog post that I’ve linked right here).
But what I really want to examine with you today is making sure we’re on the same page about:
And don’t worry about taking notes. I’ve put my approach together in a simple downloadable organizer that you can print off and use for yourself so that you can really take the ideas from this video and put them into action right away. Follow the simple steps in this guide + you’ll feel more confident when it comes to fitting self-care into your life as a busy mom in no time! I’ve linked it below, so be sure to fill out the form and get it for free.
The first thing I want us to make sure that we do is discuss what I mean by self-care as a busy mom because it can mean so many things to so many people and I think that there are different ways that we support ourselves and that goes beyond self-care.
Before anything else, let’s talk about what self-care is not. Self care is not the time that you’re putting into relationships. So if we’re talking about date night, girls night time, catching up on the phone with your friends. Yes, that is nourishing needs that you have, but at the same time, it’s not self-care. And when we’re talking about self-care, we are not talking about your hobbies or interests or the things that fuel you creatively.
And it’s not your ‘me time’. It’s not your time to just like veg out, chill, that all of those are important. Your relationships, your creativity, your time to just be mindless. Those are all really important to you wellbeing. But that’s not what we’re talking about when we talk about self-care.
When we talk about self-care, we are talking about caregiving—making sure that you are cared for both your body and your spirit. This includes daily maintenance, making sure that you give yourself time to take that shower or to brush your hair, maybe put on makeup or put on an outfit.
Also, your wardrobe is something that so many moms don’t put time into. And if it really doesn’t matter to you what you’re wearing or how you look, I get it. We also don’t always have a cause to make that much of a priority, but I, I will say that taking some time to make sure that you find pieces that you love and you feel really good in, does so much for how you feel and how you carry yourself.
Make sure that you are getting the medical care that you need. Your body will not be able to continue to help you show up for mom life if it is worn down, if it is ignored, if it is not checked in on. So please make time for your appointments.
Self-care can be bodywork. So if you’re someone who uses your body a lot, you’re carrying kids all day or you’re on your feet at work or you carry a lot of tension in the back of your shoulders, that is always where I carry my stress. Body work is a form of self care. Go get a massage or go get cupping.
Do what you need to to release the tension in your muscles. Maybe you sit a lot and you have a lot of tension in your hips. Do some stretching. Do what you need to do to release that tension and take care of your body. Exercise goes with that too. Whether you go out for a walk—go with your family even! You don’t have to do self-care alone as a mom.
I love working out with my kids and they love working out with me. Sometimes I’m on the bike, they’re doing yoga on YouTube, doesn’t matter. I want you doing exercises. Get your body moving five minutes a day, 10 minutes a day, 10 minutes every four days. Do something to make sure that your body gets a chance to move and be strengthened.
And we’re also talking here about other things that benefit your spirit specifically like guided meditations or just sitting in silence, journaling, focusing in on being more mindful, giving yourself space to feel grounded, going to therapy, go to acupuncture, do what it is that you need to nourish and support your energetic system. So all of those are a part of self-care.
And I’m not saying that you have to be responsible for prioritizing all of those. What I wanted to do is give you a real clear understanding of exactly what we’re talking about when it comes to self-care. We are talking about caregiving for yourself and the reason this matters so much, yes, like I know you’re gonna feel better for sure at the same time, at the end of the day, I think what most of us really care about is feeling equipped to show up for mom life, to keep up with all of the demands and honestly beyond mom life too. We want to feel as though we’re doing a good job because we care about that.
And the truth is we know that we have so many demands on our plate that we feel as though the only way to keep up with it all is to self-sacrifice, to put ourselves last because we see, well, yeah, I can push through, I can make it through. Other people are counting on me so much so that 39% of parents have reported feeling guilty about their self care.
But I really, really think it’s important to consider how caregiving for yourself is not selfish. In fact, skipping your self care is costing you. It’s costing your family, it’s costing your relationships. This should feel very important to you. And it’s not about whether you should feel guilty because you’re letting someone down. You should be making it a priority because it is something that is going to empower you to keep up with all of the demands that you are facing day in and day out.
If you feel guilty about self care, if you feel like well, spending time working out is something that has to come at a cost of me spending time with my kids. It doesn’t have to be an either or conversation. You can do both, like I said, work out together, go for a walk together. There are ways that you can think creatively at how can it be both if you’re feeling like you’re in this position of having to choose.
Because at the end of the day, if you’re approaching this from standpoint, it’s either I take care of myself or I take care of others and you continue to take care of others instead of yourself or you’re only caring for yourself in those pockets of time where it happens to pop up, you’re going to find that eventually your family’s just getting what’s left over of you.
You’re going to become so depleted and run down and exhausted, maybe even resentful because you have nothing left to give. That is an incredible loss for you and your family. It doesn’t feel good to be incapable of keeping up with the demands to be experiencing forgetfulness or brain fog or overwhelm to have lowered self-confidence and self-esteem. In fact, there are many parents who begin to feel disassociated with who they are as an individual or to disassociate from their role as parents because it’s just too much to process and identify with.
So if these are things that are coming up for you as something you identify with, I’m here today to walk you through what small meaningful changes you can make to your approach to self-care to start making sure that you incorporate it into your lifestyle as a busy mom. I’m not talking about having to do it every day. I’m not talking about spending your whole weekend on self-care. We are gonna focus on very small intentional changes that will integrate into the life that you have and help you be better prepared to show up for it.
I always like to evaluate where I’m at when it comes to problem solving. What is my current situation? What are my present concerns? So when I’m thinking about this through the lens of self care or caregiving to yourself, I’m really wondering is it a priority for you? Maybe it hasn’t been, but hopefully our conversation leading up to this point has helped you maybe reconsider.
Should this be a priority? Has it not been a priority? And what does a priority mean? It’s something that’s essential. I talked about that in my last blog post Five Ways to Maximize Your Time and Keep Up with the Demands of Mom life. We talk a lot about that. We unpack a priority,something that’s essential.
Expectations are sometimes a priority. Like I might be expected to be the one in my household who feeds the kids. That’s a pretty essential role that I have in my household. But making sure that the beds get made every day, probably not essential. But have I been prioritizing that over the 10 minutes, I could be focusing on my own self care?
Yeah, sometimes I am. Maybe that’s okay. Just one example. But I want you to really think through, is my self care a priority? It’s okay to be honest with yourself. If it hasn’t been, it’s okay to make a change, to recommit yourself, to prioritizing your caregiving. And if you’re wondering, is there enough time for self-care and want us to really think about what it means when we say that we’re too busy as moms for self care, we’re saying our self-care is not a priority. I’m not too busy to make sure the beds get made in my house every day. That is a fact.
So what I am actually saying is my self-care is not important enough to me to make the time to do it. I am not saying that you don’t have a lot of commitments, but I do think that sometimes we overcommit and I talk about overcoming commitment a lot when we look into 3 Signs You’re Suffering from Mom Burnout.
It’s really important to think about what messages are you sending to yourself about your time? All of us have 24 hours on a day. All of us have the exact same amount of time,and that time is precious. So we have to be really careful about how we are committing ourselves to priorities and which demands we are going to meet, which expectations we are going to try to keep up with. Sometimes we have to let go of some that are not as essential as others. So I want you to start reframing this idea of I don’t have time for self-care.
Next time you cut yourself saying that, ask yourself, is this not a priority? Or if I’m considering what I would do instead of my self care, I’d ask, which is the greater priority and be real honest with myself about what is essential. And I also want you to start thinking and reflecting on am I putting in the effort? Chances are right now you aren’t.
This would be a great question to come back to later too, to check in with yourself. Am I putting in the effort for my own caregiving? So now that you’ve really considered, is my selfcare a priority? Do I have time for self care or can I find a way to make the time for the self-care? And am I going to put in the effort for the self-care?
I’d love to walk you through what some of those to keep up with self-care as a busy mom could look like. Again, I don’t want you to be overwhelmed with this idea that you have to do all of them. I don’t do all of them. Some of them are more important to other people. So when you’re thinking about which priorities you wanna focus on in your self care, I want you to really tune in and take some time to think about where do I need self-care the most?
And when I think about self-care, it really does break down into these two categories of body and spirit. Of course, our minds can use some clearing and a hit on the refresh button now and then. But for the most part, our mind is the thing that takes over and gets us into this like productivity mode and tries to help us keep up with everything.
Sometimes what we really need in self care is to quiet the mind so we can focus on the body, so we can focus on our spirit. That is where you’re going to get the maximum benefits of prioritizing your self care. So I want you to maybe just start by thinking about either, is it my body that needs the most attention right now or is it my mind?
Or maybe what’s one thing I can focus on right now for my body? And what’s one thing I can focus on right now for my mind that are going to empower me to show up for mom life as my best version of myself that are going to allow me to keep up with the demands of mom life, with keeping up with the to-dos, with feeling invested and connected with my kids?
Cause at the end of the day, I know that really matters for you. So let’s talk about what self-care looks like for your body. It could mean focusing on nourishing your body. That might look like really bringing a lot of intention to the meals you’re eating. Maybe just start with breakfast. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Maybe that looks like following through on the supplements that your doctor asked you to be taking.
And are you hydrated enough? Your hydration is really important to your energy levels and your metabolism. It really helps keep your body functioning. Does your body need strength? Do you need to work your muscles a little bit more to build that up? Maybe your body needs rest focusing on a bedtime routine or scheduling in some downtime into your day. Do you need to focus on being cared for?
Are you going to your doctor’s appointments? When was the last time you had an exam or were at the dentist or had blood work done? Are you managing your stress well enough? Coming up with a plan to help you do that is really important. And let’s face it, your day-to-day grooming. Maybe you just need to start with that. That’s okay.
When it comes to your spirit, I want you to think about are you growing as an individual? When you think about what your wants and needs are, what you need as just you, not mom, not partner, not employee, not daughter, you. Where do you wanna grow? Who do you wanna be? Are you investing the time into what your spirit really wants the most?
Sometimes that’s just a matter of meditation. You could do guided meditations, journaling. Do you wanna feel more intuitive, more in alignment with what you know to be best for you in your family rather than looking outward to seeing what other people expect of you? Maybe spending time going to therapy is something that would benefit you and just flat out relaxing and giving your spirit a chance to breathe and have space and not worry about all the obligations.
Once you’ve identified what it is that you wanna focus on, when it comes to making your self-care a priority, we need to really look at that time piece. We talked already about whether you have time to make this happen or not. And so I do wanna honor the fact that you do have a lot on your plate. So this doesn’t mean that it has to take a lot of your time, but since you’ve identified it as being a priority for you, you do need to carve out some time to make sure that it happens.
I want you to start by thinking about what is a realistic expectation for how frequently I need to focus on this type of self-care. It might be something like your hydration. You might be focusing on targeting that every day or maybe on weekdays or maybe just starting with weekends.
If it’s different, like making sure that you’re cared for. It could just mean making sure that you’ve made your appointments by a certain date or within a certain period of time. You’ve seen all the doctors you need to see. And then make sure it goes on the calendar. When you put it on the calendar, you’re more likely to follow through with that commitment of your time.
It’s helping preserve it so that nothing else takes up that time and ensures that that actually will happen. It makes it easier to set those boundaries. Once you’ve identified that this is a priority and something that’s really important to you and you’re clear on why it matters, you’re clear on how it’s benefiting you and your family, how it’s empowering you to show up for mom life and ways that are more effective.
It’s a lot easier to say no to the things that come up and try to take away that time and focus on the priorities that will help you focus on self care. So make sure you stick to those commitments.
If you’re someone who struggles with saying no to other people, whether that’s your kids, your partner, anyone outside of your home, it’s okay to use phrases like, “Not right now,” or, “Can I help you later? I understand how important this is to you. I’m so sorry that I can’t take this on right now.”
Saying no doesn’t have to be personal, but you can still add that personal touch to show that connection and that that you understand that what they are asking of you is important to them. Oftentimes validating that desire or that want or that need is enough to help them understand that you care, but you also have other priorities and usually people are pretty willing to honor that.
Lastly, I want to make sure that you are consistent. You’ve identified what it is you’re going to focus on. You’ve carved out the time to make sure that it’s happening. Now you just gotta follow through and stick with it, which is probably the hardest of them all. So I want you ahead of time to make a plan for follow through.
Really play out for yourself. What will this look like in practice? Envision yourself doing the thing. When you visualize like that, it helps your brain really understand. It’s connecting with your mind on here’s what I need you to focus on. So go ahead, close your eyes, picture it happening like a movie, and make sure that you actually then do the thing.
So you wanna make sure you know what you’re going to do and how you’ll know you’ve been successful in doing it. And then make sure you’re giving yourself time to reflect and adjust, because sometimes What we think is gonna work really well ends up not working out quite as we had planned. So that’s okay to be able to follow up on that commitment. I really want you to be open with yourself about what’s working and not at the end of the day, skipping or minimizing your self care is costing you and your family feeling.
And remember that guilt is often a defense mechanism that allows us to continue to put it off, but you must take care of your mind and your body. So I want you to choose to make it a priority. Choose to stay consistent, follow through on how you will practice self-care as a part of your busy mom life. If you wanna be able to pull all these ideas together and really put ’em into action, don’t forget to grab the free organizer that I’ve linked below. It’s there for you to download, print off and help you kind of process your thoughts on what you’re gonna focus on, when you’re gonna do it, and how you’re going to stay consistent.
If you’re ready to prioritize your self care despite being a busy mom, let me know in the comments, drop the word ‘PRIORITY’ down below—I love hearing from you!
And if you know another mom who really could benefit from these practical strategies to help her prioritize her own self care, please copy the link and send it her way. I’m sure she could benefit from these ideas as well.
And I’ll be back next week with more lessons to help you simplify mom life. In the meantime, be sure to check out the resources I’ve shared with you today because making small intentional changes can really have a big impact on how you feel about your life as a mom.
Remember, mom life is complex, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. So let’s take action and simplify mom life—together.
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Mom life is complex,
but it doesn't have to be complicated.
LET'S SIMPLIFY THINGS.