As moms, we make endless sacrifices for our families. I don’t mean that in a bad way but it’s just the way it is… We give up dreams we once had in a past life. We trade morning showers for nursing in bed. Some trade lunch breaks for potty breaks and some trade time with their family for time at the office. Whichever sacrifices you choose to make for your family doesn’t matter. It’s all in how you manage them all. The reality is, the more you give of yourself, the more time you need to take back for yourself. The mum cup can easily runneth’ dry… And, whats a dry cup to a toddler asking for milk for the billionth time today? Likely a meltdown, which is probably what you’ll eventually be caving into if you don’t don’t care of yourself!
As a mom that works outside the home who also juggles a couple creatively inspirational, yet energy-consuming “side hustles”, I know all too well what it feels like to be BURNT OUT. It’s not good for you, it’s not good for your family & it certainly isn’t good for your work. I don’t sacrifice all that time & energy away from my family just to feel like I can barely keep my eyes open through dinner or not be able to hold a solid, enjoyable conversation with my partner after the tot goes to bed…
Since I recently took a huge leap of faith by going after my dream job(read more about how change is scary but so is being complacent here) & landing it – I needed a little refresher course on self care for the working mom (or new trainee learning so much her brain could explode). I thought back to some of the habits I used to be much more consistent with & have made an oath to myself to raise the bar on upholding them because well, I want to be a happy, working mom. I love my job, my family depends on the income from my job and if we’re being honest, I even like my job more than staying home full time with my kid right now. Please don’t stone me. Toddlerhood is currently having a rough go of it at the Orchard House right now…
So, for those of you lucky enough to spend 8 hours a day with other adults (Bless the souls of all the nannies, babysitters & kindergarten teachers out there, especially ours) – TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF so, at the end of the day, you can go home & be the badass Mum that you know you are.
6 EASY SELF CARE HABITS FOR WORKING MOMS :
(Or for any Moms who celebrate nap times, quiet time, homework time or any other time when they can be alone for more than 30 seconds)
Take a Break – After starting a new job, I realized my ex co-workers weren’t the only ones who frequented their desk for lunch. Trade in your computer chair for 30-60 minutes at an outdoor bench or at the very least just step away from your desk & stretch your legs (If your employer’s sexual harassment policy doesn’t red light you for doing down dog pose out back, then by all means, go for it!) You’ll come back ready to tackle your afternoon schedule & maybe even with a little kick of Vitamin D to help you through.
Commit to 10 Minutes a Day – Take 10 minutes to yourself every single day. Step on your yoga mat, walk around your yard, massage your own head & neck, exercise your creative brain or pop your headphones in to listen to a podcast. Committing to at least 10 minutes everyday is a realistic, achievable goal & it may be all you get so, soak it up will ya!
Wake up Earlier – I know, I know you’ve heard this one before but coming from a non-morning person… It’s possible, I promise. I started with baby steps… And by baby steps, I mean I just stopped hitting the snooze button at my “normal” alarm time & actually got up. Then, I gradually started waking up 10 minutes earlier each day until I could full-heartedly agree with my internal clock to get up 30 minutes earlier to write, do yoga, or *gasp* just drink my coffee in silence. 30 minutes a day amounts to 2 & 1/2 extra hours a week to love yourself if you work 5 days a week!
Go out Once a Week – Leave the kids with your partner or ask one of the many family members that probably beg to
sit on babysit your kids to take them so, you can go out for tea with a girlfriend, catch a yoga class or just drive around listening to all the sweary music really loud. In turn, encourage your partner to do the same so, that you both have the energy & attention to properly care for & love each other – This parenting gig can drain a person’s soul some weeks you know?
Schedule your Bedtime – Yes, put yourself to bed at a designated time at least 3 nights per week. This isn’t just for the kids mamas. Once we start cleaning or working on something, it’s hard to stop so, set an alarm if you have to & put yourself to bed at a decent time to ensure you’re getting enough rest to care for yourself, your family & your work. Your body & mind will thank you. And, maybe even your partner too? 😉
Speak Affirmations– One of the best ways to care for yourself is to truly, deeply, madly, love yourself and there is no shame in speaking it. We already spend a ridiculous amount of time in the car so, why not spend 10-20 minutes of your taxi routine telling yourself how incredibly strong, capable, blessed, smart & healthy you are? Start by making a list of all the things you love about yourself & tape it to your sun visor or hang it from your rear view mirror so, you don’t forget to say it out loud. Bonus points if your kids get in on the action too!
Now, go to sleep.