Self care for moms looks like this mom and baby snuggling on a bed getting ready for nap time.

The SmartMom Guide to Self Care for Moms

As moms, what’s most important to us is taking care of our children so that they thrive and develop the skills they will need to be happy, healthy individuals. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world and we take that job seriously. We work to provide both physical and mental care for our children. Each day we plan out their meals, snacks, and activities. We make sure they’re clean. We tend to them when they are sick with extra cuddles and sometimes doctor’s visits. We follow our instincts and get the job done. However, in the midst of the adventures (and misadventures) of motherhood, we forget about one of the most important aspects of being a mom: self care. We forget to take the time to care for ourselves. If we want to be the best for our kids, we have to work at this, too.

Now let’s get real for a second. When you’re a mom, self care always comes with loads of guilt: “shouldn’t I stay with my kids at all times?” The truth is, if you don’t take care of you, it is harder to take care of others, namely your children. Moms need some down time, too. Even if it’s just a few hours a week, make time for it. If you need to, hire some help or enlist a family member to watch the kids. Self care for moms is not only well-deserved, it’s necessary!

Mental

Sometimes as moms we need to feel productive outside of being a mom. We feel productive when all the laundry is done, dinner is cooked and cleaned up, play dates are planned, but finding a creative outlet can help moms feel productive in a way that gives them renewed satisfaction. There are times where moms need some quality quiet time. For some moms, this means literally sitting alone in a quiet room. Others find rest in a good book or a hobby such as knitting or other crafts. For me, it’s a Netflix marathon (or what feels like a marathon) snuggled up in my bed. Whatever it is, find a way to turn off mommy brain – even if it means binge watching your favorite show (Orange is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the classic Friday Night Lights get me through folding many loads of laundry with a cat nap in between dry cycles).

Physical

Most mothers agree that exercise is a crucial part of “me” time. Yes, you’ve been moving all day, running after your toddler, hauling laundry, bending down to pick up dropped pacifiers, putting kids in and out of car seats. But finding time for quality exercise, whether it’s Zumba or a walk in your neighborhood, will boost energy levels and give you some time alone with your thoughts. Mom strength is one thing, but finding your inner strength mentally and physically is of the utmost importance when practicing self care for moms.

Social

Let’s face it, moms crave adult conversation. After a full day of answering the incessant “why” questions or babbling to your infant, we want to hear about our spouse’s day or catch up with a friend in order to feel like a regular human being (and forget about that huge diaper blowout this morning). It’s an important part of self care for moms to get out of the house, away from the mess, the chores, the toys and spend time with friends over uninterrupted cups of coffee and full meals you don’t have to plan for or clean up after.

Self care for moms is of the utmost importance. It gives hard-working mamas an opportunity to take a break and regroup, so you can return to the adventures and misadventures of motherhood feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.

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