Welcome to the fifth in my series:
The Struggles and Joys of Being a Stay at Home Mom
I want to start off this post by saying a couple things:
- I am not licensed or certified as a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor. If you are depressed or feel you need emotional support, please reach out to someone who is qualified to help you. This post is only regarding challenges I have faced as a stay at home mom, and what I do to help relieve that temporary stress. This post should not be seen as or used for professional or medical advice.
- This post is in no way intended to put down or lessen the roles, challenges, or joys of being a working mom. I've been a working mother myself, and I know all too well the struggles that come with it. In today's world whatever path you take is filled with turbulence as well as beauty. In my book, all moms who are doing the best at what they do and with what they have are super moms. At this point in my life, I am a stay at home mom. So this topic is just close to my heart right now.
Welcome to Part 2 in this series, "The Joys and Struggles of Being a Stay at Home Mom". This series is my way of reaching out to other stay at home moms and letting them know they are not alone. There are plenty of us out there who deal with the same struggles you are facing. We all love our kiddos, and we all love spending our days with them, but that does not mean our days are all sunshine and snuggles. Today's topic...self-care.
With all that we have going on every day, it is not hard to skip doing things that are "low" priority in the essence of time. The problem is that more often than not that "low priority" thing is ourselves.
Let me ask you a question. How many days have you skipped a shower because you did not have the time? Or how many times did you only get 5 hours of sleep because you were up late finishing the last few things on your to do list? Maybe you stay up late getting everything prepared for the morning.
Okay now let's switch gears. How many times have you left dishes in the sink so you could get in bed at a decent time, read a book, or spend some quality time with your significant other? If I was the betting type, I would bet you put taking care of yourself last. I know I do. We are moms. We are supposed to take care of everyone else first. Right?
What is self care?
So what is self care exactly? Self care refers to the actions we take in order to take care of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The activities that help energize us and bring us back to a more balanced, healthy state.
There are all sorts of things you can do to actively practice self care, but more on that in a bit. First, I want to help you understand just how crucial self care really is. For you and your loved ones.
Putting Myself First
This is something I struggle with daily. I have made a habit over the course of my stay at home mom career of putting myself last. A habit of neglecting the things that are most important to me. Those things that allow me to recenter and refocus. In essence neglecting myself.
What I did not realize for quite some time was that neglecting myself had all sorts of repercussions. None of them good.
Here are just some of the things I was subjecting myself to (and you are too if you do not regularly practice self care):
- Compounded effects of stress
- Reduced productivity
- Lowered self esteem
- Lost connection with my true self
- Increased periods of depression
- Strain on my marriage
- Increased mood swings
- Increased anxiety
- Increased susceptibility to burnout
- Increased negativity
- Poor eating habits
- Increased risk of stress related illness
How Do I Practice Self Care?
So how exactly do you practice self care? Think about that things that make you happy. What are you doing when you feel most energized and centered? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Read a book
- Take a bubble bath
- Watch your favorite show
- Get a massage or facial
- Go for a walk by yourself
- Paint your nails
- Do some yoga
- Get up early to watch the sun rise
- Window shop for fun
- Do some gardening
Anything you can think of that you enjoy doing and that makes you feel more focused and relaxed when you are done. Once you have your list/ideas of what you want to do for self care...schedule it. You are more likely to follow through with practicing your self care if you have a planned time to do it. Try 30 minutes a day. Or if you feel like you don't have that much time, start with a few times a week. Just make sure you find time to nurture you, and make yourself a priority. You will feel much better, and everyone that depends on and loves you will thank you for it.
A couple more things...
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If you are a stay at home mom, what struggles do you face? And what do you do to relieve those pressures? Comment below. I'd LOVE to hear from you!