By Kathryn Peck
True, the holidays are hectic, stressful, and they leave me a bundle of nerves for 30 days straight. I want to enjoy the season; I truly do. But between the gift buying, gift wrapping, cookie making, pot lucks, special school pajama days, order form deadlines, thank you notes and that all-important meal prep, sometimes enjoying the season just gets away from me.
And that’s just it. As a parent, we’re so often focused on taking care of the needs of those around us that we neglect our own.
But self-care for parents is important. To relieve stress, to improve wellness, and that all points back to your ability to care for others. This time of year, and any time, self-care is necessary.
So we talked to some moms out there about their own self-care routines. We asked them, what is one thing that they do for themselves every day? That one thing they enjoy, that helps them reset, slow down, and enjoy a (usually quiet) moment.
According to Deanna, a mom of 1, every day she makes it a point to go for a walk. In the morning, it’s with her baby and the dog. But in the evening, after her little one goes to bed, her husband settles in to watch a television show he likes, and she enjoys a quiet walk with just the dog. “It is so nice to be out when the hot summer weather has cooled off and just get some quiet time,” Deanna adds.
Francesca, also a mom of 1, says, “Every morning I drink my coffee while reading my emails and scrolling through Instagram. It’s my uninterrupted ‘me time’ while my daughter enjoys her breakfast. It’s not long, but every sip of coffee brings me closer to euphoria!”
“I admit that sometimes I struggle to find time for self care as a mom,” says Kristy, a mom of 2. “Ideally I’d love 30 minutes alone each day for a quick workout. Those post-workout endorphins are real!! But realistically that doesn’t always happen so I am grateful even for a quick 10 minute meditation class on my Peloton app. It’s a great way to reset the mind and feel ready for whatever the day might bring. If all else fails and the day is wild, I’ll scroll the gram late at night to wind down and relax.”
Ideally I’d love 30 minutes alone each day for a quick workout. Those post-workout endorphins are real!! But realistically that doesn’t always happen so I am grateful even for a quick 10 minute meditation class." - Kristy
Mom of 2, Melanie, says, “Over the years I’ve learned to get up early. I have my morning coffee in silence. I do devotionals, set aside meditation with simple breathing practices. If this doesn’t happen by 5:30 am, it doesn’t happen. Once I’ve put myself together and made time for this sacred space, I’m ready to tackle anything that comes my way. This is a difficult discipline in the early years as sleep deprivation makes the early wake up time unthinkable…. But as the time passes I’ve found it a necessary non-negotiable if I want to keep my sanity and patience day in/day out.”
Melanie also adds that she makes it a point to take a trip away somewhere for her birthday each year. “This year I went to Brimfield, Mass., for their big antiques show because it fills my well. I meet a dear friend and the mere act of getting away solely for the pleasure of it feels nourishing to the soul.”
Aubrey, who’s son is now 3, admits, “After becoming a mom I became a nighttime shower person. Once my son is in bed and the house is (generally) in good order, I take a long shower and decompress from the day. I slowly go through my evening skincare routine, take care brushing my teeth, reflect on highlights and challenges from the day, and mentally prepare for the next morning.”
And Kaitlin, a mom of 2, says that, “Mom self care for me is sticking to my workout plan and not giving that up. Coffee in the morning with a bit of alone time before the kids wake up. My next goal is working on adding in some meditation/mindfulness to my day.”
About the author: Kathryn is the owner of Bicycle Pie and mom of 4 little ones. Also a writer, editor, and former owner of one of Boston's premiere baby boutiques, she continues to write about motherhood, children's products, family life, and all other things that test our skills and patience as parents.