Self-care Tips for Busy Moms

Self-care Tips for Busy MomsHomeschool moms are a funny bunch.

The impression that many non-homeschoolers have of us is that we’re home all day, blissfully and smoothly overseeing our children’s education, and perhaps popping in a load of laundry or two while the house stays kept up (because, after all, we are home all day, right?).

Family and close friends imagine our days as a frantic whirlwind of activity, chauffeuring kids from morning to night, then burning the midnight oil to finish academic assignments (and perhaps household chores) that might not have gotten accomplished amid the hustle and bustle of the day.

Somewhere in the middle is about right – except I’d add one particular issue to the mix:

No matter how frantic or stress-free a given day is, most of us still struggle with taking care of ourselves!

Why is that?

And even more importantly – how can we do better?

Why Moms Don’t Take Care of Themselves

I won’t bore you with too many reasons because most likely if you’re reading this article, you’re already rationalizing why you’re no good at taking care of yourself! Too busy, too tired, too many kids, too many responsibilities, too little time, too little money, too much to accomplish…. We might as well face it: if there’s one thing “us moms” are good at, it’s justifying why we’re so good at taking care of others, at our own expense. (Of course, we wouldn’t quite say it that way, but that’s another story.)

The Key to Better Self-care

You’ll read this in lots of articles about lots of different topics, and that’s because it’s at the root of what we do: adjust your attitude, ladies!

You’re gonna laugh, but I have personal “attitude adjusters” all over my life. I have 3X5 cards on my dressing table mirror, the wall next to my computer desk, and in my purse with various “notes to self”:

“Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goals!”

“There’s only one you – take good care of her!”

“Stop acting like the center of the wheel – that’s God’s job!”

I even have scheduled texts to my phone with daily positive affirmations. The whole point is to help me simultaneously take off some of the false responsibility I feel, and remind myself of the responsibility I do have for and to myself.

Simple Self-care Tips

Start the day off right! When the alarm rings, don’t hit the snooze button. Consider it your “me time” and you may begin to approach morning with a whole different mindset! I mean, doesn’t it sound just yummy to enjoy a hot cuppa in the morning surrounded by brand new sunshine and lovely peace and quiet?

Get your kids in the act. Teach them to start seeing the value in and developing the habit of personal care time. Don’t call it afternoon “nap time” or even “quiet time.” Try calling it “me time” for everyone, and explain to them that this is something both grown-ups and growing-ups need to be healthy and happy. A friend of mine calls it “2-4 time”: from 2 pm to 4 pm (use your own times, of course, but I’d suggest you make it a minimum of one hour) each person stays in his or her room and reads, or thinks, or rests, or works on their coloring book. Only one rule: no electronics. This is time to quiet the soul, too, and that ain’t gonna happen with a tech toy in operation.

Put it on the calendar. You schedule doctor’s appointments and family vacations and perhaps even dates with your spouse, right? Those are important. And blocks of time for lunch with a friend, or a mani-pedi, or even some time alone at the library or with a good book at the park (a personal favorite) are important, too. But the adage “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” applies here, too — so get it on the schedule!

Use technology if you must. Ever heard of IFTTT? It stands for “If This, Then That”, and it’s an app that allows you to make “recipes” by connecting other apps. Let me give you an example. I created a “recipe” to send myself those daily positive affirmations/attitude adjusters I mentioned above. Inside the app, I set it to text me {insert content here} every day at {insert time here}. That’s it! Everyday I get my message and move on! You can go in and change up the message/s you get, or the time, or frequency, or even where it’s sent (it can go to your phone, or a Facebook message or a tweet, too!).

So now we have no excuses, right? Make sure you find at least ONE way TODAY to start taking better care of yourself. Remember: you don’t have to juggle everything you might be juggling right now. Yes, there’s only one you – but that just makes it all the more reason to lighten up your load, and be a little more loving… on you!

Be well, friend.

 

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Pat Fenner has been chief-cook-and-bottle washer on the home front since the dark ages. Wife to a self-employed entrepreneur hubby and homeschooling her 5 children, she has juggled more jobs and projects over the years than she cares to admit! Right now she co-owns and writes at PatAndCandy.com, where she shares wisdom attained from the school of hard knocks on parenting and homeschooling. Visit her site (PatAndCandy.com) and download a FREE PDF "A Mother's Affirmation" to remind you how important YOU are to your brood!

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  • Theresa,
    I hope your readers realize that you don’t *have” to be a homeschoolin’ mom to use these ideas!
    Thanks so much for the opportunity to speak to them…praying this will be a blessing to at least one.

    • Yes, of course! These are great tips for all moms. Thank you for sharing!