It's February and chances are you have had a crazy start to 2023! Now everyone is back to school, back to work and all the holiday celebrations are over, it's probably likely that you may be feeling burnt out. The idea of taking a nap while someone else cleans your house, cooks dinner for the family and does a load of washing probably sounds heavenly!
In the aftermath of the pandemic, I've noticed numerous mothers neglecting the age-old adage, "It takes a village." And truth be told, it absolutely does. Even though I reside in a household with four adults and two children, where we evenly distribute parental responsibilities, I frequently find myself overwhelmed by the chaos, commotion, and never-ending tasks. At SJ's, we've compiled a comprehensive list of techniques to help you carve out personal time and nurture your own well-being, ensuring that your cup remains full.
Be Specific About Your Needs: Tips on Self-Care
Help looks different to every mum. What works for me, may be different to what works for you. Instead of reaching out to your village and simply saying ‘I need help’ Try to make specific requests. For example if you have a new baby in the house and find their afternoon sleep coincides with school pickup for an older child, ask a friend or family member to assist you with either sitting with your little one while they sleep or helping with the school pickup. You will find people are more than willing to help in times when you wouldn’t usually ask.
indulging in a good book can alleviate stress that you might not even realize you're carrying. The key is carving out moments of self-care, no matter how small
Put Yourself First: Prioritizing Your Self-Care
I recall a poignant piece of advice my mother once shared with me – she emphasized that I couldn't be a truly effective mother to my daughter unless I prioritized my own happiness and well-being. In that moment, I rolled my eyes, thinking, "Seriously? How am I supposed to find time for myself amidst this chaotic whirlwind?" However, with time, I came to realize that she was absolutely right.
My patience was wearing thin, frustration running high, and an unending pursuit of perfection left me perpetually exhausted. It was then that I made a decision – I took a day for myself. I made an appointment at my beloved pre-parenthood day spa, booking a blissful session of soaking and massage. It consumed three precious hours of my day, but upon returning home, I was transformed. The respite and relaxation provided me with the clarity to recognize the true extent of my stress. It allowed me to reflect upon my mothering journey and acknowledge the moments when my negative energy affected my daughter. Surprisingly, those three hours not only benefited me, but also had a positive ripple effect on my husband, daughter, and other family members.
Even if spas aren't your cup of tea, simply snuggling up under a cozy throw (like the Mumma Blankets from Snuggly Jacks!) and indulging in a good book can alleviate stress that you might not even realize you're carrying. The key is carving out moments of self-care, no matter how small, to replenish your spirit and recharge your energy. Remember, by nurturing yourself, you're not only benefiting your own well-being but also creating a positive impact on those around you. Prioritize self-care – for yourself, for your family, and for the joyous journey of motherhood.
Asking your kids for help can actually be engaging and fun, as well as starting to help build the skills and confidence
Plan Ahead and No Excuses
Set yourself some planned ahead dates. Call a friend and plan to go on a coffee date together. Join the gym and sign up for a specific class that you can’t opt out of. As a mum, it's so easy to have an excuse not to do something for yourself. ‘I can’t today, but I will tomorrow’ can so easily become the standard excuse. And I know, you actually do intend to do it tomorrow, but then when tomorrow comes something else pops up and you miss the opportunity again. This is a no excuses accepted relationship you have to create with yourself. Planning ahead can help to make sure you keep these dates with yourself. It's often harder to let down a friend or your partner than it is to let yourself down, so make sure you involve others to ensure you keep the date.
Empowering Young Helpers: Engaging Kids in Household Chores
Are the dishes piling up? Is that basket of washing overflowing? Are you dreading having to cook another dinner for your family? Involve your kids. Have them help you wash some of the unbreakable dishes, or get them to put the clothes into the washing machine. It’s so easy to go on autopilot when you are a mum. You get home from a long day at work and you just follow the same steps you usually would. Asking your kids for help can actually be engaging and fun, as well as starting to help build the skills and confidence they will need to become independent themselves. My daughter loves to have one on one time with me regardless of the activity.
Stop Being Such a Control Freak
Typically, I'm an extremely particular individual. I have a specific way of doing things, and it's challenging for me to relinquish control and allow others to do things differently. However, running a successful business has taught me the importance of letting go. It's simply impossible for me to single-handedly manage everything. There are only so many hours in a day, and even if there were more, I would be completely overwhelmed, making me an unpleasant presence to be around. Take a moment to reflect on what truly matters to you. Is it the precise order of laundry on the clothesline, or is it granting yourself the time to luxuriate in a warm bath or finally indulge in that long-postponed massage? Prioritizing what truly brings value to your life can lead to a greater sense of fulfillment and well-being.
However you choose to do it, know that asking for help doesn’t make you inferior or weak. Its important to let others in and to make sure you call out for help when you need it.