Self-Care Ideas: How to Focus on Yourself

Being a mom is one of the most important and challenging jobs. These tips can help you find time to take care of yourself on Mother's Day and every day.

"Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease" - Lisa Alther

Being a mom is one of the most important and challenging jobs in the world. While, as a group, we differ in many ways, most of us would agree that being a mother is one of the best things we have ever done.

The work of being a mother is challenging yet unpaid, and often unrecognized as having the same value as paid work. When fathers and mothers both work outside the home, mothers still do more of the housework despite the upward trend of men participating in household chores, according to the American Time Use Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So, while you are busy leading your family, how do you make time to take care of yourself when there are so many competing demands?

Self-Care Ideas for Mothers: How to Focus on Yourself

  • Negotiate free time with your partner or fellow parents. We love our children deeply AND we need some independent time to exercise, pursue hobbies or be with friends. Negotiate with your partner so that each of you have time weekly or monthly to pursue your heart's desires. If you don't have a partner, is there another single parent you could swap child care duties with?
  • Know your priorities. Figure out how to focus on yourself by figuring out your top priorities. Then when you find you have time (your child is invited to a sleepover or the babysitter is suddenly available), you'll already know how you'll use it (take a nap, see a movie, take a long walk, etc.).
  • Find a reliable babysitter. A good babysitter is a treasure. Cultivate these relationships in your neighborhood, faith community or local community center.
  • Be flexible. Everyone needs their own time, but there will be weeks when there are no breaks. Perhaps your children are sick or your partner gets called out of town on business. You may be disappointed at the time, but in the long run, try to appreciate the gift of the extra time with your children.
  • Lean on family. Everyone needs an occasional date night with their partner. In addition to teenage babysitters, many extended family members can't wait for time with their grandchild, niece, or nephew. Cultivate those relationships as well.
  • Share what you appreciate about your family and yourself. Everyone needs to feel appreciated, and this is particularly true of mothers. As your family starts brainstorming Mother's Day ideas, tell them that you'd like to hear one or more appreciations from everyone who is old enough to understand the concept in lieu of gifts this Mother's Day. Take time to celebrate the little things. End with a self-appreciation of what you are most proud of about yourself as a mom.

Being a mother is one of the most important jobs in the world. Take it seriously, but don't forget to take care of yourself. Use these self-care ideas so that you can notice and appreciate how wonderful it is to impact the world through raising the next generation.

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Written by: Bright Horizons Education Team

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