Self-care is extremely important for everyone. Most people know that they should shower daily and maybe change out of their pajamas before leaving the house.
But for a mama, that is a luxury. I learned that very quickly after I had my baby.
Isn’t that what makes a mom so amazing? They are so selfless that they forget to take care of themselves so that they can take care of their kiddos.
Moms, I applaud you. But I want to give you permission (even though you don’t need my permission) to treat yo’self.
Take care of you.
Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression
I didn’t know exhaustion until I became a mom. Mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion.
It’s very common for new moms to experience anxiety, stress, and/or sadness after having a baby, it’s known as “baby blues”. Some moms even experience more serious mood disorders, known as postpartum depression (PPD).
- Mood swings
- Extreme sadness
- Fear of being left alone with the baby
- Not able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Panic attacks
- Thoughts of hurting self or baby
PPD doesn’t discriminate. It can affect any mama, days or even months after delivery. It affects 1 in 7 women (more than 3 million U.S. cases a year). It is real. It is serious. And it is treatable with the right professional help.
Mamas go through a lot even before their little babe arrives. Mentally, emotionally, and physically.
That’s why we want to talk about self-care and some ways for mamas to stay sane.
Ways to Stay Sane
For some reason as moms, we feel like we can’t do anything except take care of our baby.
Your husband comes home from a long day at work and you build up the courage to ask if he can watch the little one for just a few minutes so you can soak in the bath. And as soon as you get settled in the tub, you hear your baby crying and you jump out to take care of him.
Have you been there? I know I have. The funny thing is my husband LOVES helping and taking care of our baby, but for some reason, I feel bad asking.
This is called Mom Guilt. Mom guilt is defined as guilt a mother feels anytime she takes time to do something for herself, outside of work, that does not involve her children.
As a mom, you should just expect to feel mom guilt, but don’t let that stop you from taking care of yourself.
Some self-care ideas:
- Exercise: I think about exercising every day but I never actually do it. I want that to change. It’s common for mamas to gain some weight during pregnancy and that weight doesn’t magically fall off. Not only can regular exercise help you lose that baby weight, but it can also help you mentally. Even a quick 20-30 minute workout can release endorphins helping you feel better.
- Work: Say what? Yes, I said work. Sometimes it feels good to have a focus other than your child. Being able to work towards a goal can feel really good. Finding a job that gives you the ability to take care of your babies and bring in some money is a win-win.
- Hobbies: Whether it’s stamp collecting, knitting, or sudoku, you do you. Sometimes (very very rarely) I remember that I was an individual person before having this mini person with me 24/7. When I make time to do something I love, it brings me some zen and focus, which is a nice break from frantic mama brain.
- Relax: A little bubble bath, maybe a massage, or better yet a pedicure. Find a way to let your hair done and prop those feet up. Best case scenario, have your hubby or a friend watch the baby while you enjoy your relaxation time. Worst case scenario, lay your baby within view while you soak in the bath.
Why Taking Care of Yourself is A Must
But seriously. It’s like when you get on an airplane and they go through the safety instructions. They always say how you should put the mask on yourself before helping your child with their mask.
I never understood that until I realized that your baby needs you, yes YOU to take care of them. But if you don’t put your oxygen mask on everyday first, you won’t be able to take care of your kiddo.
Find out what your oxygen mask is. Take time daily to focus on yourself and your health. Not only will this help you be the best version of yourself but it will help you be a better mom in the end.
And if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, amirite?
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