Making time for self-care when you have young children is not easy. I remember struggling to remember my needs when my now teenagers were little. I was so concerned about keeping them healthy and safe that I lost myself a little in that process. This is normal but you can guard against it becoming too much if you look after yourself. Remember doing so is not selfish. You need to be on good form to be a good mum and to be there for those you love most. I am delighted to share this guest post from Petra about how she ensures she makes time for herself whilst parenting and juggling other responsibilities.
Making time for self-care when you have young children
“Indulging in skincare and pampering used to be one of my favourite things to do – well, it actually still is but I just don’t get much time for it these days with three young children. My girls are six years old, three and a half years old and 11 months old and my baby does not sleep in the evenings, just like my older two rarely did.
Obviously, your schedule and priorities change when you become a parent and I can’t spend much time on myself at the moment other than the essentials – pampering is a luxury.
Having minimal time for it does make it even more luxurious when you do get a change to squeeze in a little bit of me-time and self-care and that’s what my aim is at the moment – taking moments when I see them and doing something for myself sometimes. Every little helps.
What self-care is varies for all of us and we all have different things that we find important. For me, it’s being able to have an uninterrupted hot bath with a good book, being able to sit down and enjoy a hot cup of coffee without getting up before it’s gone, doing my very sporadic skincare routine… For me, self-care is even being able to finish little jobs that I want to have done, like putting the washing away or organising something that’s annoying me. When you’re so used to rarely having two hands available or any spare time, things like that become desirable too! They are further down on the list than the bath, the hot coffee and the pampering though…
Below are the things that I’m trying to do to increase the amount of self-care in my life to make myself a happier and calmer mum:
A Hot Bath + Reading a Good Book
This is my favourite way to recharge my batteries and feel like myself again. It doesn’t have to be a fancy bath or a very long one, just 15 minutes or so, on my own, knowing that the kids are looked after by their dad. I love reading and I especially love reading in the bath as there aren’t any distractions in the bathroom, meaning I can focus completely on my book. I have really hot baths that help relax my whole body and any aching muscles from carrying my baby and crawling around, playing on the floor, like you do when you have young children. Sometimes, I’ll do a facemask or use a body scrub when I’m in the bath too for a bit of extra pampering.
I’m trying to make sure I can enjoy this once a week and when I do, I really feel the benefits. I’m much more relaxed and can enjoy the rest of the evening felling calm and more energised from having a little bit of time to myself.
Quick Coffee Moments
I love coffee but most of the time I end up rushing to get it drunk or drink it so slowly while doing lots of other jobs that it’s gone cold and not very nice… I work from home so as soon as my older kids are at school or preschool, I often head straight to my computer to work.
I’m actively trying to not always do this and instead – just a few times a week – take the time to sit down with a hot cup of coffee and drink it while reading or watching something inspirational if my baby is napping (she usually falls asleep on the way home from school). It only takes 10-15 minutes and it feels very luxurious when you’re used to rushing. My work can wait a little bit and taking the time before probably puts me in a better frame of mind for working anyway.
Skincare has always been a hobby for me, and I love trying new products and learning about how to look after my skin. I used to be much better at actually using my products before having kids. I would use lots of different products in the shower and enjoy a proper facial skincare routine morning and night.
With each child, this has happened less and less as time is precious and babies are clingy! Also, when you’re tired, the sofa or the bed is more attractive.
I’ve got a new open shelf in our bathroom on which I have put some of my favourite skincare products to encourage me to use them more. I do not use them every day currently, but I try to take the opportunity to put some cream on my face and massage it in nicely or cleanse my skin quickly when I see an opportunity to do so. The best time for me to indulge a bit more in my skincare is when I give my older children a bath and my baby is with my husband. I have my hands free and must stay in the bathroom anyway so why not look after my skin for a little bit too? It also makes bathtime more enjoyable for me!
A Little bit of Organisation
This might be a weird thing to add to a list of ways to enjoy self-care but it’s something that means a lot to me. I love an organised space, but I can be messy, and the kids are definitely messy! One of the first things I like to do when I have a bit of time is to organise something. A drawer or cupboard, a bookshelf – just a small project that will help bring calmness to our home and myself. This helps me be a happier mum so is important self-care for me.
Making time for self-care when you have young children is not easy but it’s essential. If you don’t do it, then you’ll end up being stressed, unhappy and run down. Decide what’s important to you and take the time to look after yourself – you deserve it! We can all fit in small moments of self-care, no matter how busy we are.”
By Petra from A Mum Reviews
Do you have any tips for making time for self-care when you have young children?