Since becoming a mother, self-care has always been near the top of my ‘to-do’ list, but I can’t seem to put a big tick next to it as often as I’d like. Sure, my children’s needs come first, but I’m a firmly believe that unless I take good care of myself, I can’t do my best when it comes to my children. That’s why I created this self care checklist
A Mother’s Self Care Checklist
Self-care has become a bit of a buzz-phrase lately in the land of the internet, and rightly so! I know so many women that are so determined to do a good job of raising their children that they forget about their own needs. This blog post is dedicated to them. To the mums rarely take 5 minutes for themselves (let alone a whole hour), who skip buying a trashy magazine at the supermarket so they can buy their kid Cornetto, and who never manage to drink their tea while it’s warm.
Use this checklist as a starting point for how to improve your self care. try You should try to develop your own self care checklist and routine from my suggestions so it’s more tailored to what’s important to you.
Here are my favourite ways to recharge. Take heed ladies!
A Spa Break
This is probably my favourite, and certainly the most lavish! I’ve not actually been away on a spa break since my second child was born, but I have been pestering my fellow mum-friend to go on a Champneys spa break with me for my birthday in the winter. I know it’s months away but you really do have to book your childcare well in advance when you’re a mum.
I’ve been in desperate need of a massage for months, and I can confirm it’s almost impossible to relax when there are children under foot. A spa break takes you out of your normal home environment, forces you to make you kids someone else’s problem for a day or two, and gives you the chance to feel like yourself once again.
A Pamper Session
It’s probably a little easier to fit in a pamper session, compared to an actual weekend away. Book a hair appointment, get your nails done, or just take the time to have a long bath and spend a bit of time preening afterwards. The majority or my pamper sessions are DIY.
I love to spend an hour in the bath with a book, then take time drying and styling my hair. I know that sounds like quite a basic level of hygiene, but most days all I get is a quick shower, then my hair goes in a plait and it dries all frizzy. Spending a proper amount of time on my hair feels unbelievably luxurious!
Meal Planning & Meal Prep
I know this sounds more like hard work than self care, but hear me out! I can often get to 3pm before realising I haven’t eaten anything. By that time, it’s the school run and I can’t prepare anything healthy, so some rubbish tends to get gobbled down for a quick fix. When my days go like this, I spend the day feeling drained until I realise I haven’t eaten, then feeling groggy and grumpy in the sugar slump that comes about 30 minutes after I’ve eaten.
When I plan what I’m going to eat, make an effort to shop for the right ingredients, and even prepare it ahead of time, I feel a million times better. Overnight oats are a life saver when you’re rushing around in the morning, and if you serve up an extra portion of the previous night’s tea, then you’ve got a healthy ready meal waiting for you in your fridge come lunchtime.
Getting enough water can be a bit of a challenge too. I’ve started pouring a jug of water in the morning, sticking some chopped fruit in it for flavour and refrigerating it throughout the day. That way I know how much I need to drink and how much I have drunk. If the jug is still full by lunch time, then I’ve not been taking care of myself properly. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel by just upping your water intake.
Cups of tea count too, so why not switch up you regular brew for some caffeine free fruit or herbal teas? Cutting down on caffeine can stop your head buzzing all evening and can help you switch off at night. Which brings me to my next point.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so important but can be pretty elusive when you’re a mother. My youngest is three-and-a-half and he still wakes me up in the night. I’m also very aware that going to bed early too often can make you feel that you don’t spend any of your day doing anything other than parenting, but even a couple of early nights each week can go a long way towards making you feel well-rested and less tired.
Get Some Child-Free Time to Relax
Definitely easier said than done, but not entirely impossible. Even if you’re doing everything on your own and have your hands full, an opportunity will arise. You might need to book an afternoon off work while the kids are at nursery, or you might have to do a long drive to drop them with a willing family member, but trust me, it’s worth it (whatever it takes).
I’m self-employed so all of my child-free time is spend working (plus some times where my children are by my side!). If I’m not working, then I’ve taken a break to do household chores (not exactly a relaxing break, is it?). Occasionally I’ll take a morning off, during that time I might catch up on some uninterrupted trashy TV, or curl up with a book and cuppa while it’s quiet enough for me to concentrate. Even a small amount of time spent doing what I want can feel immensely refreshing. You need to try it!
Spend Money on Yourself
Easier said than done, right? I know full well that some months, spending money on yourself just isn’t possible. But, on those months where you do have a little left over, make sure you get yourself a treat. As parents, we’re so used to putting our needs second that we can forget to treat ourselves very nicely. Buying yourself a treat doesn’t have to be expensive, I’ll sometimes go for a new nail polish, or even a glossy magazine. I think buying yourself the odd treat forces you to remind yourself you’re important too, putting everyone else’s needs first can make you feel like you’re not.
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If you’re interested in self care, you might like to read these low effort beauty essentials for new mums, or maybe my review of these rejuvenating wands or this list of face masks I rate – for every budget!