You Deserve a Break Today: A Practical Primer for Putting Yourself First, Mama
Yes, motherhood is filled with glorious giggles, warm cuddles, and countless magical moments—and it’s also a lot of work. Life with littles can be beyond busy: Well-child exams, the dentist, soccer class, play dates, haircuts, field trips… and that’s on top of the normal school-eat-play-bed routine! It’s no wonder that many mamas—and papas—have self-care penciled in at the bottom of a (very long) to-do list.
Well, this Mother’s Day, we say treat yourself by putting yourself first! It needn’t be glamorous or expensive—maybe you’ll finally see the chiropractor or have tacos with your bestie. Don’t feel guilty for taking the time to yourself—after all, when you’re healthy and happy, your family can be, too!
Add these six self-care steps to the top of your to-do list, and get started today!
1. See the Doc and Dentist
“I need to see the dentist, I’m already a few months overdue,” you think to yourself—and then another year passes. Sound familiar? It’s easy to put something off that doesn’t feel urgent. But a little routine maintenance today is the best way to prevent much bigger ouches in the future.
Get ’er done: Set aside 15 minutes to sit down and make appointments with all your health care providers at once: doctor, dentist, dermatologist, chiropractor, therapist, etc. (and write them all down on your calendar!). With this one small act of scheduling, the finish line is already in sight!
2. Write Exercise into Your Schedule
If your days already feel like a mad dash, taking time out to move on purpose might feel impossible—but it’s not. There are actually quite a few ways to sneak in a little exercise, whether you have a luxurious 30 minutes alone or only two, it’s worth it! The benefits of exercise can make the rest of your work-and-parenting day easier by improving your mood and focus, reducing stress, increasing strength and flexibility (which comes in handy for holding your toddler, work bag, coffee mug, and groceries while closing the car door with your foot)—and you may even sleep better (and who doesn’t want that?).
Get ’er done: If you live by your calendar, block out a few exercise sessions per week and make them just as important as meetings or deadlines—because they are. A great motivator: Make it a date and go with a pal!
3. Make a Date with Your Sweetie
With all the work and family commitments in your life, it’s easy to put one-on-one time with your one-and-only on the back burner. But making time for a date night is a wonderful way to take a breather from your daily responsibilities, remember why you love each other, and have some fun (all while someone else is responsible for the kids’ bedtime).
Get ’er done: Call the sitter and see when s/he is free next—whether it’s a Saturday or a Tuesday, there’s a fab date night waiting to be had!
4. Remember—Mommies Can Have Haircuts, Too
Thank goodness messy buns are a trend, but mommies deserve haircuts—or a new ‘do—too. While we’re at it, sometimes painting your nails, shaving your legs, or that fancy clay mask really should take precedence over the laundry or dishes. A little self-care can go a long way in boosting your confidence—and mood.
Get ’er done: When you see your hairdresser, consider booking your next appointment before you leave (and request a reminder call). You can always reschedule if needed, and you’ll have it on your radar.
5. Cut Yourself Some Slack
Sometimes what you really need is to order pizza so you can kick a ball in the yard with your kid, zone out with Netflix, read a few pages of a novel, or go to bed early. There’s no need to finish all the chores all the time—we promise, the world won’t end.
Get ’er done: Go ahead and ignore that to-do list for tonight. You deserve it!
6. Make a Date with a Friend
Be it a gab session about everything under the sun or just a night full of belly laughs, quality time with your buds can help you feel happier, calmer, and more connected. Plus, time away from your kiddos is a great way to remember how magical they are.
Get ’er done: Stop reading this story and text, call, or email a friend to see when she’s free to hang. Got it? Great! Don’t you feel better already?