Welcome to Motherhood: Where you make sure that your baby is clean and comfy while you can’t even brush your teeth! Now that you’re a mother, gone are the days of undisturbed 8 hours (or more!) of sleep.
Sometimes though, have you ever find yourself asking, “When can I have time for myself? Will I be able to drink my coffee while still hot anytime soon?
Yes, as moms, we have lots of things to juggle daily: taking care of the kids, managing our families’ finances, and fitting in bonding time with our loved ones. And this can be more difficult for single mothers too.
We easily forget ourselves for the sake of others. However, you cannot give what you don’t have! You have to fill your cup too so that you can pour for others.
So even if your time is very limited and your budget is tight, here are some low-cost and simple ways we can sneak in self-care for us mommies that won’t hurt your pockets!
Learn new things
Learning new information does not only give us wisdom and knowledge for parenting and raising up our kids in this generation but is also one of the great ways of taking care of yourself and using your imagination.
If you do not enjoy reading books, then you must not have found the right book for you yet. The topics can range from romance, fantasy, adventure, history, and business. Even Christian and parenting books are available that would be helpful in your motherhood journey. Clearly, there will be one that will be within your interest. And while you’re at it, grab a cup of coffee, tea, or your fave drink and savor the words.
For me, nothing beats the smell and feel of the old school physical books. However, the convenience that the other book formats provide should not be dismissed too. Ebooks make it easier to read in your mobile phones while your child is resting (you know, instead of mindlessly scrolling on Facebook!), and audiobooks, on the other hand, keep your hands free and help you multitask while listening to it. For working moms, you can read or listen while commuting to and from your workplace or on your break time. One chapter daily is a good start.
If you do not enjoy reading books, then you must not have found the right book for you yet.
Listening to podcasts
Podcasts are like interviews or radio shows, aired usually for free through different apps that are compatible with most of the smartphones nowadays. Most of the time, you can access it through the host’s website too.
I love podcasts because I can listen to it without paying anything and while taking a shower, getting dressed up, going to work, and doing household chores. It’s like reading a summary of a book, perfect for moms on the go! Plus, there are a lot of topics that you can listen about. From parenting, homemaking, leadership, to business and personal development, you won’t run out of topics to listen to for free!
Having an outlet for your creativity, thoughts, emotions, and dreams is one of the best ways to care for your mental health. Let go of all the feelings you are carrying in your heart and pour out your soul on your creations.
Writing it down
Reflecting on yourself and your life will pave the way for you in getting to know yourself better. You can do journaling in less than an hour daily or weekly to release your thoughts. Squeeze in some time while your baby is still sleeping, or before going to bed.
What works with me is jotting every now and then my goals, dreams, and plans for that specific day, month, or year. It serves as a huge reminder for me to keep myself on track, and it pushes me to be a better version of myself. Writing daily a list of things that you are grateful for is also one way of starting your day on a positive note.
For the artsy moms out there, arts and crafts are their best bet to express their creativity. You can do something out of your hands for your family and friends within a short amount of time.
One of the therapeutic ways to do this is to use coloring books for adults. It is very relaxing, and the materials can be easily sourced. Simple color pencils, crayons, or markers can be used, and the coloring books are widely available in the bookstores. You may also print free coloring sheets from the web. Plus, there’s no pressure to finish an entire page every time you do it. Several strokes at a time will be fine.
Moving your body (well, aside from doing household chores and chasing the kids), is a way to de-stress too. Contrary to popular belief that it makes you tired, it actually releases good energy for both your body and brain.
You do not have to do a full-blown expensive gym membership. As busy moms, you can get ideas from YouTube or downloadable apps, which can be incorporated in your lifestyle by doing at least 5 to 10 minutes only for starters. That is just around 2-5 songs in your workout playlist. My personal fave is doing any form of dance, and I usually do it with my baby while we are watching dance videos. It is exercise and bonding time rolled into one!
Connect with others
You can find support and friendship with women like you who know the struggles and challenges of being a mother. Sometimes, all we need is a friend with a listening ear or a helping hand for us to be able to air out our stress and worries.
Attending events and workshops
Aside from meeting new people and networking with like-minded individuals, this is a way to take care of yourself too! In this way, you are learning new things on specific topics while interacting with fellow moms, be it other working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, or mompreneurs.
I enjoy these events as I go out of my normal routine. Some mommy-friendly events allow kids too, so it is a plus for us. I am learning and at the same time sharing relatable stories with other mothers. And the registration fees are usually affordable too! Some are even free during bazaars and mall fairs.
Hanging out with friends
Even now you’re already a mother, you still have to make time for your old pals too. They were with you before you got pregnant, and are still supporting you now that you became a mom. Whether they are fellow mothers too or not, you still have to maintain your friendship.
If your schedules permit, you can have your group of friends or barkada schedule a time to meet everyone quarterly. But if it won’t be possible, at least make it a point to meet one friend (or group of friends) monthly. You can bring your kids with you too and hang out in child-friendly areas. Surely their ninangs, ninongs, titos, and titas would love to see them too!
Sometimes, all we need is a friend with a listening ear or a helping hand for us to be able to air out our stress and worries.
Prayer and quiet time
Every single day, we nourish our bodies with healthy and nutritious food. However, we often forget to nourish our spirits. Dedicating your life on serving others will eventually burn you out. To be truly happy, you have to make the Lord the center your life.
Doing daily devotions is the most important, but most neglected self-care routine. Maintaining your spiritual health is vital in your day to day living. If not, time will come that you will be drained and worn out too.
I experienced it myself. The time came when I thought my life was beyond repair. I was too caught up with the struggles of my motherhood journey that I came to the point of regret.
I became a miserable and grumpy mom. I was barely surviving every single day. Only when I found my way back to the Lord that I realized that being a mother has a purpose in my life. Yes, my little baby and my motherhood is my greatest blessing in disguise. And as for me, it is the greatest way of self-care anyone should do for herself.
Whatever your religious beliefs are, ask yourself daily, ‘What does the Lord want me to do today for His glory?”
Dedicating your life on serving others will eventually burn you out. To be truly happy, you have to make the Lord the center your life.
As life happens, finding time for yourself will get you nowhere. To have a successful self-care routine, you have to MAKE time for it instead. Recognize that as moms, you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of your family that God entrusted you with. I hope that the ideas listed above will remind and inspire you to take on self-care activities.
Which one of the following ideas are you planning to try out soon? Share it in the comment box below so we can encourage each other ❤