Making Time for Self- Care When You're a Mom

Self care is something I struggled with so much when my kids were young.  I found it so hard to set aside my kids' needs for my own but knew I needed to now and then for my sanity.

Each stage of parenting required me to think of new ways to carve out just a bit of time for myself.



When I had an infant around I often brought them right into the bathroom with me so I could shower and pamper myself for as long as I could keep them content.

As they became toddlers I often waited until my husband got home and once or twice a month would sneak off for a nice long bubble bath in the whirlpool tub knowing they were in good hands. I would read, enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa or iced tea and just try to forget all that I felt I had to do. Best of all the sound of the jets drowned out all the other sounds in the house!



As they reached preschool age I could leave them with a sitter or family member for the day and take off for some retail therapy.  One morning a week I signed up for an exercise class and enjoyed having that time to myself knowing they were in school and again, well taken care of.

Then we began homeschooling and it seemed like ALL my time was once again getting sucked up by my role as parent and teacher.  I started feeling burned out and, once again, found myself trying to carve out time for me.

I often snuck in simple at home workout videos early in the morning while they were sleeping... something I still do even though I have teens that rarely seem to NEED me anymore.


We began hiking a lot because I find it rejuvenating to be out in nature.  Often my boys hike faster than I do and I am left alone with my thoughts.



I started setting aside Saturday mornings for scrapbooking, card making and other hobbies I enjoyed but never seemed to find the time for anymore.

Then it seemed like I blinked and suddenly I had pre-teens and teens that could stay home alone.  That no longer seemed to want or need my undivided attention ALL THE TIME.

Each age and stage made it just a bit easier to carve out me time but I fully admit that this past year or two has been the easiest by far.

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Comments

  1. A great post! I love your blog < 3
    I am following you and invite you to me
    https://milentry-blog.blogspot.com

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    1. Aw, thank you! I'll be sure to stop by and check out your blog.

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  2. Self-care is so important especially now that I homeschool. I appreciate it more now than ever. Meeting friends for coffee has been one of my go-to self-care processes. :)

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    1. I honestly had to stop and think and write up a list of things that I enjoyed doing before I had kids in order to think of what kind of things would help with self-care after kids.

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  3. I think the early years are definitely the hardest until they can start doing things for themselves! #MMBC

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  4. This post speaks to a younger me. But I need to pick a morning one day a week now to set aside for hobbies. Just one morning!! I always seem to have something to wash, iron, fold, putaway, dust, vacuum instead. Need to get over it!

    My daughters' father (exhusband) would only allow me a few minutes to myself when my girls were asleep. If I wanted to run, I did it then. Grocery shopping? Then. We lived in Panama so didn't have shopping malls, clothing stores that I frequented. And he didn't permit me to take the girls to the beach or the pool without him. Kinda controlling, huh? So whatever I did get to do had to be done very quickly during afternoon naps on Saturdays.

    So glad to be out of that relationship and to have more me time these days.

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    1. It is hard to set aside the to do list and focus on "fun" stuff like hobbies but I am finding that I am happier now that I have.

      I am glad to hear you are out of that relationship as it does sound kinda controlling. I have ben so lucky that my husband has often pitched in without complaint.

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  5. I love your ideas! I set Liam up on his little playmate right beside me in our bathroom while I prep and get ready too! Great minds think alike :) Thanks for linking up today!

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    1. At least if they're nearby you know what they're up to.

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  6. It really IS a jolt when we begin to realize that our mothering is changing and our kids are competent and self-reliant. I get asked ALL THE TIME about what I'm going to do with myself after our fourth son graduates in May.
    I'm sure I'll think of something....

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    1. It really is. Sometimes it feels like the slugging through day to day sameness will never end and then all of a sudden everything feels different. I'm sure you'll think of something too!

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  7. Great timeline on selfcare!
    Great ideas for each stage your children went though.

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  8. All great ideas for self-care! Thanks for linking up with us :)

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  9. As my girls have got older I have found it easier to make time for myself. Now they're off out with friends all the time I feel pretty lost without them being here. lol

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  10. Thanks for linking up! I wonder if I'd use a whirlpool tub if I had one. I'm not so into taking baths for some reason!

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    1. I've always been a bath person. I find them very relaxing but I think it's the kind of thing where you either like them or you don't.

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  11. I love this. I am right in the middle of toddlerhood again! It was a big adjustment going from having five kids age 6-16 that were self-reliant and super easy to take places. Now I have a 15 month old who is a great toddler, but he is still a toddler! So hard to find time to do the things I enjoy. The kids do take turns playing with him so I can get housework, blogging, and lesson planning done, but it will be nice to have some more me-time in a few years.

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    1. I bet that must have taken some adjustment! I love that your older kids can help out though.

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  12. I am in serious need of me-time these days! Some days I feel like I’m not getting even an hour to myself. I have been really enjoying reading in my spare time and have managed a book a month this year. I know to some it doesn’t sound like much, but with a full time work schedule and a four and eight year old, it’s hard to get those spare moments in. It’s hard, knowing that there will be a time when they don’t want or need me around, to not cherish and participate in every moment I can with them. Though I am finally understanding the importance of self-care, and taking the time out.

    Yesterday my mom and I went for a walk, the kids came for the first part and when they got tired my husband took them home, and my mom and I continued walking for three and a half miles. It felt wonderful to have that alone time while getting some much needed steps in.

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    1. That sounds like the perfect compromise between spending time with the kids and getting in some alone time and exercise!

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  13. I love to see how self care changes with the different season you are in. Thank you for sharing and linking up with Not Just A Mom.

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  14. It is so true how self care becomes easier as the children grow older. Smiling at the idea of the water jets drowning out the sound! #mmbc

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    1. Thank you; I must say it was a great side effect of having a bath.

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  15. Great post. My kids may be grown and out of the house but I still struggle to stop and enjoy time for self care at times. I allow my to-do list and should be doing list to take over and you still need to make the mind shift to take care of yourself. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

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    1. It can be hard to just make time for ourselves without guilt!

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