Having some form of self care is an important practice for motherhood to be the best mom you can be! Here are some of my favorite self care ideas for moms when balancing motherhood and self.
I’ve mentioned before that I was naive to what motherhood entailed before it happened. To some extent, I think most first time moms are.
Balancing motherhood and a sense of self can be a tough task!
Unless you’ve had an older sibling or close family member or friend go through the first time transition of motherhood, I don’t think you can ever know what to expect!
And it doesn’t change going to 2 kids, or even going from 2 to 3 kids. If anything, it gets much more difficult!
While I felt it would initially be a little easier to carve out time for me, I quickly realized that newborns depend on having you near constantly, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Whether you’re 3 months postpartum or 6 or 9, it’s all still a balancing act of trying to navigate your new life.
You almost need to be close by at all times, so balancing running and breastfeeding can get tricky.
Once Camryn got a little bit older and started taking bottles, it became a little easier for me to do my own little excursions. It just required me to plan ahead and pump regularly.
But, I’ve realized how much better I feel when I get a little time to myself. I 100% think it has enabled me to be a better mom to Camryn while promoting my own sanity and happiness.
So, here are some of my favorite tips on how I’ve introduced some self awareness into first time motherhood.
In no way do I think I’ve found the perfect balance yet (does that even exist?), but I’m slowly finding what works.
Okay, probably not the first thing you think about with self care, but it totally is! Regularly nourishing and fueling yourself is a non-indulgent form of self-care.
You have to be properly fueled and nourished to take care of others and perform your best. This is actually something I talk with clients about when we discuss the 10 principles of intuitive eating – sometimes the gentle nutrition piece plays in and knowing that you may not eat until way later, for example, may warrant an early snack, even if you aren’t hungry.
You have to look out for yourself and honor your hunger. The intuitive eating hunger scale is super helpful for this!
It can be difficult to take time to feed yourself when you have a crying or needy baby, I get that. I have a list of healthy breastfeeding snacks that I can eat with one hand that make the list.
I also love smoothies, like many of these pregnancy smoothies!
I usually add some type of protein powder to my yogurt or smoothie.
These types of post run snacks fueled me during marathon training. I would always look forward to that post long run smoothie bowl.
I would also say to do some prep in advance during pregnancy if possible! These postpartum freezer meals have been life savers!
There’s nothing better than sleeping in a little. The last few weeks, Cam has started waking up between 5:30 and 6 to eat, but then going back to sleep until 8ish.
Sometimes, Ed lets me sleep an additional hour after that by taking her when she gets up and being in charge of feeding her a bottle if she needs to eat again.
Even just getting that extra hour feels so luxurious and is one of my favorite forms of self care. There’s nothing like my comfortable bed and a quiet room.
Running and Workouts
You guys knew this was coming after my recent post about running postpartum . But having some outlet of exercise is important to me.
When I can run, I do. When I can sneak out to a gym or yoga class, I do. And it’s great having Ed to watch Camryn while I do so, or even putting Camryn in the gym day care.
Even doing some of these arm exercises for runners is helpful for at-home workouts!
I’ve realized I need those endorphins from exercise because I really believe they have an effect on my overall attitude and hormonal balance. Maybe other moms can agree?
Plus, having easy postpartum snacks after my workout helps me replenish my muscles right away. I also draw alot from these athlete snacks.
With the combination of breastfeeding and just running taking more energy, I usually come home STARVING and need to eat or drink something right away.
It’s easy to pack in a lunch and eat quickly, which are must-haves for me. When I have a little more time, I like to add some toppings and enjoy a more substantial bowl.
Who knew running errands could be so enjoyable? Maybe not running errands specifically, but taking some time to get out of the house ALONE is important.
Being able to blast music I like, or just drive in silence, is a big change from when I’m driving with Cam.
It’s nice to go shopping, or go into stores, like Whole Foods, on my own. Plus, in doing so, I find out about neat events like this 🙂
Being a mom who works from home can be isolating. It’s important for me to plan social events into my calendar to not only relate with others, but get out of my own head sometimes.
Wine and cheese nights are one of my favorite ways to entertain friends.
I love social media, but sometimes, I hate it. I need a break from being so interested in what other people are doing so I can focus on myself.
Putting my phone on airplane mode, turning off my computer, and just lounging with a good old book is a great way for me. I also love to soak in an epsom salt bath or go for walk without noise.
What’s your favorite way to include self care in your motherhood routine?