Hey, mommy. Have you ever felt like all energy and life have been drained away from your body? Are there mornings when you look at yourself in the mirror and ask, “Why do I look so duh?” And have you experienced suddenly lashing out at your kid (or even your husband) just because they didn’t clean up, and feeling super guilty right after?
We’ve all been there.
I’ve been there. A lot of times. And there are still days when those dreadful moments happen – those sad mommy monster moments.
I just had one of these sad mommy monster moments a couple of weeks ago. I woke up feeling good, actually. But when breakfast came, I suddenly had this weird and selfish urge to become “masungit” (unkind) towards my husband. For no absolute reason at all! I just felt like it. Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones (yes, I’m pregnant! :D), but I felt like I deserved to be crabby towards my husband. From the simplest mistakes, I would sternly correct him. And I would give a negative meaning to everything that he says.
That morning, I felt like I deserved to be unkind towards my husband because I can – after doing all my chores that morning and preparing breakfast. I was harsh! I felt like he owed me everything. But it was so horrible that I felt bad right after.
Later that afternoon, we had to head out of the house to meet a client. I was still feeling off but right after the appointment and as we were driving back home, I suddenly felt happy. Like dark clouds suddenly being washed away after the rain, my feelings almost immediately moved from sad mommy monster mode to happy and fulfilled mommy.
While we were in the car, I told my husband that I was feeling better. He even commented how I was harsh earlier during the day. I apologized and told him that I realized I simply needed to go out and breathe some fresh air.
Why Self-Care is Important for Moms
Day in and day out, moms are always faced with different challenges. And most of it comes from the home. We have a house to keep, children to take care of, a husband to help, or maybe even a business or career to nurture and grow. We have a lot on our plate and stress is really inevitable. While it is true that what we do as moms bring us joy, we cannot deny the fact that we also get tired and burned out. And that is why self-care is so important.
Self-care by definition means “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” It is intentionally carving time and effort to take care of one’s mental, emotional and physical health. It’s not just about pampering but it’s carefully choosing activities that will help refuel ourselves.
Self-care helps us become better moms and better wives.
When we take time to take care of ourselves, we become better at taking care of others, too. Most especially our children and husbands. We are able to function better as a mom and wife when we are well-rested, energized and happy. It’s hard to serve our family with joy and enthusiasm when we feel heavy, drained and sad-mad.
Self-care helps improve our self-esteem and self-worth.
Have you ever experienced those days when you pity yourself? When you feel like you’ve missed out on a lot of things? Or when you felt so fat and ugly? That happens when you don’t take care of yourself.
But self-care is more than just about going to the spa or the salon. It’s about doing little things everyday that helps us reconnect with God and ourselves. It’s about reminding ourselves about our God-given abilities and nurturing ourselves so we can confidently face what’s ahead of us.
Self-care helps us become more mindful and intentional moms and wives.
Being more aware of what’s really going on within and outside of ourselves helps us become more intentional and sensitive about the things that we really NEED to do. And also NOT NEED to do. Self-care enables us, moms, to figure out what needs our attention most. It helps us to not get lost into the sea of things and tasks that we thought we should do.
How To Practice Self-Care for Moms
Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s not even a grand or luxurious activity that you need to do to feel relaxed. Sure, you can go that route, but it can be as simple as little things that we can do everyday to feel refreshed and refueled. The important thing to remember here is that we need to practice this everyday.
Caring for the Body
Nurturing our physical bodies is an important aspect of self-care. As moms, we need to be physically well and strong to help us carry out the things that we need to do at home. Caring for our bodies start with simple and everyday practices such as:
- Eating healthy meals
- Having regular exercise
- Getting enough rest
- Staying hydrated
Sometimes, it’s also important to level up the way we take care of our bodies by intentionally pampering it. Consider it your way of thanking your body for helping you do what you need to do.
- Having a manicure or pedicure
- Enjoying a massage
- Getting a haircut or hair treatment
Caring for our Mind
Aside from our physical bodies, we also need to care for and nurture our minds. This helps us stay sharp and articulate. Also, it helps us expand our knowledge and skills about certain things we are interested in. Here are some ideas to help you care for your mind.
- Reading books
- Listening to a podcast (Check out Elizabeth George’s podcast here)
- Enrolling in a class, whether online or onsite
- Writing or journaling
- Doing a hobby
Caring for our Spirit
And lastly, as moms, we also need to care for our spirit. When we refuel our spirit, we are reminded that it is God who enables us to be great moms and wives. He is the one who gives us supernatural strength to do what we need to do. He is the one who gives us joy. And He is the one who gives us purpose. Ultimately, when we align our spirit to God, He helps us see things in perspective. To care for our spirit, we must:
- Have a daily quiet time
- Read the Bible
As moms, it’s really important to take time to take care of our own selves. Intentionally incorporating these self-care activities in our lifestyle can drastically help us become better moms and wives.
What self-care activities do you do to care for yourself? What challenges do you face that makes it hard for you to implement these activities? Share them in the comments below.