Self-care is a common topic in the new mom world, and for good reason. You’ve just become in charge of a whole other human life – like completely in charge – of their literal survival. It’s easy to see how that can take priority and your own needs can take a back seat.
For me, self-care used to look like a trip to the spa. Massage, manicure, pedicure, the works. Pre-pandemic, even after my daughter was born, I still tried to find time for at least the occasional pedicure, largely thanks to my husband and mother for helping me make time to do that for myself. Once the pandemic hit and everything closed, obviously those trips to the nail salon were no longer possible.
I know I’m not alone in feeling like, especially during this pandemic, there are no breaks or escapes from being on duty. My husband and I will trade off baby-duty in the evenings if one of us needs a break, but somehow hearing the shrieks of your 10-month-old from the other room just doesn’t have the same calming effect as a lavender foot scrub.
Finding the Quiet
I found myself starting to find reasons to leave the house. A quick trip to the store for just a single item, or driving over to a friends house to drop off an item they mentioned they wanted to borrow. But after the task was completed, I wouldn’t rush home. Instead, I would find a good place to park and simply enjoy the quiet. Those few minutes to recharge felt essential to my well being, but it also felt sneaky that I never mentioned those interludes to my husband.
Then I received a group video message from a friend sitting in her car. She told the group that she was in a Target parking lot just enjoying the alone time. Several others in the group responded and admitted they had started doing the same thing. Any solo car trip was an opportunity to sit, soak up the quiet, and recharge a little.
Before I knew my friends were doing it too, I felt guilty about my clandestine car-sits. Once I realized we were all doing it, it felt a lot less wrong and a little more like self-care. In order to show up for the rest of the day, we all need a little time to ourselves. Whether it’s to drink your coffee, catch up on emails, or just listen to your favorite songs without a child screaming over them, we should all feel good about taking that time for yourself.
Now that I’ve realized these moments are really components of my current self-care program, I make a conscious effort to take my time and use those minutes as some good quality me-time. So that when I return home, I’m ready to walk in the door and jump back into mommy mode.
Find What Makes You Feel Good
Self-care is so important, in whatever form it comes. My friend Jenny runs as part of her self care regimen. To me, that feels a little more like work. Find what makes you feel good and find a way to make that part of your regular routine. Your body, your mind, and your family will thank you.