Motherhood is a wonderful journey that fills us with a sense of fulfilment as we watch our children grow and take care of their every need. As mothers, nothing matters to us more than the welfare of our children. However, in the process, we tend to overlook our own wellbeing and forget the adage ‘Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel’.
Research says that the health of a mother is directly linked to that of her child even after childbirth. So, as mothers, it’s imperative that we think of our own wellbeing by learning to carve out some time to nourish and take care of ourselves. But how do we do that? Here are some tips for mothers on how to take care of themselves.
Get rid of ‘mommy guilt’
Yes, you heard it right. It is the guilt that every mother goes through, ‘Did I feed my child well?’, ‘Could I have been a better mom?’, ‘Am I bringing up my child the right way?’, ‘How should I instil good manners in my child?’. Before your worries and fears take over, learn to forgive yourself and say calmly, ‘It’s Okay’. Choose to be kind to yourself.
Take sleep seriously
Try to go to sleep as soon as your little one dozes off. This will help you get the right amount of sleep and wake up earlier than your child. There’s nothing better than a good night’s rest to nourish yourself to face the odds you’re up against the next day. Believe me, it will help you immensely in the long run as well.
Taking the first sip of tea/coffee in the morning is an absolute bliss for many. But after becoming a mother, it becomes just a routine. Leave your thoughts of hurrying and planning aside, and spend at least 10 minutes savouring your cup of coffee/tea every morning. It’s always refreshing. Also, ensure that you don’t check updates on your mobile or watch your favourite programmes on TV during that time.
Spend time alone
When your child is taking a nap or is away with grandparents/spouse, use the time for yourself. Even if there are tasks waiting for you, hold on. Just sit for 10–15 minutes doing nothing to recharge yourself.
Embrace your imperfections
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and learn from them. As a mother, you may be having a hard time juggling motherhood demands with managing the house. And a working mother faces the additional challenge of meeting the demands of the workplace as well. So, stop worrying about perfection all the time and accept yourself with your imperfections and strengths.
Indulge in small breaks
Whenever you get a chance, go out and spend time with your spouse. Take a walk on the beach, or plan a lunch or dinner together. This togetherness will alleviate stress for both of you.
Some benefits of self-regulation:
- Slowing down the pace and relaxing will help you handle stress with balance and ease such that you recover quickly from challenging times. It will also help you feel less annoyed and deal in a more pleasant manner with your child and other family members.
- Your child may not always do what you say, but he may be closely observing your actions. Being a role model who reflects self-control and other positive values will help your child learn some very important lessons on facing challenges in life.
- You begin to accept yourself with your imperfections and lift the mirage of ‘always perfect’. You also tend to extend the same degree of acceptance to your child and eliminate any unrealistic expectations you may have had previously.
- You re-discover your long-forgotten hobby or passion.
Remember, taking good care of yourself is a worthy investment, not just for yourself but for your family as well. It is not a luxury, but a necessity.