Self-Care? Yeah, Right.

by Abby Theuring
IMG_1547Self-care is definitely one of those things that is easier said than done. Even the most well intentioned people set out to make time for themselves and create a healthy mind and body, but still fall short at the mercy of this pressure cooker called motherhood.
It’s really easy to tell people they need to take care of themselves, it’s easy to site the research on the effects of stress, it’s easy to say that self-care is important part of this job, but it is another thing to actually fit it into your new life; that life that has already been turned upside down.
Time!
Who has the time?!
Well, I have enlisted the help of some Badasses to share their secrets to self-care.

-Find time to shower. If this means you hand baby to your partner, mother-in-law or a friend for 15 minutes then by all means do it.

-Don’t feel bad about stepping away when you have visitors to spend some time in another room. Even doze off for a minute!

-Ask your visitors to help with household chores. Take out the garbage, load the dishwasher, throw in a load of laundry, etc.

-Let people come over and then when they are there take advantage of them! I went through a phase after Jack was born where I didn’t want people over. Looking back I think I just wanted time to myself. If I get to do this over again in the future I will be inviting people over in droves to help with chores and the new baby while I duck out to the other room.

-Treat yourself to a mani/pedi. Your body has been through more than you think. A little pampering can go a long way.

- Have some available healthy snacks around to help make sure you eat enough.

-Put on clean clothes, even if you know you’ll just end up with spit up/pee/poo on you again within an hour.

-Open your curtains and windows every day.

-Make time every day to get out of the house. Even if it is just sitting in the yard or on your balcony/porch. Fresh air and a change of scenery can do wonders for the mind.

-Buy a magazine or book that has nothing to do with parenting and read it in the bathtub.

-Download some free meditation tracks and listen to them while you’re lying down with baby.

-Assign your partner the job of washing the sheets every other night so you can slip into bed on nice crisp linens.

-Order takeout and eat all the stuff you couldn’t have while you were pregnant.

-Have a glass of wine or beer.

-Find other adults to interact with.

-Drink water. Get a no-spill water bottle to have with you wherever you go.Pool

-Nap when baby naps. I know it sounds cliché and I remember thinking it was terrible advice because when was I supposed to clean?! But if I had to do it all over again I would nurse him lying down and doze off with him.

Enlist the help of you partner in making these things happen.

Work out time each day to meet your needs!

When Jack was born I took a bath each night and brought a glass of wine, a piece of pie and People magazine with me. I felt a bit strange eating on the side of the tub, but I truly had fun in those moments. Just to be alone and sit in warm water and look at the silly Hollywood people missing out on real life while they focused all their energy on Botox and bimbo shorts. Ahhh, yes, this is the life!

 

Abby Theuring, MSW

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About Abby Theuring

Abby Theuring
The Badass Breastfeeder is a mother, writer, social worker, attachment parent, proud breastfeeder and advocate. Her career as a social worker has shown her that gentle and connected parenting is vital for life-long emotional health. You can find her blog at www.thebadassbreastfeeder.com and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheBadassBreastfeeder.

3 comments

  1. My husband was out of town for work for four months after the birth of our second child (during winter with wood heat!). I took a bath every night after having baby #1 but it was much harder to pull off when I had my second baby. However, being essentially a single mom for several months, I had to prioritize myself. I would drag the baby swing into the bathroom, nurse the baby to sleep and gingerly place him in the swing, pacifier in place. Hopefully I would do all this during my two-year- olds nap but if I missed it, I would let my two-year- old play in a Rubbermaid tub with some dried beans or something similar. After about a half hour, once the water “cools,” I would let him join me.

    The goal isn’t too be a martyr, it is to be a good mom. You have to fix your oxygen mask first! And sometimes that means letting your child draw on the wall while you take bath if you’re on your own but in desperate need of a break.

  2. I remember after having one of my kids some friend of my mom’s sent a basket with bubble bath and stuff like that in it. I wanted to throw it out the window and scream that that person didn’t understand my life at all. To me, that was just a reminder of all the things I didn’t have time to do anymore.

  3. See, articles like this really ticked me off when my kids were little and I was in the thick of things. My spouse was gone long hours, family is all out of states and my only friends were MOMS Club folks who also had small children. There were no visitors to help and no one to hand baby to so I could take a long bath or get a mani/pedi. It must be nice to have all these close by helpers when one has a baby but for many of us, that’s not reality and we’re on our own to get everything done.

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