Self-Care Questions for Moms

Last week I ordered some fancy soap.
Why am I telling you this?
I read a post on Luminance Skin Care's blog about the benefits of real soap, and I was curious to try some real soap versus the fake soap I've been buying for years. Check it out - the stuff we're buying isn't actually soap. Go figure.

Anyways, ordering a fancy bar of soap is exciting. It's a tiny splurge. And it's just for me.
As mothers we can get so wrapped up caring for our families that we forget to take care of ourselves. How often have you realized, late in the day, that you forgot to eat lunch? Or that you bought a special candy bar for everyone in your family, except yourself?

Women are born nurturers, it's in our genes, so carving out some solo time can be a challenge. But finding time for self-care is important for a mom's health and her family's well being. Whether your idea of self-care is sneaking some candy in the closet, finishing a book, or buying fancy soap, allow yourself to indulge a bit. The pressure to care for other family members can seem overwhelming if you are not feeling your best. Remember that caring for yourself is another way of making sure your family is cared for too. You can give them your best when you feel your best.

Get a pen and paper! Here are some self-care questions to ask yourself:

1. Do I take good care of my body, and how can I improve?

Moms may joke about sleep being a forgotten luxury of the past, but sleep truly is important. Babies will cry, and kids will have nightmares, so make sure you are allowing for enough shut eye time. Every person is different, so figure out what your body needs. I do fine going to bed around midnight, but I also take a nap in the afternoon with my kids. Some of my friends are asleep before 10:00pm. Self-care also includes proper eating habits. Are you eating healthy food? Are you maintaining a good caloric and vitamin intake? Along with your diet, do you exercise? Exercise includes everything from playing chase with your kids to hitting the gym. Ask yourself what other improvements will ensure your physical health.

2. What would help me feel better about my physical appearance?
Maybe it's time to schedule the hair appointment that is 6 months overdue, or use your Kohl's Cash on a new blouse. Can you give yourself an extra five minutes in the bathroom to paint your toenails before bedtime? Instead of searching through Hulu during nap time, search YouTube for a makeup tutorial or let a fashion blogger tell you how to actually wear a scarf. (I need to read up on trendy scarves. .  .) Maybe you simply need a long soak in the tub. Odds are there is something in your price range that will help you feel empowered and beautiful. Do those things on a regular basis.

3. How am I using my time throughout the day, and how can I improve?
Reflect on your average daily schedule. When do you have downtime? How do you spend it? Are you happy with the way you spend your time? Would you like to squeeze in some more fulfilling self-care activities? Instead of scanning Facebook, you could read out of a book, stretch in some Yoga poses, or take a nap. Decide whether your downtime activities leave you feeling fulfilled.

4. What do I feel like I am missing?
Everyone has bad days. They're part of life. But if you feel like you are stuck in a weird funk your body is telling you that something needs to change. Analyze what you've been thinking about lately. Are you reminiscing on friendships? Are you daydreaming about taking a cruise with your spouse? (I am.) If you can pinpoint what's been on your mind, then you have a big clue for how to spend your self-care time!

For example: If you are missing time with the girls, make a point to call them on the phone, or schedule a trip for frozen yogurt. Arrange for a night at the movies with the girls, or host a pajama party at your house after the kids go to bed.

Another example: If you need some bonding time with your hubby, talk to him. Discuss how to find more time for each other. Maybe that means the TV turns off an hour before bedtime so you can cuddle. Maybe that means you hire a babysitter for a few hours while you hit the town. Maybe you Face Time during lunch break occasionally. Couples need these bonding conversations to maintain a strong connection. Talk about hopes and dreams, not just dirty diapers.
Also, if you had a bad day, let your husband comfort you. Tell him about your new self-care goals, and inquire whether he has noticed something that could help.

Balancing your self-care and the nurturing of your family is possible. I hope these questions help you find some solutions for your life. If so, write down your answer and set some goals. Leave a comment about what you will be working on. Good luck!

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