It’s not that you don’t love your kids the most, but in those early years (OK, especially the early months), there come times when you gotta prioritize a little R&R. And yet…what woman knee-deep in dirty Boppy covers actually has time for R&R? Fear not! A little creativity goes a long way.

RELATED: 26 Ways to Turn Your Home Into a Self-Care Haven

mom self care sitter
Twenty20

Hire a Babysitter (Duh)

So what if it’s for an afternoon movie that you’re planning to see alone. Or only for an hour so that you can fit in an afternoon walk. Or a nap. Even small amounts of self-care go a long way. And if you’re worried about the cost of hiring a sitter, we get it. An alternative: Try tapping into your mommy group to see if there’s a way to trade off kids once or twice a week. (You’ll take your neighbor's boys after school on Tuesday; she’ll take yours on Thursday.)

social media friends
Twenty20

Delete Social Media Friends That Stress You Out

Stuck sleep training a six-month-old while your kid-less BFF is on vacay in San Juan? It’s totally fine if you need to hide her Facebook profile for a few weeks. Consider it a form of self-care to remove in-your-face reminders of stuff that will make you feel jealous or resentful.

RELATED: My Sleep Training Diary

mom group
Twenty20

Prioritize Your Mom Group

Yes, meeting up with total strangers to talk about lactation can feel weird in theory, but we’ve yet to meet a woman who hasn’t found solace in a parents’ group in the early stages of mom-dome. Even if you have to bring your baby screaming, pantless and clutching a dirty wash cloth to the local coffee shop, go. You need the adult interaction, lady.

group text chain
Twenty20

And Set Up a Group Text

Maybe your friends don’t live nearby. That doesn’t mean you can’t rely on them for advice and support. Set up a chain and text back and forth about mom- (or life-) related woes. Venting helps. And so does comparing notes on common struggles—from colic to preschool applications.

exercise
Twenty20

Squeeze in a Workout

In a perfect world, you’d have coverage so you can get outside for a run. But worst-case scenario, popping in a workout DVD—or streaming one—for 20 minutes will also do. Plus, there’s a bonus: Studies show that neurotransmitters like dopamine can give you an energy boost, super helpful if you’re running on four hours of sleep.

RELATED: 6 Workout Classes You Can Stream at Home

face wash
Twenty20

Wash Your Face

We get it: Showers are hard to come by. But taking five minutes at the end of the day to create a luxurious face washing ritual—you know, where you bust out the really nice face oil—can work wonders when it comes to chilling out.

sleep
Twenty20

Hack Your Naps

The goal: To sleep when the baby sleeps. But nodding off on a baby's schedule can be more challenging than it seems. Invest in tools that can help (like a white noise machine or a sleep mask or light-blocking curtains) to set yourself up for successful shut-eye—no matter the time of day.

RELATED: 6 Things to Help You Get Through the Day When You Got Zero Sleep

From Around The Web