7 Ways for New Moms to Practice Self-Care
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.