After I had my first little babe, my self care routine needed some serious work. I thought self care meant I needed to carve out time for bubble baths and getting my nails done. Which with a newborn and a full time job, meant it never happened. Whenever I was not working, the mom guilt hit me hard and I felt like I had to be glued to my baby constantly. Between working and mom-ing, there was no self care time leftover. In reality, self care wears many hats. Everyone deserves for self care to be a priority in life and fortunately, talking about self care is becoming the norm. Self care is even more essential during the seasons in life in which we have the least amount of time and mental capacity to bring self care to the forefront. Prioritizing ourselves is key to being the best version of ourselves. Our littles deserve it, our spouses deserve it, and our goals certainly deserve it. Self care looks different depending on the person, and definitely for the working mom during the season of littles. Self care for this particular working mom looks something like this.
The Car Reflection
If you know, you know. The 10 minutes I sit in the driveway in my car after working before going inside are part of my self care. I know I cannot be the only working mom out there that does this. After my challenging evening commute home from work, I turn my car off in the driveway and sit for 5-10 minutes. With multiple little babes, I am always walking into hungry tired toddlers that usually burst into tears when I walk through the door. Sometimes I sit in silence. I let go of all the negative stress from the day and prep for the hurricane of littles. Sometimes I sit to finish a song from the radio, or check the texts on my phone. Even though I literally cannot wait to see my babies at the end of each work day, these 10 car minutes are part of my self care.
Freshly Brewed Mama
My morning brew. My morning coffee is essential to my routine and my journey to being the best version of myself. Within our budgeting targets, I allot myself one cup of my favorite coffee brand each morning. The coco-nutty goodness tastes like vacation, prevents me from ever needing to buy coffee out or at work. Snag a box of Jamaican Me Crazy– you won’t be disappointed. I try to get up each morning with enough time to brew my coffee and take the first sip before stepping into the craziness. Even if I cannot drink the whole cup before mom life or corporate life calls, that first steps is absolutely life-giving.
Exercise. I use this term loosely because exercise can be anything that gets your body moving. Taking a walk with a podcast during your lunch break. Working at a standing desk while doing calf raises. Playing tag outside with your kids. Just because you do not have time to carve out a solo 2 hour trip to the gym doesn’t mean you do not have time to exercise. If you do, you go mama! But exercise can sneak into lots of places. For me, I recently became a runner. Even though I hate running, I am actually a runner after some very simple routines I implemented. I am training for my next half marathon already after just finishing my third one!
A low maintenance beauty routine. This self care item can literally look like anything but making sure you put in a little time to the body that gave you those beautiful kiddos can be very rewarding. Having to dress up for work meant perfecting the art of a simple and effective beauty routine for the day. Mine includes: washing my face every night before bed with my favorite facial cleanser, keeping my hair in a style/length that requires minimal effort (hello cute “messy” bun) and some light eyeliner. Takes no time at all and has great impact on how I view myself during the day. Basic hygiene is great, but a long hot shower with some music and no small audience can be even better.
Mindfulness For The Working Mom
Practicing mindfulness is an incredible form of self care for any mom, and especially for me as a working mom. I know that I get overly stressed when my mind feels cluttered. The mental load of motherhood combined with a busy work week leaves me craving stillness, and a clear mind. This one takes a little bit of courage and practice, but it is so incredibly helpful. The research on mindfulness is powerful and it is something that can be done anywhere and as many times a day as needed. I take time for mindfulness during small moments of joy in my day and things that used to be my world- coffee with my husband, chasing sticks with my dogs, and snuggles with my little pig Wilbur. I practice before bed or when I get up, or before beginning a hellish commute. Even if the pockets of mindfulness are short, they can pack a big punch.
Choose the things that make your life just a little easier. This is the ultimate form of self care that is often overlooked. One idea for this is to look at your social media consumption. Are there particular accounts of social media habits that trigger you or add more stress than relief? Consider taking a break from social media platforms or unfollowing certain places. Set a time limit or look for activities that bring you greater joy to replace some of that time. If cooking dinner is something you dread, consider a meal delivery service to have prepared meals sent directly to you! Unfortunately, a house cleaning service is not within our budget (my ultimate wish list item!) but there are certain services and things I do to keep just a little less on my plate. My top two during this season of life: Huggable formula delivery in bulk (I literally never have to buy it or worry about not having it when I need it) and Instacart grocery delivery in a pinch.
Self care does not have to be bubble baths and chocolate (if it is- you go Mama!) It does not even need to be called “self care”. Simply find the little moments that bring joy to your day, and do them. For your littles, and for you.
All the best,