When Zara reached out to me with this topic, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share these tips with my readers. I can relate so much to this essay and the struggles of a new mom. With number 2 on the way soon, Zara’s essay is a great reminder of how important self-care is for mothers.
Guest Writer: Zara Lewis
After the stork delivers a bundle of joy to your doorstep, your list of daily priorities will be in for a major reshuffle, and your self-care will probably be the first to fly out the window once the To Do list starts to grow out of proportion. As a mother, you’ll have thrice the amount of duties on your hands compared to the days when you were a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed single lady, but it still doesn’t mean you should let chores, work, and family responsibilities rob you of sanity – or the right to tend to your own needs, for that matter. If you’re struggling to put yourself back to priority list sans guilt in the mix, you may want to give these four simple strategies a go.
Sign up for a workout program
Few moms even bother trying to fit a trip to the gym in their weekly agenda, and it usually costs them many health and fitness points down the road. The fact that you regularly run medical and dental checkups isn’t sufficient self-care to keep you healthy, strong, fit, and capable of tackling all the challenges motherhood brings in tow. If you want to save cash and time you’d otherwise spend on gym membership, you can buy a few handpicked workout equipment pieces and turn one of the rooms into a fitness studio: that way, you’ll be able to sweat stress out whenever and for as long as you want.
Get out of the house every day
Many new moms turn into couch potatoes overnight: the sheer amount of housework they are expected to complete every day locks them out of spare time and they end up spending the odd free hour watching the telly or staring at the ceiling. Don’t let chores turn into a ball and chain tethering you to the hearth: by taking the time to get out of the house, you’ll get at least half an hour to yourself every day, and you’ll be able to take a break from being a mom and be who you truly are, sans secondary roles in the mix. On days when stress is flying high, even a trip to the grocery can save a mother’s life, and a well-timed walk around the park can help a busy girl beat the blues, indulge in precious peace and silence, and muster mental strength to endure another long day.
Create an efficient schedule
Even if you’re not a huge believer in To Do lists, you may want to consider giving them a shot as you elbow your way towards an extra half-hour of hard-earned Me time. Some mothers perform best on detailed schedules, while others find open-ended daily agendas with a broad list of tasks to tackle a more comfortable fit. Whichever of the two pools you may belong in, starting the day with a list of most important duties and responsibilities to see to is a smart thing to do, as it will give you a clearer idea about the scope of work you’ll have on your hands. On top of better time management, ticking off points on an arm-long To Do list will make you feel as a Supermom and seeing the progress you’re making will also keep you motivated on less than stellar days.
Learn to delegate like a pro
One of the most difficult lessons a new mom has to learn if she’s to survive the first few months post-delivery is learning to delegate and refuse tasks that are simply too draining. This is a major challenge for ladies used to handling everything by themselves: at some point, you’ll realize you are just an ordinary human being with limited power stock and you’ll have to stop investing your time, energy, and nerves into trying to make everything perfect. No, your son won’t load the dishwasher as neatly as you do, and yes, your husband will make a mess of changing the diaper the first few times, but hey – life will go on. Learning to delegate tasks and say ‘No’ are the most important lessons you can pick up this year, so start learning them right away if you want to stay on the safe – and sane – side of the priority list.
Putting yourself back into the big picture of everyday life is tough with a baby onboard but you’ll have to do it sooner rather than later if you’re to remain a normal and functional human being. Ready to shake up your list of priorities and start treating yourself like one of them? Stick to the strategies above and you’ll soon fall back in love with your life: after all, it’s too short to waste it slaving over the stove and hanging laundry on the clothesline. Good luck!
About the Author:
Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.