No matter the age of your children being a mom is hard. It can feel like a full-time job. Working full time can also be challenging, and adding the two together can feel impossible on your best days. I have all the respect in the world for Stay at Home mom’s, I couldn’t do what you do, but my experience as a working mom helped me understand how challenging it is for us to practice self-care. Below you will find simple tips on how you can take care of yourself while balancing this juggling act.
If you are a new mom, recognize that it will take some time for you to be able to take any major steps in your life towards self-care. In that first year of life, I recommend baby steps and finding small things you can do to find balance. Maybe something as simple as committing to finding time to get outside for five minutes each day, or reading while you are nursing. Each person’s situation is different, but it is very hard to commit to much of anything that the first year, and that’s okay.
Drink Enough Water
This means having a water bottle that you love and making it a staple to have with you at all times. If I have my water bottle next to me, I drink all day long. If I forget my water bottle, I’m done for. I have all of the intent in the world to drink water, but work is busy. Before I know it I’ve gone the whole day without water, and I’m dying of thirst! Keep that water bottle next to you and drink, drink, drink!
Take a Lunch
This is not easy in my profession, and I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been working on my profession for ten years, and I only started making this a priority this year. Even if it’s taking lunch while you pump, take the time to actually eat a meal. Maybe even with colleagues that you enjoy.
Find Even the Slightest Amount of Me Time
For me, with kids 13, 5 and 3, this has become some alone time on the weekends. When the littlest was younger, it was my husband taking full charge when I needed to shower. I would lock the door and turn the music up. Even if I returned to pure chaos, I took some time to reset.
Even if that means taking the kids to the playground, or for a walk. Leave the dirty dishes, forget the laundry for twenty minutes, and go outside. It is good for your soul.
Sometimes this is the hardest one. I am not always in a place where I can fit working out comfortably into my life. I’m not saying find a way to add exercise, I know how overwhelming that can be. I’m saying find small ways to move every day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the farthest parking lot from work. Take the long way around when going to a meeting. I have been fortunate enough that my place of work has invested in a standing desk. If this is an option for you, I strongly recommend it.
Being a working mom can be incredibly hard, and overwhelming at times. Follow these tips and you can take baby steps towards making your wellness a priority. Trust me, it gets easier over time, but if you can only squeeze in baby steps this guide should help. Mama, you are important, and you can do this!!