What is self-care for stay-at-home mums?

As a stay-at-home mum you spend all your time looking after others, but how much time do you spend taking care of yourself? Self-care for stay-at-home mums always seems like one of those things you'll get done "one day" doesn't it? There's just so much other stuff to get done that self-care is probably last on your list. In fact, what is self-care for stay-at-home mums? Well that's why I'm here today, read on to find out how you can take care of yourself while still taking care of your family.

The importance of self-care for stay-at-home mums

When you spend your days taking care of others it's easy to just keep going, even when you don't feel like yourself. You fill the washing machine, wash the dishes, clean the countertops, and tidy up the kids toys without a thought for yourself. You make sure the kids are sent off to school with packed lunches (or sorted for school lunch), and you buy all the things you need to make a wonderful dinner for the family. And then you start on the daily chores.

What Is Self-Care For Stay-At-Home Mums? | Forget the chores and concentrate on yourself for a change.

But, making time for self-care - giving yourself a time out - does wonders. Just the fact that you're thinking about no one but yourself can give you some relief from stress. It may sound selfish, but sometimes that's what you need. No matter what activity you choose to do the act of giving yourself some time instantly makes you feel better. And what's more, if you plan the self-care time you can even get excited about it before hand.

Why not listen to a few of these TED talks to learn about the importance of self-care.

When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.

Benjamin Franklin

So why is self-care so important?

Gives you a break from stress - whether it's the kids driving you nuts, too much laundry to get through (hello washing mountain!), or simply the day-to-day tasks of being a stay-at-home mum, the stresses can get you down. By taking a break from all that you're giving yourself a little relief and stepping away from the stress. You will feel lighter, and maybe even be able to cope with more as a result.

Time alone - Do you ever get any time alone? When was the last time you read a book? Or had a bath uninterrupted? I'm lucky to go to the toilet without interruptions and my boys are 10 and 14 - if your kids are younger I can imagine the interruptions are numerous. Getting that time alone is so important, it can help you organise your thoughts, it helps you calm yourself. Just stepping away from the to-do list and the needs of everyone else, and focussing on self-care, will make you happier.

What Is Self-Care For Stay-At-Home Mums? | Sit and drink a coffee alone. Get some peace.

Soothe yourself - Self-care is another way to soothe yourself. You can use a hot bath and relax for a while, or book yourself a spa day and enjoy a massage. Whatever you choose to do it's that soothing feeling that will make you feel so much better. It's a healing activity and when you're bogged down with to-do-lists and kids' needs it can feel like the weight is too much. By giving yourself time to heal, soothing time, you will feel 100 times better.

Inner happiness - This isn't the happiness you feel when someone asks you if you're happy, this is the inner glow, that thing that makes you smile inside. Self-care gives you that. And as the saying goes "Happy mums raise happy kids" - so why not make yourself happy?

Self-care tips for stay-at-home mums

  • Set time aside. Carve out some time during the day for yourself. It could be 30 minutes to read a chapter of your book, or it could be just 5 minutes to enjoy a hot coffee, but make sure to get a little time for yourself. Let the family know the time is for yourself and you're not to be disturbed. Let yourself indulge. Like Katrina over at Rule This Roost says "schedule it and follow through with it".

  • Spend time with friends. If you have young kids and a Hubby who works it can be difficult to set time aside so why not spend time with friends instead? If they have kids too you could take the kids to the local play centre and enjoy a coffee and a chat while the kids play. Chatting to friends about things that are bothering you, or just having a little laugh, will make you feel better and you'll smile.

What Is Self-Care For Stay-At-Home Mums? | Meet up with friends for a laugh, and some self-care.

  • Plan an exercise routine. Get up an hour earlier than everyone else and go for a walk (or a run if you like!). Once the kids are in bed head to the gym and run off that stress. Or find a local yoga class and take the hour for yourself. Exercise is a great way of adding self-care into your day, and while it may feel weird to start with you really are looking after yourself by being active. I recently started attending a yoga class on a Saturday morning and I feel so much better for it. It's not helping with the weight loss but it definitely makes me feel good. 

  • Engage in non-baby/kids related things. When your life revolves around your kids you can end up losing yourself. You forget who you were before you had kids and it's difficult to think of things to do when you're not being "mum". That's why doing non-baby related things is important. If you like reading pick up a fiction book - I'm loving Solitude right now. Step outside of your own world and into the fictional world. Have a hobby you used to love? Get back to it. Remembering who you were before you had kids will make you happy - and give you the break you need.

If you are to be a light for those you love, you must find ways to nourish yourself, to feed your fire and keep it burning.

Seed & Song

  • Shower. It's amazing the difference a nice long shower can make. I will often stand under the hot water and smile as I let the water flow over me. There is something particularly enjoyable about a long shower and when you get out and put on your favourite perfume or spray too it makes you feel a whole lot better. Washing your hair, styling it even, will make you smile too.

  • Dress nicely. If you get up every day and wear pyjamas and a dressing gown all day you're going to start to feel bad. If you wear the same things every day you'll end up in a style rut and start to feel bad about yourself. Instead of getting yourself in a rut take a moment to look at your wardrobe and pull out an outfit you love. It doesn't matter if it's for "going out-out" or just for hanging around the house, if it makes you smile - wear it! I have a lovely friend, Renee from Mummy Style, who helped me recently and she told me something I'll never forget - "dress the body you have, right now". And if you're struggling to find anything you love in your wardrobe check out Renee's Mummy Style Experience which includes a Wardrobe Cleanse and then she'll send you a gorgeous lookbook where she suggests clothes you'll love. She helped me with my wardrobe recently and now I love getting dressed every day - I even bought a new dress that I'll actually wear!

What Is Self-Care For Stay-At-Home Mums? | When was the last time you went shopping?
When was the last time you went shopping?

  • Resist the urge to clean. I know the feeling, you're sitting on the sofa having just finished your coffee and you're thinking "I really ought to vacuum the carpet" or "there's a load of laundry that needs doing". Then you get up and get on with the chores, forgetting you're supposed to be taking care of yourself. Self-care is about taking care of YOU, not making sure the cleaning has been done. Do your best to ignore the cleaning and enjoy a little time for yourself.

  • Don't feel guilty. This is one of the hardest things to master, especially when you're new to taking time for self-care. As a stay-at-home mum taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your family. Having a shower is not something you should feel guilty about. Wanting to read a book is not something you should feel guilty about. And wanting to enjoy a hot coffee in a morning is definitely not something you should feel guilty about. Allow yourself that time - guilt free.

What Is Self-Care For Stay-At-Home Mums? | Self-care - not something we ever think about, but maybe you should.

Self-care for stay-at-home mums is just as important as taking care of your family and getting the household chores done. Isn't it about time you scheduled time for self-care, the same as you do for the chores?

How would you spend your self-care time?

Become an Organised Mama and you'll have time for all the self-care you want! Grab the Organised Mama Pack, it has chores lists, a daily planner, and even a chores list for your kids (for you to fill in).