As a mom, by default, you put your children first. It’s so easy to abandon your own agenda if anyone should need you or anything seemingly important needs to get done. While our children should be first, we must also cultivate weekly time to care for our own body and soul.
It’s only when we put ourselves up there on the list of priority that we are able to be productive, loving, happy human beings … and thus, better mamas in the end.
Here are five of my favorite tips that help me get by:
1. Move Your Body
When I move, I am well. This sounds so simple, and in many ways it is. When my blood flows, I literally feel my mood elevate and my perspective change.
The worst thing for a mom is to feel lazy and weak. When I feel strong and energized, I can keep up with my toddler, and I feel a sense of general well-being, which floods into my view of all things (my work, my relationship with my husband and friends, and so on).
It can be difficult to make the time, but for the love of all things, schedule in several times a week to make moving your body a priority. Your entire life will improve, I promise.
2. Visit Girlfriends
When I leave the house on a Saturday night (without the kids) and sit down with a best friend and a glass of wine, I’m reminded of who I am. I’m not exaggerating. You must get dressed up, go to a fun spot, and be a woman out on the town once in a while. Giggle, be silly, and reminisce with your friends. Remember the person inside of you before the baby. That person is alive and well—you simply need to keep her active. Your girlfriends are the best way to do that.
3. Pamper Yourself
You are a precious individual, but it can be hard to remember that. Somehow when I soak in a bubble bath or get a pedicure or even better, get a massage, I feel like a person worthy of this care. And you are worthy of this self-love. It can just be difficult to remember if it’s been a long time since you’ve pampered yourself.
Make time, even once in a while, to be good to yourself. Surprisingly the effects can last a while.
4. Pursue Something Unrelated to Family
Building my business and brand since my son was born has been an amazing experience and frankly has saved my sanity. There is nothing wrong with staying at home with your child, 24/7, but I’m an advocate of keeping something special that’s all yours and that keeps your brain active.
It can be a hobby (painting, writing, cooking dinner parties), or it can be visioning your next professional move. The main point is remembering that you are “beyond mom.” You are a creator, a thinker, and a doer in your own life.
5. Take a Trip
This was a tough one for me. I recently took my first trip away from my son by flying to California with a girlfriend for five days. I was so nervous to leave him (even though he was safe and sound with his dad and his babysitter). But I ended up having the best time and so enjoyed the rejuvenating days away.
The trip away encapsulated the above four points: I moved my body a lot (with nice weather, walks on the beach are super appealing). I had great times with my girlfriends. I pampered myself with delicious food and a hair blow out, and I met fantastic people who have nothing to do with my being a mom. Mission accomplished!
There is no greater honor in this world than being a mother. But in order to do it well, we must make sure we are whole. I hope these little tips help make your experience more manageable and incredibly rewarding.
Randi Zinn is the founder of Beyond Mom and randizinn.com. She encourages moms to cultivate a life that embraces the gifts of motherhood as well as their skills as businesswomen, thinkers, artists and entrepreneurs.