Last weekend I woke up in a bed completely to myself, no little bodies had pushed me to the very corner of the mattress, and I had a day filled with activities that didn’t involve diaper bags and toddler meltdowns ahead of me. It was my first time traveling without my babies! I was actually really nervous leading up to it, and if I’m honest if it wasn’t my sister’s bachelorette I probably would have stayed home. Now that I’m back, my proverbial cup refilled, I realize just how important those couple of days were, plus an important lesson about self-care.
We mamas are great at finding reasons to not take that little bit of time for ourselves. Am I right? I know I worry about leaving for too long because what if my kids need me — which when I really stop to think about it, my family is perfectly capable of carrying on without me for a few days. Isn’t it funny the pressure we put on ourselves? We want to always be there, but if there’s anything this weekend taught me it’s that sometimes you need to take a day, two days, hell, at the very least an hour just for yourself.
I was able to shower without my son and daughter following me into the bathroom, wanting to be picked up. When we went out to eat, I didn’t have to juggle a baby on the boob or quick hands trying to grab at the water glasses. It was nice to be on my own schedule for a change. Obviously, I missed their little faces, but that time away gave me a physical and mental reset. Especially as a stay-at-home mom, you don’t get a ton of adult interaction throughout the day and it can sometimes seem like you’re on a nonstop loop of wake up, feed babies, play, change diapers, hopefully get out of the house, feed babies, change diapers, try to get some stuff done around the house, dad comes home, dinner, bath time, put babies to sleep, try to stay awake so you can do adult things, bed, repeat.
Whether it’s getting to that workout class or making the time to just be alone, it’s important we remember that self-care is a priority. And you don’t have to spend money to put this into practice. It could be as simple as waking up before your kids to enjoy a cup of hot coffee or going to another room for a quiet minute to yourself when the chaos is too much.
“Self-care and compassion are the fuel that ignites the engine,” says Dr. Gin Love Thompson, psychotherapist, relationship and communications specialist and author. Truly taking the time for ourselves, while also practicing giving ourselves more grace when we fall short is crucial, takes practice. Check out Dr. Thompson’s tried and true tips for forming new habits here.
Ravelle Worthington is a wife, momma of three, and the founder of Mommy Brain. Follow her on Instagram here.
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