This Is What I Do for Self-Care as a Mother

For special occasions like my birthday or Mother’s Day, all I want is a day away. I dream of waking up alone, setting my own schedule, not making food for anyone, going to any store I want, watching whatever I want, and going to sleep whenever I want. It’s my fantasy!

When I was pregnant, my husband gave me every other Friday night off. I drank wine and played video games. Having that special evening to myself helped a lot.

After being a mother, I’ve tried to practice self-care. In the beginning, it was having a shower every day and putting on clean clothes.

When my baby was young, self-care was simply taking a shower every day and putting on clean pajamas.

Now that the baby is a bit older, I take 20 minutes to work out while they are happy under the mobile.

Someday, I hope to get a massage or do yard work, but for now, I make do with small moments.

After I’m back at work, finding “me time” is harder. But I do spin classes, yoga, boot camps, and biking. Being active and having time to myself makes me a better mom.

  1. Cooking and baking are my passions, but they’re hard to do with a baby. So, one night a week, I buy really nice ingredients and cook for myself. I don’t ask my husband what he wants; I make what I want and enjoy it.
  2. At night, after the baby is asleep, I listen to podcasts and knit. It’s my happy place, and while it might not be physical self-care, it’s important for my mental health.
  3. Getting my nails done once a month is the highlight of my month. It’s a simple pleasure that makes me feel good.
  4. Sometimes, I put on PBS Kids for my toddler and do a YouTube workout while the baby naps. Then, I make myself some coffee and drink it all. It helps me a lot.
  5. Cleaning the kitchen and living room once a day keeps me calm, especially during the rough part of the day from 4 pm until the baby goes to bed. A clean house helps me stay sane.
  6. I go to the gym a few times a week. The kids’ gym next door watches them for an hour for $15, and I get to exercise, which gives me a huge mood boost. I’m not a health nut, but exercising makes me feel better about myself.

I have two kids, and our city has a women’s center that offers free childcare when you sign up for classes. On Mondays, I join their running group. On Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, I play rugby and go out with my team. Once a week, I take a long shower or bath during the kids’ nap time while watching trash TV.

Joining a book club has been great for me. We meet once a month to drink and socialize without the kids. The book is just an excuse to get together.

At work, I arrive early to sit in the break room, drink coffee, put on makeup, pump breastmilk, and listen to a podcast. I cherish this routine, and my co-workers are kind enough to leave me alone during this time. It’s dreamy.

Seeing a therapist once or twice a month has been beneficial. The drive there is therapeutic too. I can cry, blast music, or drive in silence.

I do yoga almost every day for about 30 minutes before the kids wake up. When my studio is up and running, I carve wooden pendants and sell them at craft fairs. After everyone goes to bed, I finger-knit.

Drinking wine and watching Netflix, especially “The Office,” is my way to unwind. When it’s warm, I take my dog and baby running with me.

On Thursday nights, I go grocery shopping by myself while my husband stays home. It’s not fun, but it’s my time alone.

In the beginning, self-care was a daily shower and maybe some makeup.

Now, I make sure to take care of myself because an empty cup can’t fill another cup. I have to take care of myself to take care of my family.

Shopping by myself is another treat. It’s hard to browse leisurely with a child, so I treasure these solo shopping trips.

I keep my self-care simple with brief yoga routines and using bath bombs. I also enjoy having my favorite treats on hand, watching my favorite shows, and having my favorite tea ready for bad days.

Photography is another hobby. I take my two children to nature reserves with my camera. Getting into nature helps my mental state.

If I wake up before my toddler, I take a long hot shower. Going to the store by myself while my daughter stays with her dad gives me a mental break.

Skincare is another small pleasure. I wear a mask while feeding the baby, and it makes me feel refreshed.

Playing baseball has been life-changing. I started casually but now play in leagues and tournaments. It helps me stay active and connected with others.

Sometimes, all I can manage is painting my toes. Finding time for myself is hard. But I know it’s just a season, and I cherish any moment I get.

During my kid’s morning nap, I enjoy a good Reddit session and watch YouTube videos. Getting my eyebrows waxed regularly makes me feel put together, even if I’m in a mom bun with no makeup.

Motherhood is grand, but taking time for myself makes me a better mom.