Motherhood is difficult, and for many women the transition is hard, which is why I’m sharing these self-care tips for stay-at-home moms this week. Last week, I shared my top self-care tip for stay-at-home moms. Daily quiet rest time has been the most vital self-care practice I’ve instituted, so I devoted an entire blog post to it. In this post, I’m going to share three other practices that were vitally important to me in my first five years as a stay-at-home mom.
Quiet Rest Time
I’ve already written at length about this, but here it is in a nutshell: You need time apart from your (precious, loveable) children. They need to learn the value of alone time and how to entertain themselves. Quiet rest time is the answer.
Get Out of the House
Once you get past those cozy newborn days, you’re going to start to feel stir-crazy. How quickly you start to feel that way depends on your personality (are you an introvert or an extrovert?) and what your life was like before your baby was born.
Get out of the house with your kids! Strap them in a carrier, stroller, or car seat, and get moving. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Drive to a nearby park. Visit the library. Go through a drive-thru or meet your mom for lunch. Take them to visit your old coworkers. Dress for the weather and get out of your house.
Make Other Mom Friends*
Some women are lucky enough to have friends with kids close in age to their own. However, for a variety of reasons, it’s not as common to have built-in friends with kids when you start your own family. Your college friends are all spread out, no one at work has had kids yet, or you’re starting your family earlier or later than most of your friends.
If you don’t have mom friends, it’s time to find some! I’ve written about building community before, but new motherhood can be an overwhelming time. You might not have the mental or physical resources to build your own community. Luckily, there’s likely a community of moms near you.
- Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) is an organization that encourages and equips moms to parent well, and they host gatherings across the country (and around the world!).
- MOMS Club has chapters all over the country.
- Library story time. Ask another mom if she’d like to meet at a park with the kids sometime. If she says yes, it may just assuage your loneliness for an hour—or it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
- Your local gym or YMCA, especially if they provide childcare.
- Church is a great place to meet other moms—including older moms, who can be invaluable mentors.
- In some communities, a local church will offer Mother’s Day Out, which is a low-cost way to allow your child to socialize while you get a break for a couple of hours.
- So many of us are making friends online these days! Meetup.com is one way to find a special interest group near you. You might also join a virtual community related to parenting or another interest.
- Local Facebook parents’ group.
- Peanut is like a dating app, but for mom friends!
- A pregnancy support group at your local hospital or La Leche League.
Do What You Love
In addition to getting out of the house and meeting other moms, you’ll be happier as a new mom if you do something that you enjoy on a regular basis. That might be working out, meeting a friend for coffee, returning to an old hobby, or finding a new one. When you engage with an activity that makes you feel like you, you’ll be a better mom for it. (Bonus points if you take some of your baby’s nap time or your preschooler’s rest time to do something you love!)
The transition to motherhood is life-changing, and all women experience bumps in the road as they navigate it. Continuing to care for yourself even as you care for child is paramount. When we forego self-care, it often breeds bitterness and can ultimately lead to burnout. You’re worth taking care of, Mama.
*Thanks to the community of women in the Sorta Awesome Hangout on Facebook for their input on finding community as a new mom! Sorta Awesome is a podcast and community of women founded and led by Meg Tietz.
If you know a woman who would benefit from these self-care tips for stay-at-home moms, would you share this post with her? Additionally, your shares on social media mean the world to me!