Motherhood is nothing if not a self-sacrificing job. The needs of every member of the household — right down to the pets – usually come before Mom’s. In the midst of the maintenance, the scheduling, the chauffeuring, the cooking with an induction cooker, the playtimes, and the retrieval of lost items, we forget that there’s a person attempting to balance it all.
And though she may appear to be some kind of Superwoman, Mom needs tending to just as everyone else does So exactly what happens when you let yourself go by the wayside?
Your Mental and Emotional Health Are Affected
Imagine the consequences of letting a toddler’s needs go unmet, even for a few hours; he’d likely lash out with a crankiness that could go down in child-rearing history. Though you may be slightly better at keeping your temper in check, the same applies to you. You’ve probably heard the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” – and “ain’t” it the truth? Day after day of self-sacrifice adds up until you feel so neglected and resentful that you’re taking out your frustrations on everyone around you. Is that the kind of mom you want your kids to remember growing up with?
Your Physical Health Is Affected
Batteries need recharged, and vehicles need gas, in order to function properly. You, too, must maintain a steady energy supply in order to give your best self to those who need you. Eating a balanced diet, making exercise a priority, getting enough sleep, and meeting your mental health needs will ensure your wellbeing-and consequently, that of your family.
If you consistently deny yourself of the things you need, the buildup of stress can cause a weakening of the immune system and a whole host of tension-related health problems If you take care of your health, you’ll be sick less often, and more capable of efficiently handling the near-endless stressors that motherhood throws at you.
What You Can Do
Don’t think you have to devote large chunks of valuable time to your upkeep; when extra moments are a precious commodity, even a few can work wonders for the psyche. (Bet you’d never thought pre-kids that you’d consider 20 minutes of solo bathroom time a luxury!)
Here are a few simple pick-me-ups:
1. Get Dressed
No one’s saying you’ve got to don a skirt and heels and prance around like June Cleaver – but if you’ve been schlepping around in sweats, you may not be feeling so good about yourself. Just a well-fitting pair of jeans and shirt, and maybe even some mascara and lip-gloss, can go a long way when it comes to self-esteem.
2. Treat Yourself
Whether you spring for a professional treatment or go the at-home route, regularly indulging in a manicure, a pedicure, or a facial can make you look and feel beautiful and refreshed.
3. Remember Your Hobbies
Back when you had the time, were you a voracious reader? An avid gardener? A softball fanatic? Fitting those activities into your schedule again will reignite your interest and meet your need for some good old-fashioned fun.