If there is anyone who deserves a week devoted entirely to being pampered, it’s moms! However, as a busy mom, I know that between work and family obligations, a spa day isn’t always possible.
The life of a wife, mother, and entrepreneur is a busy, rewarding adventure, but it can also be stressful. And when mom is stressed out, so is everyone else around her.
Studies, like these show that those who live or work in stressful environments have higher likelihoods of developing serious problems such as nervous system damage and chronic anxiety. Such symptoms can result in poor productivity at work and can lead to what I like to call “mom burnout.”
The good news is, I learned how to combat stress and burnout in seven easy steps: the key being to make self-care a priority. Read on for my best parenting tips for balancing self-care, marriage, and entrepreneurship, as a busy working mama.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Between motherhood, marriage, and entrepreneurship, sleep was this first thing to go. Instead of cutting out television time or social media browsing, sleep became disposable. That was a huge mistake.
Moms, I implore you: Don’t push sleep to the side! Studies show that sleep is vital for learning and memory, can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity, and holds many other benefits.
Therefore, it’s important for moms to get at least eight healthy hours of sleep every night. Doing so helps us feel rested and rejuvenated for the next day’s activities.
2. Dress Up
Marriage and entrepreneurship, parenting and domestic duties. There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a woman. One of the best parenting tips I can share with you is to take care of your appearance.
Sure, looks aren’t everything. But when my hair is done and my face is on, I feel more confident. I encourage moms to pick a morning during the week to get your nails done, curl your hair, wax, get a massage, or get really dressed up. There’s just something about a day of pampering that can boost a woman’s confidence and keep you feeling good for the rest of the day.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Unplug
As a mompreneur, I’m able to set my own hours. This has been a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, I have the freedom to get up and spend time with my kids and run errands before buckling down to work for the day. On the other hand, setting my own schedule makes it difficult to know when to “clock out” at the end of the workday.
Constant social media updates, emails, and text messages made me feel stressed out and guilty about spending time with my children instead of working, or vice-versa.
Unplugging from technology is just one way I practice self-care on the daily basis. I turn my ringer off and put the phone away at 7:00 PM every day on the dot. No more work. No more texting. (Though I do put my phone into “emergency mode” so that only certain calls come through after a certain time of night.)
Studies done by Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley found that students who unplugged from technology experienced lower anxiety, improved sleep, richer social interactions, and were more able to focus on daily tasks.
4. Exercise Regularly
One of the best parenting tips for moms is not only to take care of your mental health, but your physical health as well. The great news is, both of these can be done through regular exercise.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working out for thirty minutes or more each day is proven to have significant health benefits, including weight control, improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of certain cancers, strengthening bones and muscles, and more. In addition to improving my physical health, I use exercise as an opportunity to catch up on podcasts, audio books, or listen to my favorite music. Sometimes, I just take advantage of the silence and use my workouts as a time to de-stress and center my thoughts.
5. Pick Up Old Hobbies
As a busy working mother, I know how common it is for women to feel like their energy and focus are being spread thin. This can cause us to give up the hobbies we had before having children.
We moms need to do what makes us happy, and sometimes that means returning to old hobbies and habits. Go back to playing an instrument, journaling, hiking, reading, or even taking a relaxing nightly bath. All of these are simple and effective ways to practice self-care. Picking up my old loves relaxes me, refreshes my spirit, and reignites my entrepreneurial passions.
6. Ditch the Guilt
According to the article, “Working Mothers: How Much Working, How Much Mothers, And Where Is The Womanhood?” studies show that in households where relatives or babysitters tend to the children, a working mother will still feel racked with guilt over managing her business. Does this ring a bell, ladies?
As moms, we want to be at home with our children as much as possible. When I first started my path to entrepreneurship, I would constantly beat myself up over my choice to spend time working on my business instead of being with my kids.
I know I’m not alone. We moms have the unfortunate habit of guilting ourselves over parenthood, taking time for ourselves, entrepreneurship and marriage—you name it, we’ll guilt ourselves over it!
Even the hardest working mother is going to have her off-days. Don’t fret about it, forget about it! Tomorrow is another day. If I’m not feeling the get-up-and-go entrepreneurial spirit I usually do, I take it as my body’s way of telling me it’s time to take a rest.
7. Make Quality Time for Family
According the the National Marriage Project, women who have regular date nights with their spouses experience a boost in libido, improve communication, reduce the risk of marital boredom, and deepen their friendship with their spouse. Family night can have just as positive of an effect on a mom’s mental health.
Taking some alone time to relax and recharge is great, but I’m happiest when I’m spending time with my family. My husband and I love to plan weekly family playdates where we watch movies, take the kids to a local museum, or have a picnic.
And speaking of weekly date nights, my hubby and I never miss our Saturday night date together. We take turns planning an outing where we can really talk and communicate—and we never talk about work.
As a fellow mom, one of the best parenting tips I can give you is to make the time to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Doing so will make us all better mothers, wives, and individuals.
QUESTION: Do you find it difficult to balance the competing obligations of motherhood, marriage and work? Would you benefit from some more balance and self-care?
CHALLENGE: If you said yes to either of the above questions, choose one or two of the seven tips above and incorporate them into your life this week. Once you make time for them and see results, come back and try out a few more. You may just find that balance and peace you are looking for!