Self-care is important, and as moms we don’t need anyone to tell us that, we know, and we crave it. Yet, we hardly ever make it a consistent part of our day, we tend to prioritize a million other things before we prioritize this. So today I want to share a Simple 3 step plan to making sure you get your self-care time in, no matter what. Whether you have one or 6 kids you can make it happen and, yes you are sooo worth it! But not just you, your kids are worth it too because when you give yourself the time to take care of you, you are also giving your kids a better version of “mom” to take care of them. here…
3 Simple Steps to Getting Your Self-Care Time as a Single Mom
1. Set an Intention
A self-care session doesn’t have to be an hr long thing, it could literally be a 10-15 min. What matters is the intention behind it, and the fact that you are setting aside time to pour unto you.
Now let’s get this straight: Self-care is not some magical indulgement that will suddenly appear out of nowhere after a long day. It is, like many things, something you have to prepare for with full intention. Yes, this means scheduling it into your day, ideally first thing in the morning (more on this later). It also means setting and actual objective and meaning behind this time. No matter how short it has to be it is the intention of it that counts. To help you figure this intentional self-care time try answering the following questions in a notebook (Yes, I know you are busy but trust me doing this once will move you so much closer to actual ¨YOU-TIME¨):
- Why is self-care important to you?
- How would your day look differently if you did have even a few min for self-care everyday.
- What does self-care look life for you? Make a list.
Maybe for you this is simply a shower alone, a workout session, or some quiet time with God and a few worship songs, maybe it’s even a dance party in your underwear. Whatever you can think of write it down. Put a timer for 10 min and jot every self-care option you can think of that you would like to enjoy. Then take a picture of it and save it on your phone (Yes, you will thank me later)
- How many self-care sessions and of around how many min will you commit to this week? Ex. I commit to myself to allow myself a 10 min self-care session every morning on Monday, Wed and Friday.
- Who can I go to for support if it gets hard to complete this and what is my back-up plan? Ex. I will talk to my next-door friend about coming over to watch the kids for 15 min on Wed morning if they get up early so I can have my alone shower with essential oils.
2. Prepare for your self-care sessions.
You have to put in 5 min of preparation the night before to actually make sure it happens. Once you have a list of the things you consider to be self-care for you schedule 3 this week and prepare for it the night before by setting out everything you need to make it happen. If you decided you wanted to have a hot shower with some essential oils as your morning care routine for Monday. Then make sure you prepare the bath on Sunday night, set out the essential oils, your towel, clothing etc everything the night before. Also make sure you have a back-up plan and have told at least one person who could be of support, it could be a friend, relative, older sibling that can help you out with the younger kids, etc. Let me remind you that it is always ok to ask for help. I highly encourage you to get in the habit of asking for help so you can take care of yourself too.
3. Make it happen first thing in the morning.
Ok, I know you may have heard this before so I won’t beat around the bush. If you want time for self-care you need to make it happen first thing. I know this doesn’t sound as delicious as having it at the end of a long day but it is better than not having it at all. As a mom you cannot expect it to be something you squeeze into the late evening after you get everything done. Trust me setting those expectations is what leads us to failure.
This is especially true as a single mom when you cannot expect someone to come home at the end of the day and help you watch the kids in the afternoon so you can have some time to yourself. It also tends to be harder to enlist help in the afternoon when other people have plans etc. Also, in the morning there might be a better chance you can still get a few 10-15 min of grace from your kids and yourself.
Ideally you would get your self-care time in right at the start of your day before your kids are up or if they are up as they are still starting their day and entertained.
There is a bible verse I love and that I try to keep very present: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF. -Mark 12:31
Every morning when I wake up, I remind myself that if I am to love a tiny human neighbor I have living with me (my daughter) I need to love me so I can love them as much. So my self-care morning routine is a nonnegotiable in order for me to be a good mom, a good neighbor, a good person.
Sometimes I wake up earlier than my daughter to get started on this, sometimes this means she needs to have some alone morning time so I can let God pour unto me and then I can pour unto her.
When my daughter was a baby, that sometimes meant she came along with me as I went through my morning routine. She got to watch mommy sing a worship song as I did squats and used her as a weight. If you have more than one small kid you can play an educational morning playlist of songs for them and let them have their bottle or finger food as you do a 5 min workout or breathing exercises or just get to wash your face and complete a quick skin care routine.
I know this doesn’t sound as glamorous as a spa day or a two hr appointment at the salon but even a 5min workout can be some great self-care that if you do consistently will add to your resilience and help your day go by easier and muy joyfully.
I also know the first few times you try it might be hard, but if you stick to it, it will turn into a simple process that both you and your kids get used to. After a while you will be able to increase the time and add in more self- care stuff into your day. You will also realize that this gives you the energy you need to actually move forward in your daily tasks in a more productive manner. Do not let this be another thing in your to-do list that never gets completed.
You are truly worth the time and effort, so don’t postpone any longer and just get out a piece of paper and start making this happen!
Better yet, if you feel comfortable share your list of self-care ideas you want to enjoy in the comment below and let me cheer you on! You CAN do this and you will. Just start right now.