Taking care of the family can be a huge job. Between planning and preparing meals, moms are also responsible for an almost infinite number of other roles including nurse, nanny, chauffeur, therapist, disciplinarian, teacher, and so on. As any parent knows, this can be incredibly rewarding but completely exhausting.
So how do you find the time to nurture yourself and maintain some level of sanity for yourself and the rest of the fam? Here are our five favorite tips for integrating self-care and family-care at the same time.
First, make it a priority to spend time with your girlfriends. It’s a fact that women’s brains actually require female friendships to enhance feelings of contentment, acceptance and satisfaction at home. Not only do girl conversations provide distraction from the hectic life at home but they can be a place to gain perspective and insight about how to be a better mom. Get a pedicure, go for a walk or check out the latest comedy in the theatre. Laughter is good medicine for the soul.
Reduce the stress around deciding ‘what’s for dinner’ by making a master list of the meals your family enjoys. Keep it on your refrigerator or wherever you’ll be sure to see it. When making your meal plan for the week, you’ll be able to quickly choose from the list making your grocery store trip a breeze. And if the Paleo Diet is something you’ve been doing or are interested in, check out the great meal planning options and automatically created shopping lists provided by PaleoPlan.
Although it goes without saying, your kids need you. And they need your time even more when family life is zooming at breakneck speed. So, pick a kid, any kid, and plan a date night. Do something that’s enjoyable for your child and give them your undivided attention. You’ll feel like a rock star mom (or dad) and you’ve filled your child’s love tank. And that’s a good thing.
Speaking of love tanks, mom and dad often need a top-off to keep their marriage on point. Modeling strong relationship habits to your little ones, like regular date nights, speaking kindly to one another and sharing the parenting load, will improve your relationship and provide a sense of stability and security to your kids.
The ‘E’ word – exercise – can easily go by the wayside when faced with the decision to feed your kids and make it to work on time or do your power workout. But fortunately, research shows that shorter workouts made of quick ‘bursts’ of cardio can actually have the same effect. Spending a quick 10 minutes first thing in the morning shouldn’t break your schedule at all. Brain health is improved, emotional health is improved and hopefully the scale will improve as well.
The last thing which might even be the most important thing, is to cut the carbs from your diet. Not the fruit and veggie-type carbs but the bread and sugar carbs. Blood sugar deviations can wreak havoc on your emotions and your energy throughout the day. Find the diet that works best for you whether it be Paleo-style, Ketogenic, or something that is customized just for you. Managing your diet can be one of the best things you can do to care for yourself in order to better care for your family!
When mamma’s happy, everyone’s happy!