We hear the term self-care for WAHM’s (Work At Home Moms) bandied around all the time. But what does it actually mean? And what does it mean for Work at home moms?
For the moms I work with, the dream is often a weekend away from the family at a beautiful spa, massage, facials, and all the trimmings. But the reality is more like a 5-minute shower with no interruptions!
There is a lot of hype over self-care and how it is going to fix all your problems. You just need to… (fill in the gap with whatever they are selling)
It’s not going to fix all your problems but… it is going to take you a step in the right direction.
I’m sure I am not the only mom out there who tends to push self-care to the bottom of the list when really it should be at the top. I also bet I’m not the only one who laughs and dismisses the health gurus telling me that I should be doing X amount of exercise between everything else on my list whilst chugging an organic green smoothie.
Being a mom is tough, being a working mom even tougher, being a working mom with no local support network – well that just makes Bear Grylls Survival show look like a walk in the park. So, how are we supposed to do it all or more to the point, do we really need to?
Is self-care for WAHMs even possible?
I say yes!
I like to give myself mini self-care treats every day, some of them are a bit daft really, but they make me feel good and put me in a better mood, put a spring in my step, and that is what is important, especially when you are having one of those ‘my life is crap’ days.
Research from Oxford University shows that happy people are more 13% more productive. As a happiness and productivity coach, I can tell you that the moms I work with who make the effort to do things for their mental wellbeing are in fact the more productive moms. Self-care for WAHMs (Work At Home Moms) is as important as taking care of their child.
Fast and Fun Self-Care Ideas for WAHMs
As you know, I am a huge fan of kaizen style baby-steps and this is no exception.
Some of these little steps take seconds, literally, I kid you not.
Others you need to sneak in 10 minutes here or there.
Seriously, mama, you can make 10 minutes just for yourself, there are 1440 minutes in a day, it is far from being selfish to demand that 10 minutes of those are purely for you!
This is not a checklist of self-care for WAHMs (Work At Home Moms) you HAVE to do, pick and choose, do the ones that feel easy and will make you happy.
Much of it is a mindset thing, once you believe that there is time for self-care for WAHMs then it all gets easier.
Switch the mantra of “I don’t have time” to “I have enough time to look after me” and watch the magic unfold. This is something we dive into deeper in the Wonder Mom Success Club.
A Squirt Of Perfume
I have a small collection of perfumes but rarely go out anywhere fancy so instead, I give myself a squirt in the morning, even if I am working at home and don’t plan to see anyone all day.
A Magic Wand Of Mascara
Some people love lipstick, I love mascara, a quick wave of the mascara wand and I instantly feel more glamorous, even if I am in my jogging pants and t-shirt. If you used to love wearing make-up but now don’t have the time, start small, a coat of lippy or a little blusher can make you feel like you have made an effort.
5 Minutes Of Ommm
We bathe the Japanese way, that is to say, we take a bath every night and I always take 5 minutes, sometimes more, to meditate whilst in the bath.
If I am having one of those crazy brain-ache days, I will take a few minutes during the day to stop, breathe and center myself again, it makes a world of difference.
There are several apps you can download to your phone that have short meditations and you can do it almost anywhere (not driving or using machinery obviously!) I’m enjoying the Buddify app at the moment but there are plenty out there including free ones.
Another time I do a bit of meditation is when I do the washing up, after reading the book Buddhism for mothers of schoolchildren I changed my annoyance of being the one who has to wash up to sneak in some meditation time without anyone else knowing (well, the secret is out of the bag now!)
This is my Friday night ritual of self-care as WAHMs (Work At Home Moms). I have an insane collection of nail varnishes, and so Friday night is nail night. It doesn’t take long to give your nails a bit of love!
And it’s not really about the color of the nails, it’s more about slowing down and paying attention to something, focusing on one thing. Again, it’s a type of meditation.
Oo-er Fancy Pants
Why wait for a date night (like waiting until the cows come home!) to wear your fancy undies?
Put them on today and feel great even if you have a hum-drum day planned.
Plus my nana always said you should wear your good undies when you leave the house in case you get hit by a bus. I’m not sure, I follow the logic, if I was run over by a bus I doubt I’d be worrying about my undies… but there you go!
But you don’t have to stop at pants, wear a favorite outfit, a necklace, earrings. You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy what you already own.
Stretching – perfect self-care for WAHMs
I have done yoga on and off over the years, but it can be hard to fit in a whole class and I tend to be an all-or-nothing kinda gal. But I also find it hard to do yoga at home when no one is checking my form.
What I am comfortable doing is some simple stretching. There are some great tutorials like the one below available on YouTube. 5 minutes of stretching a couple of times a day will boost your productivity. You are giving your brain a break and helping your body to feel good.
You can even get the kids in on the act too!
Taking Time To Learn
Admittedly, this one does take a bit longer than 5 minutes. That said, there are some great quick tutorials out there though so it doesn’t have to be an hour-long class.
Should self-care for WAHMs include learning? Absolutely! Keeping your brain active and learning is just as important as your heart and muscles.
I am one of life’s perceptual learners, I always seem to have a new skill to master or a new topic to delve into. I love Skillshare for this, online, self-paced classes on all kinds of topics. Use this link and you can try the first month for free. I actually have a personal goal of taking a new class every week.
Although as I work I am always learning about new software or how to do something, I also like to schedule a bit of time each week just for learning for fun. Whether that is a new design technique or a new recipe.
It is so easy these days because we are so busy to forget to spend proper quality time with each member of the family.
As humans, we thrive on connection and so if there is a disconnect or we are not getting our fill of proper connection time we start to feel down. Aim to take at least a few minutes each day, to have some one-on-one, uninterrupted time with each family member.
It’s OK for that to be when you are braiding your child’s hair or helping them take a bath. The point is to omit the other distractions and really focus on the family member who is there with you.
When you do this, the kids value that connection time too, and often behavioural problems will dissipate because the child is getting your attention, without finding other ways to get it – being disruptive, loud, interrupting etc.
Get Your Groove on
Dancing around the living room, like a disco diva. Who cares what the neighbours think!
Having a good dance to a favourite track or two is always a great pick me up. The kids love it too, it gets those feel-good endorphins buzzing and helps the blood get pumping.
A review of 23 studies by Bradt & Dileo (in 2009) involving almost 1,500 people found music helped to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety in heart disease patients.
Not a wannabe disco queen? No problem, it doesn’t have to be dancing, any type of music will get those feel-good vibes going, from singing in a choir to drumming on the countertop.
Eat something healthy
Often self-care lists include having a glass of wine or two, and I get it.
In a way, it is self-care or survival, depending on the type of day you have had. And I have no problem with enjoying a nice glass of your favourite tipple.
But reaching for the bottle can also lead you down a slippery path, often alcohol leads to snacking, and well, all the good self-care goes right out the window!
Having a green smoothie or something healthy to eat works twofold, firstly you are going to get the good stuff into your body but secondly, you are less likely to skip exercise or eat crap because your brain is telling you that you don’t want to mess up the good work you have done so far.
One Of The Best Treat For WAHM’s Get Outside
You don’t have to go hardcore and start doing 10km runs, especially if the thought makes you want to hide under the bed. But sunlight and fresh air are great for your mental wellbeing.
It can be as little as taking a few minutes to enjoy your morning cup of tea sat on the doorstep or time to walk around your garden, checking how the plants are doing. Give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy the fresh air.
Kaizen baby-steps to more self care for work at home moms
More often than not you get into your head that you are going to start a new healthy living regime and if you are lucky it lasts until lunchtime – or is that just me?
The reason this way of doing fails nine times out of ten is because it is TOO much of an adjustment. Humans have a reluctance to embrace change, it is hardwired into us. So we need to take this, one baby step at a time.
For your best chance of success pick one or two things off the list, or add your own. And make them small.
Pick the things that look like the most fun and the ones you are more likely to stick to, the least amount of resistance the better.
Set some boundaries (if saying no is something you struggle with, read this post). Let your family know that these 5 minutes are your and yours alone. It is OK to plop them in front of Paw patrol for 10 minutes so you can do some stretching or stand in the yard enjoying your brew.
It’s time to WRAP UP!
The best way to sneak in some self-care for WAHMs is to find things that are both easy and fun.
Things that make you feel good but don’t take much time or effort.
Once you start injecting some of those quick wins into your day, the bigger steps will become easier.
You might also be interested in:
If lack of time really is an issue then grab the Time Benders Secrets ebook which has some simple, totally doable tricks to help you free up more time in your day.
One of the many resources available in the resource library…