If one millions moms took better care of themselves in 2011, the world would be a much better place. Their stress would be reduced, which would mean that they wouldn't snap at their children and husbands as much. Their mental and physical health would improve too because they would take the time to do the things they need to do for themselves. Of course all of these thoughts are all well and great, but without any hard evidence, it can be a bit difficult to prove. Thankfully, a nationwide survey of 3,000 moms gives us some hard numbers to back all this up.
Seventy-six percent of women in the survey say that it is important that moms take care of themselves in addition to their families. However, 80 percent of moms do not spend any time on self-care. The Suave Motherhood vs. Womanhood Report also showed that 93 percent of moms feel good when they take care of themselves. Seventy-six percent say it makes them happier, more attractive, and more self-confident. And what happens when mom feels good about herself? Her family benefits also because she feels great.
So how can we all start working toward this goal of better self-care in the New Year? Here are four strategies we can all put into practice.
1. Balancing: It is vital for every mom to have balance in her life. A mom whose life is out of balance spends all of her time taking care of her family or work life and no time taking care of herself. Finding the balance between yourself and everything else is important because you have needs. When those needs go unmet, you begin to feel worn out and resentful. Spend a few minutes right now trying to figure out how to bring balance back into your life. You should build at least 15 minutes into every day when you can sit alone and think. Just let your mind wander during this time and see what happens. You will probably even come across an activity that you want to do for yourself. When you do, make time to fit that into your you-time.
2. Delegating: As a mom, you are essentially the head of the household because it is your job to get everyone where they need to be on time. There are also plenty of daily chores that need to be done, but it does not mean you have to be the one to do ALL of them. Just think about who else in your family could do some of these chores. Assign your children the task of running the dishwasher each night. Have each one of them make their own beds. Ask your husband to take the garbage out. Just because you have to be on top of everything, it doesn't mean you physically have to do everything.
3. Blending: This strategy involves doing something for yourself while you care for your family. It means that you do not give in and let your kids have complete control over everything. While you give them a bath, play your own music. Take a magazine with you while you wait for your child at speech class. Find creative ways to exercise while you take your little ones to the park. Focus on the things you like to do in a way that allows you to still do what needs to be done for your family.
4. Dating: You may have a special night once a month or once a week to date your husband, and this is certainly a very important part of having a successful marriage. However, it is equally important to date yourself. Schedule concerts or other activities in advance to force you to get out of the house. Set a date with the girls once a month to have fun. Joining a mom-me support group is also very beneficial, especially if you are having trouble with this one. This group will give you weekly assignments to help you learn how to date yourself properly.
Every mother has a basic understanding of how important it is to take care of themselves, but the majority of moms just don't do it. Many don't even realize the toll this is taking on their families because they feel like they are taking care of everything. But the keyword in that sentence is "everything." YOU are part of that everything, and if you are suffering or feeling down because you have not been attentive to your own needs, then "everything" is not taken care of. Start putting these strategies into practice now so that you can become one of a million moms who are taking better care of themselves in 2011.
Mia Redrick, Mom Strategist is a mom of three, author and speaker empowering one million mothers to practice better self-care. Redrick is the author of Time for mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for A Mother's Self-Care. For tips from The Mom Strategist visit www.findingdefinitions.com.