Step aside, Hollywood: no other job is as heavily directed as motherhood. From the moment you became a new mom (and before!) everyone and their cousin has ruled in with unasked opinions about how to do you – breast-feeding versus bottle-feeding, the decision to be a stay-at-home mom or working mom, what you’re eating/wearing/buying... et cetera, ad nauseum.
Pair the constant mommy policing with your responsibility to care for the emotional and physical needs of your children, partner, extended family members, and more, and it’s no wonder that Mom Guilt is the topic of too many research studies, memes, articles, and blog posts to count – not, with your to-do list, like you’d even have time to count them.
Take a timeout for self-care
With society breathing down your neck and telling you how to mom – and with your actual little ones at your feet, needing your attention – giving yourself permission to slow down can be impossible. But taking time out for self-care isn’t just possible – it’s integral for your mental health, emotional well-being, and physical energy.
The first step is recognizing the most important person in your care: you. And make sure your own needs are met before tending to others. It can feel counter-intuitive (when we feel overwhelmed, we tend to put on the pressure and work harder, right?), but if you’re burned out, you can’t help those around you.
So check out our list of self-care ideas for inspiration, block out your schedule, and make time to be your best self with a little TLC. After all, you’re a mom – who knows love and care better than you?
Self-care activities for the busy mom
1. Treat yourself, in solidarity
What’s your love language? Most of us are familiar with words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch, but often, the quickest route to the heart is through gifting. So why not give yourself a little love?
Savvy moms already know that monthly subscription services – delivering meal prep, school supplies, clothing and more – are real time-savers. So add one more subscription to your rotation: a monthly gift for you. Mom Time Delivered and Mama Needs Box are both self-care boxes curated especially for busy moms, and include artisan bath products, chocolates, teas and other feel-good treats. It may seem small, but ensuring a little gift appears on your doorstep each month can do wonders for your well-being.
2. Schedule monthly "me time"
Take a look at your calendar – how many days have you blocked off something just for you? It can be a challenge to squeeze in time to even drink a cup of coffee between pickup, team practices, recitals, doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher meetings and, well, more. So make yourself a priority by blocking out some "me time" at least once a month, even if you have to book it well in advance. And stick with it.
If you'd like an on-trend reminder to treat yourself, check out Hey Mamacita, a carefully curated monthly subscription of lifestyle and beauty products. When your box comes in, it means "me time" is on -- so take a minute for self-care.
3. Focus on happiness
With all you’ve got going on, it can feel hard to stay balanced – but to avoid burnout, you’ve got to give yourself permission to make mental health a priority. Never feel guilty about checking in with a therapist or setting aside time for a little reflection and intention-setting. For busy moms, the therapist-curated TheraBox is a lifesaver, featuring one research-driven happiness activity each month, plus 6-8 wellness goodies like aromatherapy, essential oils, skincare products and more.
4. Take a hot bath
Who doesn’t love relaxing in a hot bubble bath? Treat yourself to some alone time and lap up pure luxury with a Bath Blessing Box, a subscription delivering bath goodies like bath bombs, body butters, shower sachets, artisan bar soaps and more each month (and hide that stuff away where the kids can’t get it – this one’s for Mommy)!
5. Curl up with a book
Treat your mind and treat your soul. Work with your partner to free up one morning each week that’s set aside just for you to quietly read while savoring a cup of coffee. Check out a hot new release, or find solace in the classics: the subscription Coffee and a Classic delivers a classic novel each month, plus “something to sip on” and two bookish goodies, so you don’t even have to fuss with the shopping. Just click to order, and wait for the peace and quiet to arrive.
6. Write it out in a letter
Let’s face it – sometimes those “connections” on social media just aren’t enough. Take a little self-care time and commit to connecting authentically with those you love: pick up the phone, schedule a wine date with your best friend, or even say hello to loved ones the old-fashioned way with a handwritten letter. (Because who doesn’t love getting mail?) Get inspired by the super-cute stationery and planners from the adorably curated Planning World, which sends you a seasonal selection of greeting cards, washi tape, post-its, stickers and more for your letter-writing needs.
7. Do a sun salutation
You already know yoga is great for your physical health, emotional balance, and mindfulness – but time can be a constraint. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to bring the yoga studio to you, from 10-minute yoga videos to the online yoga community, supplies, and mini-lessons from Do A Shot of Yoga. If you’re new to the mat, start slowly and be patient with yourself – and most importantly, remember that you’re doing this for you.
8. Get creative with pampering
A spa day doesn’t have to mean lounging languidly on the couch with cucumber slices over your eyes (though, let’s be honest, that sounds… not terrible). Pamper yourself and flex your craftiness with the magic of the home mani-pedi. Nail stamp and stencil subscription box Maniology is specifically designed to help you get creative with your manicure and pedicure – so you can make your self-care an opportunity for self-expression, too.
9. Seek out empowerment
Splurge a little and support woman-owned businesses and charities benefiting women worldwide with a subscription to the quarterly Fempowerment Box. Each box is packed chock-full of self-care goodies like Korean sheet masks, bath bombs, sweet treats, cute stationery and more, so you can treat yo'self like a goddess while helping goddesses ‘round the globe.