Moms are feeling stressed and burned out.  You are a cook, maid, chauffeur, referee, judge, cheerleader, banker...the list goes on and on.  Enough.  It's time to practice a little mom self-care.  A little "me time" is in order.  Sure, you think.  I can't even go to the bathroom by myself anymore.

Flights attendants instruct you that in the event of an emergency, you need to put your oxygen mask on before you put on your child's mask. You need to take care of yourself first - then you are able to help others.  You have a right to "me" time.

Here are some tips for practicing good self-care:

Just Say No

One of the best ways to take care of yourself is by using the word "no" more often when demands are made of you. Establishing boundaries and sticking to them does wonders for your mental health and physical health.  Choosing what you will and won't let into your life is a healthy thing to do. And if someone doesn't like it, tough cookies for them.

Know Your Rights

As a human being, you have fundamental rights, including:

  • The right to change your mind at any time
  • The right to do less that what is humanly possible
  • The right to say no
  • The right to make your own choices
  • The right to make a choice without needing to justify that choice
  • The right to take a break when you need one

Keep these rights in mind when your intuition (gut) is telling you that something just doesn't feel right.  Take a step back and reevaluate.

Find Time for Self-Care

Even just a few minutes of closing your eyes and visualizing a relaxing scene can give your mind (and body) a break.  Trade babysitting time with a friend.  You watch her kids one afternoon so she can get some "me time", and she watches your kids one afternoon the next week.  Everyone wins.  Especially your kids, who get a refreshed and relaxed mom. 

Get a babysitter once a week so you and your spouse/partner can have "date night".  It is very important that you have some time alone during the week.

Seek Support

Being a mom can be isolating at times.  You start craving conversation with adults.  Seek out playgroups and other activities where you can spend time with other moms.

If you find that you are feeling blue or teary for no reason, you have feelings of worthlessness, you don't feel any attachment towards your kids, or you are feeling suicidal, get help immediately from your doctor, a counselor, or a crisis center. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you are having a difficult time coping after the birth of your baby, information on postpartum depression can be found at

Remember, reaching out for help is a sign of strength.

Copyright 2011 Sarkis Media LLC

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