To all mothers: Be bold, put YOURSELF first for once!
You have sacrificed so much for your husband and children, but when was the last time you focused on your own wants and needs? This International Women's Day, remember that you are important too, so be bold and put YOURSELF first!
Mums, we know you need to iron your husband’s work clothes, cook your family’s meals, change your baby’s diaper, pick up some groceries at the supermarket, and clean the house from top to bottom – but when was the last time you actually paid some attention to your own wants and needs?
Being a mother can sometimes feel like a thankless job, and we understand the great sacrifices women make to keep your family a priority, but every once in a while you should also focus on yourself.
No, it’s not being selfish, it’s called self-care, which is essential for your well-being because you can’t possibly pour from an empty cup.
You know when you’re on an aeroplane and the flight attendant gives a safety demonstration on what to do during an emergency? You’re advised to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before tending to your child or others who need help.
The same goes for when you’re back on the ground and going about your day to day life as a working woman, a devoted wife and a loving mother.
So this International Women’s Day, you can be bold, brave and brilliant by putting yourself first for once by following these top 10 helpful tips:
1. Get your hair and nails done
If your hair is perpetually tied up in a messy bun (we mean the dishevelled bird’s nest kind of mess, not the effortlessly chique Instagram version), and your nails look vaguely similar to that of Shrek’s, then it’s about time you be bold and head on down to a salon for some much needed TLC and a boost of confidence!
Vivian Diller, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in New York City (USA), explains:
“Our sense of attractiveness is strongly connected to confidence and positive self-esteem. Many men and women associate confidence with feeling in control, and hair is one way most of us can be in charge. For example, hair can be altered through cutting, colouring and highlighting, but controlled through straightening, curling and styling. Styled, well-kept hair gives us the external appearance of being well managed and it can contribute to feeling that way internally. Some people say that a manicure or pedicure creates a similar sense of feeling in control.”
2. Order a meal that YOU want to eat
When you go out to eat with your family, you probably automatically ask your toddler what she wants to eat and just end up sharing from her plate because you know she won’t be able to finish her meal.
Instead of worrying about wasting food (you can always ask to tapau the leftovers) and forcing yourself to eat mac & cheese/chicken nuggets/spaghetti bolognese/fish and chips yet again, just get whatever you feel like eating!
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Mothers are absolutely amazing, but you are not Superwoman – if you need someone to lend a helping hand, by all means reach out to your own mum, your in-laws, your husband, or your best friend.
Whether it’s to keep an eye on your little one for an hour or two while you get some work done, or only for a few minutes so you can catch your breath, just be brave because there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help.
4. Buy that new dress you’ve been eyeing
You wouldn’t hesitate to spend over $100 on your husband’s new shoes, and would willingly pay $50 for your child’s monthly stockpile of gluten-free organic snacks, yet you refuse to fork out $29.90 on that lovely new dress you have been longingly staring at every single time you walk by the store.
Chances are, the underwear you have on right now is probably older than your kids and you’ve recently started to raid your husband’s closet for comfy t-shirts (are we right?).
Just because you’re a mother now, that doesn’t mean fashion should take a backseat! You can still be bold, rock your mummy style and turn a few heads at the playground.
5. Mums need health check-ups too!
When your whole family is down with the flu, you’re the Wonder Woman who bends over backwards to take care of everyone – but if you fall ill, you’d probably still be expected to be up and running even if you’re running a high fever.
It may not be a day at the spa, but scheduling yourself for a medical check-up is something you should do especially if you feel something may be amiss.
Women tend to brush off any strange symptoms and ignore warning signs because we’re just “too busy” and “don’t have time” to get it checked out, but it’s important that you do, just in case it could be something serious.
6. Read a (grown-up) book
After reading your child the story of Goodnight Moon or The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 10th time and you’ve tucked her into bed, it’s time for you dust off that book you’ve been meaning to read for the past few months.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Reading is a wonderful way to forget about your daily worries, relax and unwind.”
So the next time you’re at the library with your little one, check out a few new books for yourself as well for some light reading before your own bedtime.
7. Add cranberries to your diet
Sometimes mums are so busy that we actually forget to eat, drink enough water or even go to the toilet!
That’s a pretty bad habit and can lead to a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which is a common occurrence in women where the risk increases after giving birth and especially after undergoing a caesarean section.
Drinking cranberry juice or snacking on some craisins (dried cranberries) can help prevent UTIs, decrease your use of UTI antibiotics, and it also has other health benefits.
Toss some craisins into your breakfast cereal or yogurt, sprinkle it on your salad, add it to your home-made cookies and cakes, or whip up some tasty kid-friendly treats to enjoy with the whole family!
8. Go on a hot date
Now that you’re parents, your love life may be a little lacklustre – but it’s important to set aside some alone time with your husband and plan a fun night out every now and then.
Skip the Dreamworks animations and catch an R-rated movie, forget about fast food and dine at a romantic restaurant, throw those tattered sweatpants in the wash and put on that gorgeous new dress you recently purchased instead.
It’s time to add the sparks back to your marriage and get reconnected with your partner!
9. Find your mummy tribe
Forget the girl squad, now that you have a little one to take care of 24/7, you need to be brilliant and connect with your mummy tribe for support, advice and to swap parenting horror stories.
It’s great to have some friends who are also mothers because when your kids meet up for playdates, you can connect with these women and vent or just have an adult conversation that doesn’t revolve around Elmo or Dora.
They are also the ones who will be quick to jump in and help (instead of judge you) when your tot is having a major meltdown or tantrum in public!
10. Remember who YOU are
Just because you are somebody’s wife and somebody’s mother now, this doesn’t mean you have stopped being YOU.
Continue to do the things that you love, dress the way that you like, hang out with people who make you smile, eat the foods you crave, and go to places you’ve always dreamed of.
Although you have multiple roles to play, don’t ever lose your identity as a woman.
Happy International Women’s Day to all mothers out there – always remember to be bold, brave and brilliant! Share this article with your mummy friends as a loving reminder for them to take care of themselves too