“I like that you are happy,” said my husband when I asked him “what do you like that I am doing so I can continue doing that?” Then I started to tell him WHY I am happy. It was especially important for me to tell him because I have had many “sad” phases after moving to a new country recently. So I told him that I am happy because I don’t feel restricted anymore. I go out on a regular basis, I go boxing once a week, I get to see my new friends without taking the kids every time because you are home watching them, I get spa time a couple of times a month and I am sleeping better than I did when I used to cosleep with my baby. She used to pinch my lips, put her finger in my nose and eyes and crawl in bed! All of these during bedtime, of course. So… that’s why I’m happy! Alhamdulillah.
When my older daughter, now 5, was 2 years old, I desperately wanted some “me time.” I think it got to that point because she was colicky and clingy since the day she was born; therefore, I didn’t even think about having some free time so I could focus on myself every day or even week! So finally from then on my focus on self-care began and alhamdulillah I am so glad it did.
All moms have been there at one point. There’s so much that needs to be done. Taking care of a child or children is a full time job in and of itself and on top of that there are house chores that need to be taken care of. If you’re working outside the home or working from home, that could be added to the list as well as all the other roles that need to be fulfilled- life as a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a volunteer and more.
Where’s the time for yourself? I have some clients who are moms, struggling to keep their cool with their kids. They say they have anger issues and they need counselling for it. Yes, there were some but in reality, some of them were never “angry people”. Many times it was just because of lack of time for themselves! They’re constantly taking care of others because of which they have naturally forgotten about themselves. Mamma, if you aren’t rested and happy then you can’t keep your family happy. You need to take care of yourself first to make sure you can take care of everyone else and do it well.
If this is an area you’re struggling with then take a look. Here are 14 things that you can do for yourself:
- Get a facial. This is my favourite! So it’s on top of the list
- Massage for your tired back and feet
- Get active. It will help increase your self-esteem and ward off anger, anxiety and depression
- Go shopping. I don’t need to elaborate, do I?
- Read a book. No, reading children’s books during your kids’ bedtime doesn’t count
- Attend weekend long Islamic courses in your city to boost up your Iman. I’m sure it’ll help, insha’Allah
- Take long showers once in a while and actually feel the water, smell the soap!
- Say YES to get-together with the girls. It’s very tempting to say no but do work with your husband or babysitter
- Journal. Keep it a place where you can make lists, express your feelings that you can’t tell others, write down ideas for things/projects you’d like to do
- Phone calls with sisters or friends. That’s always a picker upper
- Put on some nice clothes and brush your hair. I know sometimes there’s no time to brush your teeth even! Start doing it several times a week if not every day. Oops, do I have low standards?
- Listen to short lectures because sometimes there’s no time to listen to or attend the long ones. Pick something that interests you. This is also dhikr so it’ll bring ease to the heart, inshaAllah
- Make a whatsapp group of friends and/or family who will be your support group. Make it a place where you can vent and get sincere advice from
- Talk to a counsellor, coach or therapist get your life sorted out if needed
There you have it. Give yourself and your family the gift of taking care of yourself. You will be a much happier, productive and positive person. Wouldn’t they love being around you more if you are (more) pleasant? Alright, go ahead. Do something today.