# How to Live Well # Motherhood

Self Care for Busy Moms

One of the most heavily requested videos I get is, how do we care for ourselves as busy moms? I'm right in the thick of it, as you know, with a baby and a toddler. With regard to self care during this time I am certainly learning a lot. I've learned that I have to take a holistic approach to caring for myself and that it's the small moments and simple pleasures that really matter.

I'm learning along with all of you and I have so much to say! (You'll note that this week's video is 7 minutes long.) Even when we do our best to take care of ourselves things don't always go our way. I've spent the last ten days battling the most miserable cold (so much for my spring break!). Everyday I adapt. I've gone to bed at 7:30pm, cancelled social engagements and finally went to the doctor.

When I am used to being busy and on top of everything I get in denial when I'm not well and need to step back and take a break. Thanks to all of you on twitter and facebook for your marvelous health advice and for following my progress :)

Watch this week's video to hear how I get through my day with care and style. (And truly this video is not just for busy moms but all of us, really, who would like to find balance in life.) If you are unable to see the embedded video, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur.

This week I would love to know... how do you care for yourself?


♥ Marilyn of Two Frugal Fairfielders reviews Lessons from Madame Chic. She says it's "one of the best little books I've ever read".

♥ Marla Malcolm Beck, co-founder of Bluemercury, reviewed Lessons from Madame Chic on her blog and even tried out le no makeup look for herself!

♥ My interview last Wednesday with Cindy Laverty on Women 4 Women Network radio did not air due to technical difficulties, but it will air this Wednesday, April 10th at 10am PST. Visit www.W4WN.com or click here to listen to our interview where we discuss how we can CARE for ourselves as busy women.

♥ This Wednesday evening, April 10th, I'll be a guest on Bill Leff's late night radio show on WGN Chicago (radio 720). Check out his website for more details.

♥ Because of my cold I have not yet shot my spring ten-item wardrobe video. It's coming soon, I promise. You've probably already noticed some new pieces I'm wearing in my videos... it's coming! Next week will discuss looking presentable while raising small children. See you then!

♥ And finally, I would like to dedicate this blog post to Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic who passed away last week. I grew up watching Siskel and Ebert's weekly show. Their intelligent, yet approachable reviews got the entire nation excited to become film connoisseurs. If I was ever curious about a movie, I would always go to Roger Ebert's website first to see what he had to say. I'm a bit at a loss as to what I'll do now. He will be greatly missed.

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Unknown said...

Hello, Jennifer!

I so hear you on this subject! I even wrote about it in a previous post, on my blog, as this question was on my mind for the first months of motherhood: can’t we just have the cake and eat it too (read have the baby and take care of oneself/enjoy it too)?
I find that, as new moms, we share everything, our entire universe and every nanosecond of our life. But does being a good, round-the- clock available mom exclude being a social being or a polished-looking, in-shape woman (no pun intended)? No, certainly not! At least, I didn’t sign up for this when we decided to have a baby.

Here are some ideas (excerpts from the above-mentioned post):
1. Do something for you every day.
2. Stay (socially) connected. Things happen, people evolve, people live, and friends need to hear your voice from time to time. Don’t isolate yourself from the rest of the world.
3. Keep a daily beauty routine.
4. Let the music play (all kinds of it, whatever brings you in a happy, better mood).
5. Have friends over for brunch (the perfect time between baby's meals, naps and playtime). It doesn’t have to be a fancy affair: just be practical about it. The point is for you to be with your friends again, to share some laughs and get out of your daily routine. Your baby needs to be in the company of adults too, not to mention so do you!
6. Engage in a project. (Start knitting, start a blog, paint something, browse through the DIY blogs/magazines etc.)God knows, it made me so happy having something to “work” on and something to look forward to every day.

Looking forward to reading more advice from you, Jennifer, and also from fellow readers.

Have a good one!

Dee J said...

Watching this video was an like an oasis in my day today. Timely! Thank you :)

The Frugal Fairfielders review captured the theme of your book so well. Kudos!

Take care~d

Unknown said...

Great video!
My favourite self indulgences as the mother of a young child are:
Walking - I go for long walks around parks and beautiful parts of the city while my son naps in the buggy/stroller. This is a great way to stay fit and have some time to think.
Reading - when I get the chance I go to bed early and read a good novel until I fall asleep.
These things sound simple but they keep me feeling like 'me'in the busy world of new motherhood. Even better than an expensive night out or beauty treatment.
Hannah Ruth

Tara Lane said...

I avoid television news and stick to my public radio station. It usually gives a more in-depth perspective and I feel like I can actually hold a decent adult conversation if I'm called upon to do so! (Plus, I can avoid those awful commercials that make me think I ought to worry about aging.)

AmandaM said...

Hi Jennifer

Great video, and a question that puzzles experienced mums as much as first timers.

My ideas on self care include:

- Practise the art of 'no'. Sooo many of us are 'yes men' (yes people?) and give so much of ourselves to others whenever they ask without any regard for the cost, whether physical or emotional, to ourselves. It's okay to be a little selfish sometimes. You're allowed to keep some of you for you. So next time someone asks you to do something that you know is just going to be a little too much for you, just say 'I'm sorry, I really just can't manage that right now. You understand.' Trust me, no one is going to say that they don't understand.

- Your children learn by example. Teach them your worth by showing them that you value yourself. If they see you treating yourself as important, they will realise that you are to be valued. And not just for your ability to meet their myriad needs. Tell them that what you are doing is something for you because you need it and you deserve it.

- Look for ways to incorporate self care into the boring bits of your everyday routine. One of my favourite things to do when my first was young was to put him in the stroller at nap time, and walk with him to my favourite cafe. He'd fall asleep in the stroller, and when we arrived I had a good hour or two to enjoy a coffee, a magazine or newspaper, a little people watching. No demands made of me at all and because I was out, I wasn't tempted to 'just quickly do those dishes/fold that laundry/clean the bathroom'. Baby enjoyed a good nap in the stroller an the change of scene when he woke up. Win for everyone!

Looking forward to hearing more ideas. Self care has gotten a little trickier as my children have grown, as they both have special needs - I constantly re-evaluate what I'm doing.



Unknown said...

I love the comment 'a lily blossom in a muddy pond'. We can always find beauty in the moment if we choose to look for it.

I am learning to live more in the moment every day.

Thank you for the reminder and for another great post!