Self-Care Vital for Moms

When I wrote my book Mastering the Mommy Track, my daughters were ages 3 and 1, ages when “self-care” is often at the bottom of a mom’s to-do list. I thought it was important to explore the topic in a chapter and posed the question “How do I find alone time?”

If you have a baby or toddler, how do you break away during the week or on the weekend? Some moms like to get their nails done or get a shoulder massage; others may find walks or runs helpful for releasing tension.

Working moms face the risk of burn-out if they do not take time out for themselves, if they always place their spouse’s or kids’ needs about their own.

Weekend breaks are an extra special treat if you can swing it. Can you break away to visit a friend in another city? I try to go to NYC twice a year and stay with a friend for the weekend. Since I lived there for ten years, I always enjoy returning.

Recently, I spent time in Baltimore to attend the wedding party of a friend and former coworker. I was thrilled to celebrate my friend’s nuptials with her and her spouse, family and close friends.

  •  Traveling does not have to be too expensive. I took the bus to Baltimore — it cost less than the train and I had a chance to do some reading. Stay with a friend to avoid the cost of a hotel — or if you have to book a hotel room, share the cost with other friends. If you need to get a room solo, use your credit card points.
  • Explore a city you are not familiar with. If you get the chance to visit a city solo for a day or two, do it. I am not a big clothes shopper but in Fells Point, I did stumble upon a work outfit I had to buy — only $30 at 60 percent off. In addition, I ate a few mouth-watering oysters for only a dollar each that a restaurant was selling outside. You never know what you will stumble upon if you have some time to walk a city by yourself.

After a weekend in Baltimore, I was ready to return to the family late Sunday afternoon. The best part of being away for two days? Returning to your kids’ warm hugs as you walk in the door and hearing the words, “I missed you Mommy!”

Erin Flynn Jay is a Philadelphia writer, public relations executive and mom of two girls. This post was adapted from her blog, Mastering the Mommy Track.

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