12 realistic self-care goals for moms of young children

4. Sit on the toilet and have a good cry.

12 realistic self-care goals for moms of young children

I'm terrible when it comes to self-care. Sometimes just seeing the word makes me anxious; it reminds me of yet another way I'm failing at life.

So I came up with a list of more attainable self-care goals for moms. All are based on my own exhaustive research.*

(*None of this is scientifically proven in any way.)

  1. Take 90 seconds to finally remove the remaining slivers of nail polish from the last pedicure you got, back in September. Go ahead—indulge yourself.
  2. Buy a "share size" bag of peanut M&M's and polish it off in the 7-Eleven parking lot.
  3. Take an online shopping break! Fill your cart with adorable clothes you won't actually buy. Because one of these days you'll have time to go to an actual store, without the children, and try on clothes in a leisurely manner. You will. Right?
  4. Sit on the toilet and have a good cry.
  5. Plan a girls' night out! Make sure to text everyone early in the day, when you can realistically fool yourself into believing you'll have the energy to leave the house at night. Revel in sweet relief when everyone inevitably texts to cancel, then fall asleep while reading to your children.

  6. Stop reading the Goop article about why you should be using face cream made with your own blood, and watch an old Gwyneth Paltrow movie instead. Be grateful that you never tried to emulate her Sliding Doors haircut. (Or, if you did, be grateful that it grew out before social media happened.)
  7. Fantasize. Feel free to go a little crazy with this one. For instance, imagine an episode of Paw Patrol in which the residents of Adventure Bay demand that Mayor Goodway create an actual police and fire department instead of leaving the town's safety in the hands of a 10-year-old boy and his dogs. Alternatively, imagine a world in which you never have to watch another Paw Patrol episode ever again.
  8. Grab a screwdriver and remove the batteries from every toy that talks, plays music, or emits other skull-piercing electronic sounds. Because if that talking puppy tells you to pat its tummy one more time, you cannot be held responsible for your actions. Feign surprise when your child tells you his toys have stopped working. Promise you'll try to fix them… later.
  9. Be more like Marty, the grocery store robot that doesn't actually do anything. Specifically, the next time someone spills something on the floor, just yell "Caution! Hazard detected!" and wait for someone else to come and clean it up. *Note: You may have to wait a long time (read: forever), but the yelling will be cathartic.
  10. Eat your kids' leftovers without guilt. Just spoon that creamy mac and cheese right off their plates and enjoy. Allow yourself the unfettered pleasure of scarfing the chicken nuggets your children suddenly no longer like. You deserve it.

  11. Cozy up with a good book… synopsis on Amazon. It'll tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the 400-page, multigenerational family saga everyone's talking about, and you'll be fast asleep before you can click "buy now."
  12. Do Start a crossword puzzle. Accept that you will never get to finish it.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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