Read a book, have some coffee, enjoy some mommy time. Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News

Hey moms, self-care is not selfish. There is nothing wrong about caring for yourself along with your family. The hustle and bustle of the holidays has died down. The tree is out to the curb and things are getting back to business as usual. This year, make that mean more time for you.

It's a new year and we all have big plans. We all hope to do better, be better. For moms, that might mean giving ourselves a break. Yes, I realize that dads work hard, too. My husband never stops. Sometimes I have to remind him to slow down a bit. But, I can only write about things from a mom's perspective and what I've learned over the years. One of the most important life-lessons that has served me very well is to take time for me. I know, it's not easy. I still don't do it enough. Maybe 2017 is my year.

It's a new year and that is a great excuse to give it a try. It's not about making sweeping changes in your life or hiring a full-time nanny. It is about finding even a small amount of time for yourself. It sounds nice, doesn't it?  So where do we begin?

Step No. 1: talk with your significant other. If you don't have one, maybe a parent, sibling, aunt or friend. Ask if there is a time when they might be able to help you out with the kids. It doesn't have to be a lot of time. Just a bit. If that's not feasible, consider hiring a babysitter. Start off with two hours a week. Any day is fine - whatever works.

Step No. 2: Do not feel guilty (this is very important). Why should we? We work hard on the whole parenting thing, so taking some time to recharge, reflect and renew is actually a good thing. It's good for you, good for your spouse and good for your kids. This is particularly true for stay-at-home-moms because there are times when we do not interact with other adults for days on end. It can feel like emotional claustrophobia.

Once you're set - you can do what makes you happy.

  • Read. Not a parenting article. Not news. Something you can really get into and enjoy.
  • Get a mani/pedi.
  • Go out with girlfriends.
  • Sleep.
  • Go for a run or a workout. Move at your own pace, not the pace of those little ones you're always chasing around.
  • Sit at a coffee shop and people watch.
  • Get some retail therapy. Even if it's just window shopping. If you do spend, buy something for you.

For the record, I have called on a babysitter just so I could take a nap. It was amazing. Best sleep I've had in a while. With a 2-year-old insomniac, nap-refuser - it was much needed and well worth it.

The fact is, moms wear many hats and tackle a slew of responsibilities. It's important to remind ourselves that we are a valued member of our family. Everyone in the family needs our undivided attention at times - including us.  So resolve to put yourself on the list of most important things in life. You'll be a better mom for it.

 

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