Mindful Mommy Tips: Demonstrating Self-Care for Kids
As parents, we often focus on the major milestones and obvious ‘teachable moments,’ but remember – our children watch and learn during the in-between moments too. Our little sponges absorb every shrug, sigh, and frustrated eyeroll, so it’s important to model positive stress management and healthy habits.
You don’t have to hide yourself away while journaling or steal time to process emotions. Self-care is not selfish – it’s essential and something worth celebrating.
By demonstrating self-care routines and inviting kids to take part, we can teach healthy habits and carve out more time for ourselves in the process:
- Schedule downtime to sit and rest
Mom life is busy, and our kids are often dragged along when schedules get full. Even if they’re not responsible for driving in rush hour traffic or making it on time to an important appointment, our kids adopt the same stress.
This week, commit to scheduling 15 minutes of empty space during transition times, especially if you know that you’ll have a little one in tow. Downtime can feel like a lifeline!
- Side-by-side journaling
Break out the crayons and flip to a fresh page. You can share journaling time and invite kids to process their emotions in a healthy way, whether they’re doodling or writing full sentences.
It’s important to agree on expectations and create a safe space – like setting a timer for five minutes of silence or creating a rule that journaling can be private and doesn’t have to be shared. Up to you!
- Talk through tense moments
So much emotional coping and self-soothing happens under the surface. We don’t (often) work through stress with stomping feet and streaming tears, so adult emotions look like a magic trick. Mommy faced a tough challenge, she started to get overwhelmed, and then *poof* she found peace. How?
Vocalize your calm-down strategies and invite your children to practice with you – envisioning a happy memory, counting deep breaths, releasing tense muscles, identifying the root cause of your stress, or shifting focus toward what you can control. They’ll learn, and you’ll have a little helper when things get hard.
- Touch and feel gratitude
It’s often difficult to explain and model high-level emotions. True gratitude is so much deeper than instant satisfaction or surface-level thanks. Take your children on a journey around your home and community to collect physical representations of what matters most.
The touch of a friend’s hug, the flavor of fresh drinking water from the tap, and the warmth of mom’s softest sweater have the power to root you in the present moment.
- Show off your setup
You created a quiet, calming corner for yourself with the Peace Journal, your 5 Minutes of Calm Candle, and a gorgeous fountain pen. Does your child know how you did it? Walk them through the planning and shopping process to find uplifting items that instill joy over stress.
As you put this list of ideas into action, remember to strike the right balance. If we hide self-care and treat it like a stolen luxury, our kids might think that it’s taboo. Stigmas are passed down through untold conversations, even more than explicit comments.
But don’t forget that this time still exists to serve you. Mommies give so much of ourselves… If you’re not ready to let others inside the ‘real’ self-care moments that restore your soul, that’s okay!
Protect the time and routines that make you feel beautiful, treasured, and nurtured. Then you’ll have the energy to turn your intentions outward and develop extra self-care routines to share.