As a working mother – single or partnered – you need to make time just for yourself. We have some tips on how to care for yourself, not just those you love.

Women face a lot of pressure, from work deadlines and kids’ busy schedules to family events. Carina Davio, the founder of Building Villages, is a mom who’s passionate about promoting family wellness. In her blog Motherly, she writes that: ‘When we can stay connected to our own wellbeing, it overflows onto our children, and we’re more patient, loving, joyful parents.’ According to child development experts, your kids will be better for it too.


  • If you’re a new mom with a small baby who doesn’t sleep well, sleep when the baby does! Don’t fall into the trap of trying to get all the household chores done while the baby sleeps. Housework is not as important as your wellbeing, so grab the chance to rest when you can. Make a ritual of being still and gathering your thoughts at the beginning and end of each day. Focus on relaxing all your muscles, breathing deeply and channelling positive energy into the coming day.
  • Get active. Whether in the morning or after work, exercise will destress you and clear your mind. Even a 10-minute walk helps to relax you.
  • Catch up with friends. Ask your partner, a friend or relative to look after the kids and don’t feel guilty – they benefit from a mom who is happy and relaxed.
  • Find a hobby. Focusing your energy on doing something creative, productive, interesting or educational allows you to let go of stress.
  • Join or start a book club. Some discuss and review the books they’ve read, but others are more sociable – everyone just brings a book, maybe with their comments written on an insert, and takes home one that was brought by someone else. You can also share meals.
  • Form a babysitting group with other moms in your area. Babysitters are expensive, but if you band together you can each get a few hours of ‘me time’ every weekend.
  • If you commute, use the time sitting on the bus, train or taxi to relax and enjoy a good book or listen to music. Wear earphones even if you’re just reading, to block out traffic noise and quieten your mind.


We asked a few moms what they do to maintain a balance between caring for their families and looking after their own wellbeing. Here’s what they had to say:

Nkateko Baloyi, 35, mom of two aged 11 and 2

‘I strive to make weekends a time to spend with my girls and husband. I believe in prayer. Reading The Bible and sending a prayer before a good night’s sleep is my regular quiet time. But spending a day being pampered at the spa is real “me time”. I do it monthly without fail. To be honest, “me time” has now become family time!’

Babalelang Kona, 29, mom of two aged 6 and 3

‘After work when the kids are all tucked into bed, I take a lovely long shower to relax my mind before I get into my studies. I have recently gone back to building models (like Lego), which is my favourite pastime. I also love being pampered – doing my nails, feet, and hair and going for a massage once in a while.’

Gabaza Mhlongo, 45, mom of two aged 16 and 11

‘Weekdays are just crazy for me. After a long day of crisis management and meetings, I fetch my daughter from aftercare, prepare dinner and help with homework. When everyone is asleep, I read for about 30 minutes. But I mostly reserve Sundays just for me. After church, I make sure to take a two-hour nap.’

Matebatso Matheta, 32, mom of two aged 6 and 4

‘I’m an indoor person. After a long day at work, I take a hot shower, have a glass of wine and read or watch my favourite TV show. On weekends I catch up with friends. We usually go to movies or dinner. But travelling is really my best escape. My husband and I recently went to Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam for our wedding anniversary.’

Nozipho Nkosi, 48, mom of two aged 30 and 17

‘There are a couple of things I do daily to squeeze in “me time”. I work out every morning before I go to work. This gives my brain a much-needed break from daily stresses. Just before I go to sleep, I meditate, pray and reflect – take some time to think about things to clear my head of all the noise and stress. On weekends I usually run long distances or go out with my friends.’

Text Lisa Thabethe
8 WAYS TO GET “ME TIME” FOR MOMS 8 WAYS TO GET “ME TIME” FOR MOMS Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on July 06, 2018 Rating: 5
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