Self-Care for Christian Moms: An Unconventional Guide

Self care for moms :  It’s one of the most-discussed topics on the internet these days!

And it’s no wonder, when so many of us are trying to do it all:  work, family, kids’ activities, church and maybe volunteer activities too.

How is there any time left in the day to take care of us?

How do we relax and unwind when there’s so little time and energy left?

Popular self care ideas for moms typically include things like finding time for that elusive spa day, a shopping trip, or maybe a “girls day out”.

And don’t forget catching up on the latest Netflix series, or unwinding with your favorite beverage after the kiddos are asleep.

While the mommy-needs-a-glass-of-wine culture is in full force, I personally think there are better ways for us to cope with the pressures we’re facing.

Maybe what we really need is a new approach to practical self care for mothers, and one that’s also Biblical.

Self care for women and moms is a hot topic these days; but what does it really look like for the Christian mom? What should it even look like? #ChristianMotherhood #MomLife #SelfCare

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Self Care from a Biblical Perspective

Christian self-care, in my view, looks a little different.  Let’s talk about four simple things that can help to lower stress in our day and benefit everyone in the family.

#1. Pray always.

If you’re a Christian mom, you already know how important prayer is.  But how often in the day do we remember to stop and ask for God’s help with all the little things – and really believe He will do it?

This is so critical, but easily forgotten.

Remember that His eye is on the sparrow – and it’s certainly on you and your loved ones.

When I stop and breathe and just ask for Jesus’ help to cope with stress, it makes all the difference for me.

I often rely on Philippians 4:6-7 which says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Imagine Jesus literally standing guard at the door of your overwhelming thoughts before they sink into the places that invade your soul.

That’s powerful!

By trusting in the Lord to take care of us, we are acknowledging that self care is not the answer to all of life’s struggles – but knowing we’re under God’s care is.

When your kids see you pray and notice the impact on your behavior, this becomes a vital lesson in how to manage stress in their own lives.

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#2. Learn to delegate or say no.

There will be a time to be involved in all.the.things, but if you have young children especially – that time is not now.

In fact, if I could give one piece of unsolicited advice :  the best type of self care for new moms is to put outside obligations on the back-burner for now.

Allow yourself to live more slowly, if just for this space of time.

Sometimes I think we’re influenced by celebrities and TV personalities who seem to have it all together professionally PLUS the perfect little family.  ( Thanks for setting the bar so high, Chip and Joanna 😉  ) .

Then we wonder why we can’t manage to even get to school with socks on everyone’s feet.

Don’t compare yourself to other moms, first of all, and be the gatekeeper of what you can and can’t commit to.

Honestly, with four kids now, we are pretty limited in our commitments outside of our immediate family.

Someone wise once told me this:  your primary ministry at this time in your life is the ministry to your family.  Your kids are put under your care (and your husband’s) for a reason.  They need you present and intimately involved in their lives.

Happy family of four in kitchen

I have to admit this is one area I probably struggle with the most, and unfortunately it can often be rooted in pride.

Because let’s face it, it can be easier and sometimes more externally rewarding to “minister” to those you don’t have to live with!

So even though it’s noble to want to be involved in all the volunteer / ministry work and further God’s kingdom – your ministry to your family matters most at this present time.

Learning to prioritize and unload the pressures you’re tempted to succumb to is just one piece of the self care puzzle.

This isn’t meant to give you an excuse to not reach out to others — just to keep your priorities in check.

And, of course, having fewer commitments (or focusing on the ones that really matter) is one of the most practical ways to reduce your stress – and the need for world’s version of “self care”.

Read Next:  Two Powerful Words for the Overwhelmed Mom

#3. Focus outward more than inward

Can I be real for a moment here?  I think much of the reason we get so overwhelmed and frustrated in our day-to-day mom life is because we’re too focused on us.  Our feelings, our wants.

What we’re missing out on (or think we’re missing).

Maybe your kid ruined your favorite shirt.  Or you missed meeting up with that friend you hadn’t seen in ages because one of your children was sick and needed you at home instead.

Those scenarios are bound to happen.  And YES, when you have the opportunity, you should take advantage of alone time and also cultivate those friendships.  REALLY, do this when you can.  (

But in reality, in the season of raising young children – this idea of having a social life and needing a prescribed amount of “me time” is a little over-inflated.

Read next:  Motherhood and the Lonely Years

Unconventional Self Care Ideas for Moms

Focusing Outward

When we focus less on our feelings (which can be deceptive) and more on others, that’s where we find true joy.

Yes, it sounds totally backwards but it’s also totally Biblical.  It’s the practice of denying self.

Joy = self care for mothers that can’t be formulated any better way.

As moms, I think we need to have a sort of reckoning with this internal battle and decide:  is this frustration I’m facing today really worth agonizing over?  How will my reaction to my feelings impact how my children learn to cope with the world?

#4. Relish the simple things.

I can’t tell you the last time I went to a concert.  (I do love a good concert.)  I only get a pedicure once a year (if that) right before sandal season.

  Visits to the hair salon are delayed MUCH longer than I’d like to admit.

But you know what?  I’m learning to really enjoy the small things in life.

Maybe I don’t get to see my long-distance friends often, but they’re only a phone call or a Facebook chat away.

I rarely visit a coffee house anymore, but I look forward to a relaxing cup of chamomile tea every night before bed.  (P.S., you should really try chamomile tea if you have trouble sleeping!)

It’s not often that I have time to shop in stores for clothes.  But my 12-year-old and I like to window shop online and occasionally even buy something!

Self Care for Moms: Finding beauty in the ordinary

These things are mundane.  Yep, my life has changed drastically since before I had kids.

Yep, I might have just written a journal entry of my 80-year-old self.  😉

But I think embracing the ordinary – the people and circumstances God has placed before us – is one of the biggest keys to living with joy instead of stress.

God is working in our everyday struggles, and He wants to meet us right where we are.

I believe if we’re continually seeking His will in our lives, he will provide us the energy, the refreshment and the endurance to do exactly what he has called us to do.

What’s even better?  The One who cares for us more than we knowHe also doesn’t leave us with just our two hands to manage what we were never meant to carry alone.

You might also like:

7 Warning Signs You’re Doing Too Much as a Mom (and how to stop)

5 Suggestions for the Mom Who’s Struggling to Get Stuff Done

4 Simple Ways to Let Childhood Linger – and Enjoy Your Kids More

Some self care ideas for moms are a little over the top. These tips for Christian moms give us a great, realistic perspective on motherhood. #SelfCare #Moms #Christian

16 thoughts on “Self-Care for Christian Moms: An Unconventional Guide”

  1. Thank you for this! I do slack on praying during the day especially in the midst of my frustration.
    And the focus outward step🙌 I often find myself frustrated that my husband gets out more than me, that my girls are more dependent on me, that I can’t anf isn’t get to do this and that and that breeds resentment and frustration living in those thoughts!
    Thank you for the reminder!❤️

  2. I really love this post and it’s great to remind us about the good things to focus on and refresh is in motherhood. But… The outside ministry is the one I have a hard time balancing because my husband is a pastor. He, obviously, can’t say no to ministry things, but I tend to fill in gaps at church ministry or am expected to be at things and spend time with people outside of church and I have a difficult time distinguishing what is “normal” for a pastor’s wife and three young kids and what is too much.

    1. I can imagine that WOULD be a tough balance. My only advice is to seek good counsel of other (seasoned) pastor’s wives – I am sure they would have some words of wisdom to help you. Blessings!

  3. What a great post! I’m a “seasoned pastor’s wife” and this is advice I give to all our support staff wives. Our first ministry and in these years is to our husband and kids. Biblically, it’s also our responsibility. Thanks for such a great post.

  4. Amen! This was such a refreshing read for me. I’ve been growing uneasy and concerned by all of the self care talk by Christian mothers lately. Although motherhood was never promised to be easy, it truly is a joy and privilege to raise our children. God has given us an amazing gift in them and He can provide our rest, peace, strength, hope, and joy when we decide to simply trust Him and follow His lead. Thank you for sharing this Biblical truth in such a gentle way <3

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Tabatha. I agree that recognizing where our strength and refreshment really comes from makes all the difference versus trying to find it “within” or with surface-level solutions.

  5. Your advice about “Saying No” and “letting life slow down” is something that all Christian men and women should take to heart—I especially think that we women don’t embrace that enough. A common theme that I see among fellow Christians is that we should not hesitate to do “God’s work,” and that He will give us the strength and the grace to get it done—no matter how large the volume of our obligations and responsibilities. Fine and good. But often that concept gets interpreted by us as a God-given requirement to take on everything and say no to nothing. So often, in both my personal life and in the media, I have seen that non-sensical thinking result in varying degrees of damage to mental health. And I don’t see signs of this tendency in our Christian and secular cultures changing anytime soon. God is not responsible for our sleepless nights and the anxiousness and worry that comes from trying to keep up with our overloaded schedules and to-do lists. We have to take the wrap for that–And its dismal consequences.

    1. This is very true. I’ve seen it play out in my own life. God gives us the strength to do what we need to do- but we often take on far more than that.

  6. Kind of figured that you wouldn’t publish it. Not sure why you wouldn’t–Mine was a realistic approach to enhancing lives by increasing quantity of time spent with spouses and kids by cutting back on non-essential obligations that take us away from our homes and family life. Often, doing this could result in bringing less income into the home–But my guess is that there are many areas where we can cut expenses to make that viable. And that’s not a bad price to pay, considering what we get in return.

    1. No, I actually agree with you. I just didn’t see your comments until today. 🙂 This is something I’ve learned as well. A life with less stuff and less manufactured busy-ness is often a much more fulfilling, connected life– to God and others.

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