Motherhood is life’s greatest privilege…but it’s also f**king hard. Now he’s a stat which proves what we’ve known all along … but will still be useful to throw in your partner’s face when they ask why you’re always so tired and cranky. 

A new American study has found that being a mother is the equivalent of holding two and a half full-time jobs. The survey of over 2000 women revealed that the average mother “works” 98 hours per week. DOUBLE a standard working week. And that doesn’t take into account any profession the mother also holds on top of caregiving duties.

While there are some days you may consider swapping your first born for a one way ticket to Bora Bora, despite popular belief, self care doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Self care is merely the act of checking in with yourself and asking how you’re doing. A woman is a well, she nourishes best when she is fresh and abundant. Prioritise your mental health and begin incorporating these simple strategies into your day:

Give guilt the middle finger: There’s no such thing as a perfect mother. We are all just trying to survive. The world won’t fall apart if you leave the washing pile for a day, send your kid to school with cold pizza leftovers or give the family cereal for dinner. Cut your to-do list in half and do something for yourself instead. When you stop trying to control everything and just go with the flow a little more, you’ll bring spontaneity and fun back into your life. Who doesn’t want to be the fun mum?

Go off the grid: Social media is largely responsible for creating a majority of the anxiety and guilt in our lives. So next time you mindlessly scroll through a stranger’s feed on Instagram, remember that social media is nothing but a “highlights reel” of someone’s life and the immaculately dressed mother who just baked sugar free, gluten free, dairy free muffins from scratch, while on a conference call to the Fortune 500 company she founded, also happens to have shit house days as well. Use that time to nourish your soul instead … read a book, call a friend, sit in stillness. Clear your headspace by logging out of your social media apps a few days a week, or if your willpower isn’t that strong, delete the apps off your phone altogether and reinstall them only on weekends. There are also programs you can download which block social media from your devices at certain times of the day.

Glass half full: Create a gratitude journal and write down three things that you are grateful for at the end of every day.  Neuroscientists have proven time and again that you can alter your brain chemistry and significantly improve health and wellbeing by the simple act of focusing on the positive aspects of your life.

Breathe: Breathing is incredibly restorative, if done correctly. Set a reminder throughout the day to take ten deep breaths to help reduce stress, blood pressure, release toxins and centre yourself.

Be a goal getter: Choose something that you’ve always wanted to do and go for it! Having a goal to strive towards gives you purpose outside of the “daily grind”, and just think how fulfilled you will feel when you accomplish it. Remember, growing is giving.

Need more self care inspiration? Here are some top tips for boosting natural collagen production.