Make a Little Time for Yourself Daily
As mothers, we tend to forget about ourselves and our needs. We put our family first – which equates to ourselves last. While this isn’t an awful thing, it’s a mom thing, we need to make sure that we are also doing something for ourselves. It is ok to sometimes unplug and focus on us – and I don’t just mean the five extra minutes we sit on the toilet when we’re done using the bathroom so that we can play on our phone in peace and quiet. Because, I know (or at least I hope) I’m not the only mom who does that. Make sure to plan some “me” time!
Has it been too long since you’ve done anything for yourself that you don’t know what to do? Do you think that your schedule doesn’t allow for such luxuries? Here are some simple ideas that you can do to pamper yourself just a bit from the comfort of your own home.
Take a Bubble Bath
Both physically and mentally relaxing, a bath can be a great escape. Take a book, or just close your eyes and rest. Fill the tub with bubbles, or use some relaxing bath salts to create a scented, silky water that you just won’t want to leave. (You can learn how to make your own bath salts here.)
Read a Book
Whether you combine this with the bath, or do it from the comfort of your favorite comfy spot, reading can provide a wonderful escape. Loose yourself in the pages of a young girl in Rome, or an amish family from Pennsylvania, or perhaps even the halls of Hogwarts, or wherever your book takes you. Whether you clear an evening and read the book cover to cover, or you read in short ten minute segments as time allows, reading can provide some much needed self time.
Get a Green Thumb
Whether you get outside and turn a portion of your backyard into a vegetable garden, or you get a cactus to keep on your kitchen counter, get some plants! Taking care of plants can provide some much needed rewards – beautiful flowers, or delicious food to eat. I remember the thrill I felt when my first cucumber was ready to pick – there hasn’t been a sweeter cucumber ever, or so it tasted to me. Something about doing it yourself brings a sense of pride and accomplishment that can be a wonderful change. Especially when it feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall when it comes to your children. If your thumb is black instead of green, try starting with succulents or cactus. They are much easier to care for. Even my son can keep a cactus alive – and that’s saying something since he forgets he even has one most days.
Plan a Game Night
Setup an evening where your friends can come over. Keeping friendships alive and strong is super important for a mother’s mental health. Game nights are wonderful ways to hang out. Make a big deal out of it with the kids. Everyone is having friends over – because most of our friends are other moms too, right? Help them get their rooms clean and plan some activities they can enjoy with their buddies. For the kids, make it feel more like you’re planning this whole evening for them. They will feel loved because you are allowing their friends over, which will cultivate in them a desire to play with their friends. While the kids are off playing, you get to play too! Have a few different game options and some snacks, or just hang out and chat. Will the kids come down and bug you? Probably. But, it’s worth it to get some adult time in your life.
Find a Hobby
Everyone has something that speaks to their hearts. For some it’s photography, painting, sewing, knitting, cooking, playing video games, inventing video games… Whatever your passion is, make sure you are making time to do it. Are you going to be painting? Set the kids up a little station with paper and crayons so that they can be artistic right along side you. Are you going to be cooking? Get their play kitchen brought down and they can fix a meal for their stuffed bear. Finding something that the kids can do, that still allows them to feel somewhat attached to what you’re doing, will keep them out of your hair longer so that you can enjoy your hobby again. I love photography – and enjoy nothing better than getting out in nature and taking pictures. So, I hand my kids a cheap ole camera and off we go. It’s a nature walk, stop at the park, and chance for Mommy to share her passion all in a fun-filled, field trip style day. I’m happy, they’re happy – it’s a win win.
Learn Something New
Don’t have a hobby? That’s ok! It’s the perfect excuse to learn something new! Pickup a hook and yarn and hop on youtube to learn how to crochet. Grab a quill, some ink and a sheet of paper and learn how to write using calligraphy. Get on your computer and learn how to code a video game. I can pretty much guarantee that whatever hobby you’d like to learn, there are plenty of youtube videos out there to teach you how to do it! The joy of learning how to do something is one that will lift your spirits, even if it’s only until the crying starts again.
I understand how difficult this can be. Truly, I do. However, I must stress the importance of it. At least once a month, you need to get out and do something, just you. Whether it’s going and getting a manicure or your hair done, or something as simple as hitting the grocery store without the little ones in tow, having that alone time is needed occasionally. If you’re one of the lucky ones who live near family willing to take your kids, enjoy it! And if not, don’t stress because you’re not alone, then enjoy the small breaks that you do get. This doesn’t have to be a grand night out on the town. It only needs to be what you need for it to be. For me, it’s a little time that I can not hear the near-constant fighting and bickering. Use this time to recoup so that you came back energized and ready to break up the next big battle.
Find Your Daily Quiet Time
The biggest thing I can stress is the need to find time, daily, that is for you. Whether this means waking up half an hour earlier to drink your morning coffee in peace, or staying up just a tad bit later, or making use of the nap time hour – you need to have time that is yours. No matter what you do in your time, enjoy it. It’s not selfish to admit that you need a breather. Remember what they tell you on the airplanes? In case of emergency, put your air mask on first. That way you are able to focus better to take care of the little ones with you. If you’re a mess, you’re not able to take the best care of your kids. They will benefit more from a centered, calm, happy mother than a stressed, angry, bitter mom.
As the saying goes, “A happy wife makes a happy life!” Be sure that you’re doing the little things that make you happy. It’s quite alright to put yourself first occasionally. I highly recommend it and encourage it wholeheartedly. We put our family first 99% of the time, we need to take a chance to rewards ourselves for it!
What is your favorite way to unplug?
How do you take some “me” time?