One of the hardest things for me to do as a mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend is to make time to do something just for me. I’m the one that tends to want to make sure everyone else around me is taken care of first.
Now why would taking time out be so hard for me to do?
Others have no problem whatsoever taking off on a girls outing or going out and enjoying themselves. I, on the other hand, have this huge guilt when I even think of doing anything outside of working and being with my family. I feel like if I’m away from them for even a bit, I’m letting them down for some reason.
If I’m not working, I’m doing something with the kids. If I’m not doing anything with the kids, I’m taking care of things in the household. And when I’m not doing that, I’m out and about tending to other things that needs to get done that day.
Anyone else relate to that?
By the end of the day though, I feel so drained. After the kids are in bed, I myself can’t wait until I too, can turn the lights off and climb into bed. And when I do, I breath a big sigh of relief because now, I can relax my body and not have to do anything else.
Deep down, I know that is not the way to a long term healthy lifestyle. Just like how the flight attendants remind us that we need to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before our kids, I understand that we must find ways to recharge us before we are capable of properly tending to those around us.
There are some days where I feel like I could just pull all my hair out. At the end of the night when I lay down and reflect upon the day, I ask myself, “was I the best mom and wife I could have been today?” Many times, that answer is “No”.
Thoughts like “I shouldn’t have raised my voice at the kids earlier,” or “I could have been more present with my husband,” and even “I should have handled that situation better.”
There have been times where I’ve had to go away on a business or work trip for a few days and after coming back, I feel like I’ve missed out on so much. But the best part is, I find myself being more patient with my kids and wanting to spend more time with them and the family.
So it makes complete sense that if we want to get through the days being the best mom and wife we can be, we need to step away and take time for ourselves.
What would something like that look like? What would recharge your mind, body and spirit? It’s going to be something different for each person because we all have different interests and what we consider fun and relaxing.
Image by rhythmuswege via Pixabay
Here are some ideas that I feel would help me out every so often.
Take more naps. When you’re sleep deprived, you have a tendency to be more easily upset when things happen or have less patience for things. (At least it is for me anyways) It is well known that when you take daily afternoon naps, it’s healthy for you overall. According to a published Harvard Health Newsletter, “The 20- to 30-minute nap may be the ideal pick-me-up” time.
Go get a massage. This is of course a luxury because it will require more financial and time resources, as well as someone to babysit the kids. But if you can pull it off, it’s a must do.
Be a happy couch potato. Spend a whole day while the kids are out with someone other than myself, binge watching my favorite show on Netflix and eating ice cream…without feeling guilty.
Go out to coffee or lunch with an old friend and just catch up. Sometimes, you just need to have interactions with people other than your kids and get a chance to have some adult conversations.
Sleep in every once in awhile! I am so not a morning person and I love to sleep. It feels so great to not have to jump out of bed to get the kids ready or make breakfast or do this or do that. Even if it’s just once or twice a month, it feels so wonderful.
Don’t cook and eat out. Trying to figure out what to eat everyday is so painful. If you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life that loves to cook, then count your lucky stars. Going out to eat saves time on prep, cooking, and clean up time. Of course this can’t be done all the time but I think once or twice a week if you can would help out so much.
Go shopping at the mall by myself. I’m not much of being in crowded areas but there’s something about just roaming the mall or shopping center by yourself is so enjoyable. You can look at things or try things on…in peace! No worrying about where the kids are every 2 seconds or telling them to stop running around. I have to admit, retail therapy does wonders…if you have the financial means to that is.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter the activity, just as long as you give yourself time to recharge. Some people find gardening, knitting, or even just reading very rejuvenating. Or even exercising (Something that I can never understand but many moms find this very energizing). Find whatever it is that works for you.
Yep, it’s going to be challenging. Especially when you have kids in the infants and toddlers age. Most days we can’t even go to the bathroom without someone banging on the door as soon as you sit down. We’re resourceful though. Make it happen. Schedule it in. Designate a “this is mommy time” so everyone knows.
But as Nicholas Sparks states, “Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy. Remember that.”
At the end of the day, we know we are worth it. We know our husbands, family and friends are worth it. We owe it to ourselves to be the best us that we can be so that we can show up for the rest of the world, and be the best that we can be for them.
Share this with a mom who you know needs a friendly reminder to take some time out recharge.
Are there any moms out there that knows the secret to having the perfect mornings because I can always use as many different tools in my tool belt as possible. As some of you may already know, a strategy of handling a specific situation will not work every single time so it’s helpful to learn multiple ways.
Being able to send my kids off to school in the mornings with everyone in a happy, positive mood is what I strive for and is what sets the tone for the rest of my day.
I love the mornings when my kids are smiling, getting along with each other and not bickering at each other every 5 seconds. When that happens, it usually means I can get them to school on time and we’re not rushing.
It also means this mom is in a much happier mood and allows me to be more mentally ready to tackle all the things on my to do list for the day. I don’t know about you but when I’m in a good mood, my thoughts are clear and I really do feel like I can take on the world.
These are the kind of mornings that I would like to have more of:
My kids get up on their own, brush their teeth and get dressed without a word. I hear them laughing and joking around with each other.
They come downstairs and my daughter pours herself a cup of milk and asks her brother if he would like a cup, and continues on to pour a cup for her brother. They eat breakfast and continue to smile and laugh with one another. They are being so nice to each other. Wait? “Is this really happening,” I think to myself?
Image by Hal Gatewood via Unsplash
I make a comment about how wonderful their behavior is and they both just smile and grin from ear to ear because they know they are being good.
So they hold on to that feeling of proudness and take it even a step further by finishing up their food without being reminded. I don’t hear a peep of snide remarks or bickering at all. I think to myself, “awww, they really do love each other”.
I haven’t had to break up an argument or nag at them or even raise my voice to get them to calm down.
On the way to school, we’re smiling and laughing. Singing along to the songs on the radio. We’re ALL in a happy mood. It’s so amazing. Love those days!
But of course, with kids being kids, most mornings don’t usually look like that. Not even close.
So what does a typical morning look like for me? I’ve heard some experts say that it’s not good to rush your kids in the mornings, but how can you not? They would be piling on the late school slips if there wasn’t some degree of urgency.
Not a morning goes by when I don’t hear my daughter saying to her younger brother, “Stop!!” or “I’m telling mom” or my son having a meltdown because after the 10th time of his sister yelling stop, I had to step in to give him my peace of mind.
Then comes the morning rush hour where I’m pushing to get lunch packed, jackets on, backpacks on, shoes on, so we can get out the door and be dropped off at school on time. This typically goes with me saying all of these statements at some point:
“ok you got 10 minutes before we have to leave”.
“Preston, you haven’t even eaten anything on your plate yet!”.
“Put your lunches in your bag and lets get ready to go”.
“What do you mean you don’t know where your jacket is?”
“Why did you not give me this paper to sign yesterday?”
“Let’s go, it’s time to go!”
“If you don’t get your shoes on this minute, we are going to be late”
“Come on, let’s go, inside the car”
Days like this, I just want to pull my hair out and in my head, have thoughts of all these different plans that needs to be put into place the very next day because dealing with this every morning is getting oh so tiring.
Image by composite via Pixaba
Then there are those days where everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. You drop your kids off at school only to find out they forgot their lunches and even worse, their shoes! So you have to drive all the way back home and back to school, and now you’re frustrated because you’re going to be late for work.
Most, if not all moms will agree with me that mornings in their homes are pretty hectic. People who know me know that I am always trying to find new or different ways to make the daily struggles easier or run more smoothly.
When I learn about a new process and try it out and it doesn’t work as well, I move on to the next thing. Which is why I constantly love to hear from other moms who are doing something different that works because there’s a good chance it will work for our family as well.
Over the years, these are some of the processes I have found that helps to move things along in the mornings:
⚪️ I have my kids lay out their clothes the night before so they know exactly what to wear.
⚪️ Instead of wasting time in the morning trying to figure out what they want to eat for breakfast, I have them decide the night before so that I can wake up and just make it.
⚪️ I have them pack their bags and leave them near the door so it’s all ready to go.
⚪️ I’ve used a white board to list out things that needs to be done to help remind them what they should be doing and in what order. It helps to put them back on track when they deviate. (Although, as long as I can see that they are getting things done, I really don’t care what order it gets done. But it helps them to be able to refer to something if they need a little reminder).
⚪️ To minimize the sibling quarrels, my daughter wakes up to her alarm 15 minutes earlier than my son so that she can use the restroom first.
⚪️ I buy them their own mouthwash and toothpaste. This alone has stopped so many silly arguments from occurring.
⚪️ Once in awhile, they know that if they are fully ready for school ahead of schedule, I’ll pass by the Starbucks and treat them to a hot chocolate at Starbucks. Yep, sometimes, I do resort to a little bribing and I’m okay with that.
Image by Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay
It’s not perfect and it doesn’t always go as planned every morning. But many times, having these routines in place does make the morning run more smoothly, which means I have a better chance at setting a more positive tone for the rest of my day.
What does your mornings look like? Share in the comments any tips you have that has worked well for you. We’d all love to learn about it.