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.
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.