Before kids, your life was totally about you. Where you wanted to work, what you wanted to eat, how much sleep you needed (or didn’t need!) – it was all up to you. After kids, well, let’s just say, the focus shifts fast. When was the last time you made time for yourself?
What inspires you?
If you can’t remember the last time you got to choose what to do for the day, it’s been too long. It may be hard to think of what you’d do with a few quiet moments. Start by asking yourself, what do you love? (Other than spending time with your wonderful family, of course.) Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Bubble baths and bubbly
- Dinner with friends
- Going to a movie
- Reading in a coffee shop
- Shopping (or, online shopping!)
- Spa time
- Watching reality TV
- Working out
Making time for yourself helps you remember that there’s a lot more to you than being a mom. It also shows your kids that it’s a good thing to have interests outside of the home. It might even remind your spouse about how much you do for the family. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little time for yourself.
What’s stopping you?
It’s easy to make excuses – the kids need you…you’re tired…you don’t have extra money. Whatever your reason is, dig a little deeper and try to turn it upside down.
- If you haven’t seen your friends in forever, pick a day and plan a moms night out. Churches and local businesses regularly offer date night child care services. Use that time to build the bond you have with your friends. Laughter can be the best medicine after a tough week.
- If you love spa days, but can’t afford to spend a few hundred dollars in an afternoon, try a DIY spa day. You can buy a face mask and a bottle of nail polish for under $10.
- If working out is your thing, but you can’t seem to find the time, throw dinner in the slow cooker and let the kids go wild in the gym childcare. You’ll leave feeling energized and your kids will have burned off a little energy, too.
If you find yourself running from one activity to the next shuffling your kids around town, it may be time to review your calendar. While soccer and piano lessons are valuable to your kids, having a mom who’s taking care of herself matters, too. If your family’s commitments are getting in the way of your self care, it may be time to slow down.
How do you make it happen?
Once you’ve decided on some activities you love, set a calendar reminder to schedule time. You could even make a recurring reminder and set it weekly or monthly. If you’re anything like me, if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening.
If your biggest hold up is what to do with your kids, ask for help.
- Your friends may be willing to watch your children if you work out a rotation to take turns.
- Utilize places with childcare – grocery stores, the gym, Ikea, etc.
- Rely on your kids to help get stuff done around the house. If everyone does chores before the fun stuff, you’ll all be more motivated to get the work done quickly.
Be aware of how much time you spend with media. Whether you’re binging on Netflix or browsing Instagram, media can suck up your precious time. This may not be a problem if it’s what you love doing and that’s how you choose to spend your “me time.”
Making yourself a priority isn’t selfish, it’s a necessity. Without self care, it’s easy to start to feel like your #momlife is all about taking care of everyone except you.