1. The Kids Need to Go in the Other Room
This is particularly integral for stay at home moms. Those lovely, precious little kiddos need to get out of your face for at least 1 hour per day. Period. No excuses. It’s easiest when they nap and it’s best to get started early when the child is a baby.
Once they stop napping then they will probably be old enough and mature enough to have “quiet time” in their room or in a playroom, sunroom, etc. This should be a regularly scheduled part of the daily routine.
Here’s the hard part, though – you may not use that time to do housework, work on projects for the kids or to do anything that is centered on the children or family.
This is YOUR time. Do not do anything that doesn’t make you feel GOOD. You deserve a little bit of time each day to better yourself, do the things that you enjoy or even to just take a snooze.
Here’s some suggested activities:
- Read a book
- Watch a TV show that you love
- Take a nap
- Surf the internet
- Listen to music
- Have a nice, quiet meal by yourself
- Call a friend
2. Hire a Babysitter
Now. Go find one this instant. Every mom deserves to have at least one person to call if they need some “time off.” With every other job in the world, you can give your boss notice and take a breather. Why should you not be allowed the luxury of a chance to get away from the hardest job in the world?
If you have a parent or relative who loves to watch your kids, then you are super lucky. However, if you don’t, you need to make it a priority to find someone. There is nothing wrong with taking an evening to yourself. There is no shame in wanting to go shopping at the mall by yourself once in a while.
You are allowed to leave the kids. When you do, you will be shocked at how much better you feel and how, in turn, that betters your relationship with your children.
3. Devote one Saturday a month to doing something that YOU think is fun
All too often, moms spend their entire weekends carting kids to games, hosting sleepovers and getting up early with the baby. That’s the thing about motherhood: there are no days off. That is why, though you may feel guilty at first, you need to take one Saturday a month to do something that you enjoy.
The kids and husband can be invited but ONLY IF it is something that you are excited to do and it is not somehow secretly for them. Here are some ideas:
- A spa day
- A hike
- A yoga class followed by coffee with a friend
- A lazy afternoon of reading at the park
- A family beach day (BUT you don’t pack lunches, create schedules or monitor everyone’s sunscreen all day.)
These are the times that moms need to take so that they can recharge and come back to their children more prepared and energetic for the job at hand.
Of course, these are just basic ideas. You can do whatever you want to carve out that time. That’s the whole point – whatever YOU WANT.
Be careful, however, not to let the wants or desires of the kids or hubby sneak in. For example, do not convince yourself that bringing your daughter to the mall to buy new shoes for school is somehow a relaxing shopping trip for you. That type of thing doesn’t count.
Again, please remember that you owe it not just to yourself but to your whole family to find this time for YOU. It will make for a happier and healthier family all around.