Do you remember the last time you went to the bathroom by yourself? Me either.
True story, my son thinks that he has to follow you anytime you say the word potty. We’ve gotten to this point because he is nearly ready for potty training. He’ll tell you after he’s gone to the bathroom, and he pulls his diaper off frequently. I know that we aren’t quite ready because he still won’t tell you before he has to go. Also, we’ve tried going diaperless with no such luck. I’m not worried about training him. I know he’ll do it on his own time. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss the few seconds of me time I used to get in the bathroom. I wouldn’t call it self-care, but I would call it self-preservation. It’s the one room in the house where typically no one bothers you. That is until you have children. Now, where do you find your me time?
Truthfully, you find it in the smallest of spaces. I’m going to share with you a few of those spaces because I want you to be a happy mom who has been able to sneak a few minutes away for your own sanity. So pull up your cup of coffee or tea. I’ll be having a Diet Dr. Pepper myself (darn gestational diabetes!) and let’s chat.
Take a breather at the door
In the moments before you enter your house after running around, I want you to take a moment to breathe. I don’t want you to think about the mess of toys waiting on the other side of the door. I want you to think about how happy you’ll be to see your little family again. Skip thoughts of how much time you have to put dinner on the table. I want you to really take a moment to breathe and be present with yourself. I want you to think about how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling stressed, I want you to take a few more seconds to breathe so that you’re not going into a stressful environment already stressed. This is so important for your sanity. It is also important so that you can be present with your family without biting their heads off.
I do this whenever I go to the grocery store by myself. It’s a rare occurrence especially as I’m in the third trimester of my pregnancy, but I try very hard to just breathe when I return. I also do it in those brief moments before I get out of the car to get the kiddo out of his seat if he’s fallen asleep on the way home. It helps me to center myself. It helps me to keep my sanity so I’m not storming into my house yelling at my husband for something he hasn’t done. We all have struggles. We are in control of how we react to them, though.
Park farther away from the store
If you have gone to the store by yourself, I suggest parking farther away from the entrance. This will give you space to think about your day and what you need. I find that I also buy less when I go this route.
1. I don’t want to cart it that far.
2. I’ve had time to think and be intentional about what I actually need.
You know those days when you’re in Target alone and it feels like you’ve come to an amusement park, right? You’re 100% ready to buy anything you see in the dollar bin. Girl, I feel ya. I’m a sucker for it too. I mean it’s only $1. We all know those dollars add up, though, and I want to be intentional about what is coming into my house this year. I want to make decisions that are not just adding more clutter and stress to my life.
This is why I really enjoy walking a little farther through the parking lot. I like taking the time to center myself and think about what will really help me be the best mom I can be all the time.
Do something for yourself when you’re out
Okay, I know there are a lot of have to’s in our day. We have to pick up groceries so the kids can eat lunch. We have to go to the post office to mail the rent check. We have to take the kids to school. Once a week, I like to add in a treat for myself, though. It’s a stop at my local Starbucks for a latte or a scoop of frozen yogurt. It’s something that is 100% for me and no one else. It helps me to really get to know what I’m craving. It also helps me to feel a little better since we know I’m goal/award oriented. I need a prize for reaching my goals. Do you?
When everyone else sleeps in…
You get you time in girl. Please! This is a perfect time to get out your self-care basket and go to town on something important to you. I love getting out a good book (Okay, it’s on my kindle!) or my adult coloring book. This quiet time is perfect for you to use because everyone else is still sleeping. They haven’t thought of a single demand for you. I don’t want you rushing around to think about housework or work. I want you to do that yoga exercise you’ve been putting off thinking that you don’t have enough time. You’ll thank yourself later. You’ll feel refreshed!
Girl, I also know that this time is rare. True story, my son is always up before me. He and daddy enjoy some time together in the mornings while mommy sleeps! It’s my pleasure. If I were up before him though, I know I’d love to enjoy a mug of hot green tea. I’d soak up those moments before the sun came up with delight. I just am not going to set an alarm clock to get up to do it. You do whatever works best for you. I personally prefer the 8-9P hour.
This is HUGE ya’ll. I want you to really sit down and block out time in your schedule. This is your time and no one can touch it. You’ll need to communicate that time with your spouse, but you’ll be so glad you did. Do it! Do it right now!
When do you feel the most drained? When do you feel the most productive? What are your best mom hours?
These are the questions you should answer before you schedule this time. You want your child to get those best mom hours, but you want a break when you know you’ll hit that slump during your day. My slump is sometime around 4P if I don’t get to nap. It’s unfortunate because that’s about an hour before I have help haha! Truthfully though, I’m good to push through til 5 when I can take a step back and read a chapter in a book or paint my nails.
What would you schedule in this time?