Self-care is becoming a buzzword in our society. As we are able to work from home (or anywhere), connect with hundreds of people at the touch of a button, and multitask like true professionals … but we’re only getting busier. The call to slow down and take care of yourself is simultaneously getting louder and more difficult to heed.
As a SAHM mother of three children under five, who also works part-time, finding time for myself is often not at the top of my to-do list. But I’ve also realized that I’m a better wife and mother if I have a little time to myself. It looks different each day, and I spend it differently each time.
Here are a few things I do to ensure a little time for me:
1. Plan it with my hubby.
He’s my biggest support and cheerleader, and he’s always willing to help me find time to get my nails done or even just take a nap. He encourages me to write, to practice my music, and to go out without the kids and have coffee. I plan with him to find times when he can keep the kids and I can sneak out for an hour or two to refresh, relax, and do whatever it is I need in order to regroup.
2. Let some things go.
Sometimes, when my kids are napping or go to bed early, I get the urge to clean all the things, fold all the laundry, and prep all the meals. Other times, I let it all slide (even though those chores are still waiting on me) to take a long shower, read a book with un-re-heated coffee, or watch a movie with a glass of wine. Believe me—the dishes aren’t going anywhere.
3. Hang out with a girlfriend (or a few).
My girlfriends are a mix of fellow moms and also gal pals who don’t have kids. Sometimes it takes a lot of planning (and babysitters) to get together with them, but other times, I can just have a friend over for morning coffee after preschool drop off, or a post-bedtime chat over wine. Being with a girlfriend can refill the relational and feminine parts of me. And never underestimate the reinvigorating qualities of a girls’ night!
4. Take a power nap.
Napping isn’t for everyone, and it wasn’t for me until I had kids. But now that I often choose many things over sleep (including things I love doing, not just chores), a power nap can work wonders. A 20-minute snooze during their nap time can be just as good as napping the whole time they’re asleep! If I know I have things to do after their bedtime, the power nap can keep me going a little longer.
5. Get dressed.
I always feel more productive and happier with myself when I make the effort to get out of my pajamas (even if I’m not leaving the house), wash my face, and brush on a coat of mascara. It sounds silly, but it gives me a boost, and makes me feel more like myself, even if I don’t need to do it.
How do you make time for yourself?
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