The necklace in this blog post was gifted to me by oNecklace! It’s engraved with both Rowan and Quinn’s names on either side! Swing on over to my Instagram account to enter for a chance to win a beautiful monogrammed necklace of your own.
I’m hosting a giveaway over on Instagram where you can receive your very own oNecklace like the one seen in the photos below!
Since becoming a mom I’ve found that making time for myself is often an afterthought. At times it almost seems like more work to actually make time for me. One more thing to plan? One more thing to worry about? One more thing to try to accomplish? No thanks. I’ll just sit on the couch and…sleep, eat, scroll, or binge-watch Downton Abbey for the 100th time. Those things might actually sound like “time for yourself” – and they very well could be….and while I make jokes about finding downtime as a mom I know that it is vital to find and cultivate the other interests we have as mothers outside of being a parent. Those interests may feel stifled or even hidden due to the demands of our day to day lives…but finding time to tap into them even if only for minutes at a time can be crucial for our mental health. Below are some ideas for finding time for yourself as a mom – and do me a favor, don’t let the idea of doing this stress you out …these are simple and practical tips and ideas that can make a huge difference.
1. Plan Ahead + Be Prepared
It may seem silly to list “plan ahead” as a tip for preparing to have a day where there’s a sliver of time for you to enjoy for yourself…but this is crucial. Write it out in a planner. I use this one I created just for myself. I print it out 7-10 days at a time, three-hole punch it and stick it in my binder (where I keep all the things). I have it out on my counter or dining table when I wake up in the morning and it is one of the last things I look at before I go to bed. I even plan out the mundane tasks of my day – wash dishes, fold laundry, etc… I write them into my calendar or add them to my to-do list. If it’s laundry day – it’s on there. If it’s grocery shopping day – it’s on there. Having a planner that easily shows me time slots gives me a birds-eye view of what areas of my day will be available for me to have time for myself. Often times…those chunks of time are hidden amongst those mundane tasks and can be shuffled around a bit to make sure I’m getting the downtime I need to recharge and be there for my family.
2. Go With the Flow + Be Flexible
I always have a few “me” things in mind that I’d “like” to do. But I realize that one may be more realistic than the other. For example, the other day my 4-month-old daughter did not and would not nap when my three-year-old was napping. Nothing I did could get her to fall asleep. So…instead of wasting my time and instead of worrying about it…I decided that instead of reading a book I was going to catch up on a show. I put the show on our TV – sat her on my lap with a couple toys…and she was mostly content to be with mom and I got to catch up on an episode of Poldark (go ahead and snicker). While I didn’t have complete alone time, I still managed to fit something into my day that made me feel like I took care of my sanity. Have a few ideas in mind for downtime and know that they could change or one might be more realistic that day than another. Go with the flow!
3. Get Creative
Some days…your feet hit the floor, coffee in hand…and before you know it…it’s 10pm and you’re wondering where the day went….you jump into bed just to prepare to do it all over again tomorrow. On days that seem insanely busy…I tap into things that feed my soul and interests in ways that are more creative. I may not get the quiet time I love but there are ways to incorporate “me time” into even the busiest of days. Doing dishes while your kids play or eat lunch? Wear some air buds (maybe just one so you can listen to the kids with the other ear) but wear some of these and put on a podcast or listen to your favorite music or a digital book!
4. Positive Self Talk + Prayer
This is one of the most important tips I’ve come to find that really encourages me and helps me start my day on the right foot. If I know Dusty (my husband) schedule is going to be insane…I prep by giving myself a little positive self-motivation pep talk. I follow that with a devotional or short prayer and I make sure to mentally just be in a place of awareness. I try not to dwell on the difficulties that may arise in the day ahead but look toward the opportunities to spend time doing the things I love most with my kids.
5. Ask for Help
We recently moved so it is harder for us to find childcare at the moment…and free childcare at that given that we do not have family living in the area. But at the end of the day, we know that my/our sanity relies on regular and consistent breaks, date nights, and downtime….sans children. We’ve made budgeting for babysitters a necessary part of our monthly budget breakdown in order to offer this sort of downtime for my husband and me. I strongly recommend doing this for yourself! You may not even use a babysitter regularly but just having one you can call for those long weeks where you need a break can really lift your spirits and create space for recharging. So if you don’t have free help from friends or family – then sit down and review your budget to see if adding in a babysitter once or twice a month is reasonable!