Ever felt like you just want to hide from your baby?
I have. Some weeks almost every day. I love my kids, but sometimes I just want 10 minutes to myself.
Just a few minutes (or hours) of ‘me time’ can help you feel calmer, recharge and give you the energy to go on. When we choose to spend time in our own company, we are also cultivating one of the most important relationships we will ever have; the one with ourselves. Experienced moms will tell you how important it is to have some time alone away from your family .
I can’t emphasize enough how important ‘me time’ is. When you are flustered and exhausted, what inevitably happens is you take it out on your family. The idea of having some time alone seems impossible when we are the sole caregiver to our babies and there is no one else who is able to babysit for a few hours. But there are opportunities and sneaky moments you can take advantage of throughout the day!
Here are the top 10 opportunities moms can make use of to find some time alone in their daily chaotic lives.
In bed, before hubby and the monsters (kids) wake up
I love it when I wake up just that little bit earlier before anyone else does. Sometimes I sneak out of the room and sit on the couch. Most times I just lie in bed under the cosy covers, letting my mind drift. When I’m in the mood, I focus on getting some deep, refreshing breaths in. If you are very motivated, you can even set the alarm to go off 15-30 minutes earlier than the rest of your household.
You might think sleep is the most important thing to get a good rest but it’s not. It’s rest.
I look forward to my daily ‘me time’ on the loo and in the shower(because who has time for a bath on a normal day?) I take my phone with me, close the bedroom door and settle in for some relaxation. Make sure you have a scented candle ready to light and your favourite relaxing playlist is on Spotify. Before your shower, light the candle, start the playlist, and for the next 10 minutes, there is only you in the world.
In the car to and from work
I work part-time and have the luxury of driving an hour each way to work. Man, I used to loath it but now look forward to that time away from my family. Favourite podcast on Spotify, cup of coffee, snacks, and I am good to go! When you are stuck in traffic or stopped at a red light, channel your inner Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen master and author of Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.
“When you drive around the city and come to a red light or stop sign, you can just sit back and make use of these twenty or thirty seconds to relax – to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy arriving in the present moment. There are many things like that we can do.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Breaks at work on in between tasks at home
No matter how busy your workplace is, there will surely be a chance for short breakfast and a short lunch. Instead of adding more stimulus by having a big group break or using that time to mindlessly scroll your social media feed, take the chance to sit out in the sun and enjoy the beautiful day!
If you’re at home, try to take breaks between ticking tasks off your to-do list. Instead of rushing from one thing to another, take a 5-minute breather in between for some zone out time. Headspace has short guided meditations that I use sometimes. Love Andy’s dreamy deep voice, don’t you?
While we are on the subject of ticking off tasks, focusing on one task at a time not only is more effective than multi-tasking, it is also easier on your brain and puts you in the flow.
Rest when your baby sleeps
One of my favourite times in the day is when my kids are having their naps. Sure, like every mom I take that chance to tick a few more things off my endless list. But I also make sure I sneak some ‘me time’ in – whether that is having a cup of coffee with my feet up or having a short nap myself.
Believe it or not, while cooking
Have you never noticed how your family is more than happy to let you do your thing in the kitchen? Especially if you love cooking, it can be very therapeutic. It’s a great time to get into the flow of the cook and sneak some deep breathing exercises in while inhaling the delicious aromas of your one-pot meal.
Whether you schedule time to run or swim alone, or go for a walks as a family, take the chance to breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun on your skin, and be in the moment. Exercise is important, not just for physical reasons, but also takes a lot of stress from your body.
Wear a nursing sports bra so you don’t have to think about changing into activewear. The Cake Lotus Nursing Bra is a personal favorite:
While not an every-day opportunity, going to the hair-dressers for your regular hair cut or dye, having a manicure done, and especially if you can afford a regular professional facial, are all awesome opportunities for some ‘me time’. Resist the automatic thoughts of all the work you will need to do when you get home or thinking about how hubby is coping with the kids. Forget everyone for a while, relax into the moment and feel the luxuriousness of the occasion.
Creating the opportunity
Sometimes you just have to create the opportunity yourself. Get hubby to bring the kids out for a Saturday morning walk while you have some me-time at home. Hire a baby sitter or bribe a family member to take your kids for a few hours. However you do it, make creating ‘me time’ a priority.
“However you do it, make creating ‘me time’ a priority”
Avoid black holes
It will take some practice but things like Facebook (any social media feed), Netflix or anything ‘screen’ are completely non-relaxing and makes whatever little time that you have disappear and at the end of it, you are never left refreshed. So do your best to avoid your black holes during your precious free moments.
To wrap up
Remember, everybody needs a break from the hassles of everyday life and moms are no exception. A well-rested mom both emotionally and physically is a better mom and a better wife. The trick is to always be on the lookout for how you can sneak in some mommy me-time into your daily life.
What are your favourite ways to get some ‘me time’? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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