Weirdly enough, self care has never been something I’ve been especially great at. I’m fact, there has been more than one occasion when I have been told to just sit down. The issue is I have the belief that if I don’t do it then it will not get accomplished. These tough times has made self care even more important but also overwhelming. I’ve made a list of easy ways to get some self care for busy moms who don’t have the time.
So what if it doesn’t get done?
If you are anything like me, you have immediately spiraled into a black hole of consequences. If I don’t do the dishes right now then there won’t be any clean when it’s time to cook dinner, which means I’ll have to wash them first, making dinner late, which means my kid will be up late so I’ll be up later, so we will both be tired tomorrow, which means…. and so forth. Yea. Been there, done that. Take a breath. I’m not going to ask you to sacrifice all order and have the Earth’s axis fall off tilt.
What I am going to do is give you a list of small ways you can take back some YOU time. I know that seems impossible, especially as a busy mom, but it’s like anything else – you have to start with baby steps. Before long, maybe even by the end of this list, you’ll realize that self care doesn’t always require hours of devotion but could be easy as “I have this crazy idea, I think I’ll do it for a little while”. If you you just thought of your kid then you’re on the right track cause guess who are the masters of self care? Yep, kids are all about what they want to do. Think about; when is the last time you saw a burnt out toddler?
And before you go there, you are not being selfish. You are enjoying your life to the fullest cause I mean YOLO. You are modeling for your child that it’s important to do things for you, to be more than one thing, and destressing techniques. Let’s be real, they learn so much from watching us so isn’t about time they learned how to enjoy life more? Hopefully I’ve talked you into it by now and out of most of the guilt so without further ado, here are some strategies to try.
Open the window.
We are starting small here people. I’m not going to throw you in the deep end. The idea here is very simple. Next time you are driving home from work, soccer practice, grocery store, etc and the thought happens “It’s nice out today.” Roll the freaking window down! That’s it! Let the air hit your face and whip that hair. No second thoughts, it’s one button, just be spontaneous.
Sing to ANY music.
Now there are a million lists out there that will tell you to make your own playlist to listen and fully immerse yourself in the joy of music. I totally agree and back that idea 100%. What if though, you have a demanding kid that threatens to lose their mind if you listen to something they don’t approve of? Firstly, know that’s normal. Secondly, after you give over the annoyance factor, you will realize that you also know all the words to that song so put your own spin on it. Sing it at the top of your lungs! Throw some beat boxing in there . Give baby shark some new dance moves. Rock it out like it ain’t nobody’s business. It will make your kid either laugh or get upset but you will definitely have fun and that really is the whole point.
Make it a game.
As a mom, I’m sure you are familiar with the idea of making everything a game for your kid. How many times have you tried songs to get them to brush their teeth? A lot, right? What if you used the same concept on your self? Hear me out. Next time you are picking up whatever things your family has left out, leave a note on the item (preferably nice) and see how long it takes them to notice it. See how long it takes for them to notice. I can see your eye roll but trust me, it’s more fun than you think. After awhile, you’ll start writing notes in crazier places, like the side of the shampoo bottle and it will make you laugh every time they notice.
Play with your food.
I’m sure it’s only my house, but I have some incredibly picky eaters. I mean it’s really at the point that there is a set rotation of items that I can list off one one hand that are approved. When you find yourself annoyed at the idea of either making another meal they won’t eat or fixing the same boring thing again, remind yourself there is another option. Make it into art. I know, you are struggling to find the time to cook as it is now I’m asking you to do more but before you naysay I’m not suggesting you be Picasso . They are hopefully going to eat it anyways. I’m simply suggesting you have fun with it. Deconstruct that PB and J. Spell something with that string cheese. Make those grapes into PAC Man. Find joy in your creativity.
Color with your kid.
If coloring wasn’t such an amazing way to relax, there wouldn’t be such a market for coloring books. It’s one of the easiest ways to chill out ever created. You know all that computer paper that your kid steals to draw on? Take some and do the same thing. You might not make the next great masterpiece but you can draw what’s on your mind. Draw a picture of that person that ticked you off with an extra big nose for catharsis or if you are worried about money then draw what you would do with all the cash in the world. You can even let your kid color it for you but I would probably refrain from hanging the nose one on the fridge, especially if it’s an in law. Just saying.
You already do a million things at once so why not add your self care to that list? You need to fold the laundry, then why not do it while watching that non- kid friendly show you’ve been dying to see? Kindly explain to the children they need to play in the backyard or in their room while you do the laundry, the first one to bother you is volunteering to put it all away. You’re pretty much guaranteed at least one episode and clean towels at the same time. Maybe you want to do your nails but you need to listen to your kid read their library book? Do both! It’s all about find ways to add in stuff you WANT to do with the things you already have to do.
Be Like Elsa.
When all else fails, just let it go. If the iPad or TV babysits every once in a while so you can take a bubble bath, you’re still a good parent (See my post about what makes a Good Mom). If you put your kids first all the time, so much that you feel guilt anytime you don’t then I need you to understand it’s time to let that go. Are you going to do these every single night? Probably not, but much like that closet candy you sneak, all things in moderation. You have permission to put yourself first sometimes. The reality is that you just might be a better mom when you give up trying to be the perfect mom.