Get adequate sleep, workout, eat healthy, etc. “Place your oxygen mask on first”. As moms we know what we NEED to do. And boy is everyone quick to remind us, doctors, friends, family, etc. But have you ever noticed that no one really tells you how? HOW are we supposed to make time for ourselves when some of us are running the equivalent of small virtual town within our homes, with remote learning/virtual schooling, working from home, in addition to doing laundry, feeding kids, getting groceries, & keeping the world turning? Here’s your HOW….
8 Tips to Help Moms make Time for Themselves:
1-Early to Bed, Early to Rise
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a mom healthy, wealthy, and wise”, technically Benjamin Franklin said, man, but I think he meant mom. Going to bed earlier allows you to get into that deep sleep cycle sooner which is good for your cell reproduction, in layman terms, it helps us look younger longer, ladies. Going to bed earlier also means you can rise earlier and rising earlier means you don’t feel rushed, stressed out, and already behind & having to play catch-up all day. It also means that you can actually get some “me time” in. Morning is the best time for “me time”, set your alarm a half hour before kids get up and read, meditate, or just be. If the children do wake remember you are the mother, you are the Queen of your castle, so reign! Let the children know it is quiet time in their rooms for a little bit and provide them with a few quiet toys to play with while you get your “me time”.
Just say no! It’s the infamous slogan from the 80s made popular by First Lady Nancy Regan, “Just say NO!” Moms, we need to stop saying yes to everything. We need to not only set limits on how many extracurricular, b-day parties, etc. our children can participate in, but, also set limits on ourselves and how many clubs, boards, volunteer commitments we make/participate in. And news flash….
According to a recent article in The New York Times, the number of activities your children are involved in doesn’t necessarily have an impact on their chances for academic success later in life. It might, however, have a negative effect on a parent’s emotional state, not to mention a family’s finances https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/overscheduled-kids-stressed-out-parents_n_940481.html
3-Meal Plan & Food Prep
This is LIFE CHANGING! If you are not doing this you are probably making too many trips to the store and wasting food. Don’t know how to Meal Plan? Here are a few simple steps….
- Go grocery shopping once a week; pick a day, say, Fridays. On Thursday shop your kitchen, look through your fridge, freezer, and pantry and make note of the ingredients you have on hand. Let’s say you have a random can of enchilada mix, box of spaghetti noodles, 5 cans beans, & half bag potatoes.
- Start your Meal plans for the week by including those ingredients. Thus, Enchilada, Spaghetti Pie, Chili, and Turkey & Smashed Potatoes will get you started then you only have to fill in two more dinners….say, a Stir-Fry and Burgers & sweet potatoes sticks. Then have children make their list for lunches, snacks, and breakfast (yes, I said children)
- Make list of all ingredients you need from store & go to store to purchase said ingredients.
- On Saturday set aside one hour to prep food in these BPA Free & oven safe containers for the meals (any longer and it becomes a chore). And then again on Tuesday set aside an hour and prep remaining food for meals.
4-Transfer Responsibility to the Children
Moms, why are you still doing it all?! Why are you making beds, doing laundry, planning the meals, doing the dishes, etc. when you have children who are totally capable of helping out? After all, isn’t our goal as parents to raise self-sufficient contributors to society? How is that supposed to happen when Junior can’t even make his own bed? The honest answer is, “because it is easier if I do it myself & faster”, but take the time to train the children on household chores. Transfer the responsibility of the household chores onto the children and you will find time for you. Start with a simple chore hub like the one below….
5-Walk it Off!
You don’t need an expensive gym membership, gym equipment, class, or DVD, just a pair of weatherproof walking shoes! January 1st everyone has the best intentions of joining that gym, taking that cycling class 3x a week, etc. like they are suddenly going to have all this time and energy. Be realistic with your expectations, you have a tight schedule that might not be consistent from day-to-day, you can’t make a commitment. But you know what you can do, take a brisk walk at least 5x a day each week whenever you please.
Regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits. Source:
Side note: I have lost 40+ pounds by removing processed foods and walking 2 miles 5 days a week, what’s more, my head has never been clearer, it feels amazing getting outdoors for a half hour. Humans were meant to be outside; our Metroparks are spot on, “Get Outside Yourself!”
6-Have scheduled Electronic Time
Would you let your child wake up in the morning and turn on the TV while checking Social Media, take their phone to school check it periodically throughout the day, use it during their lunch period, come home watch a few episodes on Netflix, & then end the day watching more shows while tweeting on twitter? I’m guessing no. Thus, why do you allow yourself unlimited screen time? It sabotages your productivity. But you need it!
Solution, give yourself blocked times throughout the day to view screens. For example, first thing in the morning only check the weather, at 10 am check messages on social media outlets and email (set timer for 20 minutes). At lunch see if anyone has returned emails/messages (set timer for 20 minutes). Check one last time before picking up kid. Then limit your Netflix/TV time to one hour or less in the evening. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be these exact times during the day but you get the idea, take control of your screen time with a schedule don’t let your screen time control you.
7-Have a standing appointment
Have a standing appointment to get out of the house…go to a moms group, peruse Barnes & Noble, or have coffee with a friend. If you make a standing appointment every month same day and time (Say 3rd Thursday of every month @ 6-8pm) you have a better chance of keeping the “appointment” and having a sitter.
With all the money you are saving by not going out to eat thanks to your meal planning, walking instead of paying for that gym membership, and limiting the kids extracurricular you can splurge on you! How does a massage sounds?
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
◾Enhanced sleep quality.