Moms and their sacrifice of self-care
We still need that time, we just need to know it’s going to look different than it did before. And it’s going to go on looking different in every season of life we’re in from here on out.
- morning coffee and daily reading either before the kids got up or while they got ready and I was alone in the kitchen (10 minutes per day)
- reading time either for a few minutes in the morning or a few minutes at night before bed (20 minutes per day)
- listening to podcasts that pique my interests while folding laundry (30 minutes/2 times this week)
- painting my nails with my girls–I could have just done theirs, but decided I wanted some too (10 minutes)
- chiropractor appointment–it’s really hard to get myself to go to stuff like this, but I’ve had back problems since Vera was born and I needed to…badly. It’s right by my grocery store, so I tacked my appointment onto grocery shopping. (20 minutes)
- phone call to my sister while I made lunch one day (60 minutes)
- taking time to get myself ready every day–hair and make-up–because it makes me feel like a human being (15 minutes per day)
- an extra long shower before bed (20 minutes per day)
- early bedtime so I get more time to read and I sleep better
- haircut–first one since October! See? Martyrdom. But no one really cares and no one in my household is worse off because I took the time to go get a haircut. (60 minutes)
- picked up a bouquet of flowers at Trader Joe’s while grocery shopping (30 seconds)
- made candles one afternoon while my kids were occupied (90 minutes)
- bought myself new jeans while we shopped for my son’s birthday (30 minutes)
- writing/blogging/internet work…is it work if you love it? (3 hours added up here and there, either early morning or in the afternoons…usually about 30-45 minutes at a time) Sidenote: I normally go to a coffee shop to work one night a week for a few hours, but my husband was out of town for work, so I didn’t this week.
Plan to take care of yourself
- Get ready for success. Don’t plan on doing anything after the kids go to bed…no cleaning, no list-checking, no projects. What always happens to me is that I’ll say I’m going to do just “one little thing” and then it ends up taking me forever or I get sucked into the rabbit hole of the interwebs and I end up going to bed way too late. Instead of trying to get one more thing done, do a quick tidy of the kitchen, make your coffee for tomorrow, set your book or planner on the counter beside your coffee mug and get yourself ready for bed.
- Teach your kids self-sufficiency. There’s nothing in the Motherhood Handbook that says you have to do every single little thing for your kids. (well, except for infants, they can’t do much) But things like getting just the right colored cup for snacktime or putting socks on our 8 year-old or putting toothpaste on toothbrushes are all things your kids can do for themselves and it allows you more time in your day to do things like put mascara on, drink hot coffee, or sneak a square of chocolate without being seen.
- Use your Fringe Hours. Reading this book showed me that I have more time than I think I do. By doing things like grabbing flowers when I’m at the grocery store or tacking on a chiropractor appointment to my regular grocery run are great ways to make time without really taking too much time. Find your fringe!
- Listen to your body. Since we are givers, sometimes we don’t realize how really sleep-deprived we are or how long our back has really been messed up until you’re quiet and listen to your body.
- Ask for help. This is my least favorite ever, but asking for help doesn’t mean you’ve somehow failed, it means you’re understanding that there’s certain times you can’t juggle all the plates at once. You need a third hand and that’s ok. Asking for help might mean your husband picking up dinner on his way home from work. It might mean telling your mom your intention of taking better care of yourself and her giving you ideas. It might mean calling a cleaning service once a month…or dropping off your husband’s shirts at the launders.