Yesterday, Rachael posted about how much work is required from moms. She listed some great ways to lighten the load of being a mom, and one of the ways is to take care of yourself. I feel this is mentioned so many times, but it can be hard to follow-through and get it done. I love this meme from the internet, “One of the quickest ways to get the attention of your children is to look comfortable.” It seems as soon as I try to get some alone time, five other people need my attention (even when only 3 other people live with me).
Today I want to focus on ways you can make some time to yourself.
One of the most obvious ways is to wake up earlier than your children, or stay up after they go to bed. I’m not a morning person, and I usually spend evenings with my husband. This isn’t always the case, but I do enjoy spending time with him, and that’s usually after the kids go to bed. If you are a morning person, get up an extra half hour and get started on a project. Schedule some time at night and tell your husband that it is “me” time, and let him off the hook to go spend some time doing something he wants.
You can get alone time during the day as well, it just requires a little more planning, but not much. You can buy a craft pack here, and set the kids with the supplies to complete the project. Even less involvement, set them in front of a coloring book that is reserved for special times. When something isn’t always available it will keep their attention for longer. Now that the weather is nice, send the kids in the backyard and take 30 minutes to watch your show or read a chapter.
Another option for alone time during the day is to schedule shifting playdates. Gather a couple of friends with kids the same age as your kids and switch off houses. Each of you takes one day during the week to watch the kids, and that provides you with two days of alone time. When the kids are at your house have some fun activities planned that will keep the kids busy and out of trouble.
Schedule a girls night. I have a craft night once a month that is just for me and my girlfriends. Hire a sitter if you need, but get out with the girls so you can laugh and cry together. Guys are wonderful to be with, but they just don’t understand what it’s like to be a girl and a mom.
Don’t waste your alone time taking a guilt trip. The dishes will be there tomorrow, the toys will stay in the same place. Recognize that after you have some time doing something you enjoy, the chores won’t seem as frustrating. It’s easier to do what needs to be done once you’ve had some time to relax and refresh.
Get up and get ready for the day. I always feel better when I start the day dressed and ready for anything. Of course, I know I feel better when this happens because I don’t always start the day this way (I’m lucky if this happens twice in a week). When I wake up before the kids and have time to shower (without the baby staring at me), and blow-dry my hair, and put on make-up, I’m a much happier person. I’ve had time to start the day right, and I’ve been able to enjoy some time taking care of myself the way I deserve to be treated.
What are some ways you carve out time for yourself? What do you like to do most when you have alone time? Please share some ideas!
Now, on to the Mother’s May Highlight of the Day: JaNeil Wilson.
This is my mom. She was nominated by my sister, so I can ethically highlight her.
JaNeil is the oldest of 9 children, 7 are still living. She raised 4 children (including moi). She has been married for almost 38 years. She currently has 9 grandchildren, who love her immensely, and they know she loves them.
She selflessly gives her time everyday, either to church responsibilities, neighbors, her children, or her extended family. She is probably one of the most selfless people I know. I learned how to serve from her example.
When I asked her what her greatest accomplishment is to date, she responded, “Raising a righteous family.” She is devoted to the Lord, and her testimony of his doctrine permeates her actions. She strives daily to do better and be better. If you need a miracle, ask my mom, she gets what she prays for.
She loves being a grandma and attends almost every game, concert, graduation, celebration for each of her grandchildren.
She is also a wonderful mom, and has always shared her love freely. She is a morning person, and would wake up every morning early to get started on a healthy, hot breakfast for us. I lived at home while attending college and some of my favorite memories are breakfast with my mom. She would wake up early, make breakfast for herself and me, and we would spend breakfast time together discussing our plans for the day. I’m not much of a morning person, and my kids eat cold cereal more mornings than not, so I appreciate this sacrifice even more now.
She is a fantastic cook, and has passed her skills to each of her daughters (my brother can cook, but not much). My family moved back close to my mom about a year ago, and I loved being around this past holiday season. My younger sister and I spent a couple of days each week leading up to Christmas at my mom’s. We would make homemade cream centers for chocolates, toffee, and other yummy treats. I love spending time with my mom and learning some of her tricks in the kitchen.
And for all these things, I’m grateful she’s my mom.
Don’t forget to nominate your favorite mom here.