The last few weeks have been very hard for me. I don’t know why, but I do know that I have gotten upset with kids, made hurried meals and created tension where there shouldn’t be any with my husband. After a quick trip to take care of something that I deeply care about–business with the library board I am in–I realized what has been bothering me. I’ve felt out of control, and the more time it passed, the worse it got.
In a second, after that Aha! moment, I felt better. Last night’s dinner was a success, and I am taking control of the things I can, like our budget, personal and professional projects, our weekly menus, and quality time with my kids and husband.
As moms, or maybe just as women, we often forget to take care of ourselves. We are so busy caring for others that time for oneself is the last thing on our minds. I am so guilty of this, and this by the way, is not something to be proud of. Selflessness is wonderful, except when it makes you a difficult person to be around. I am not a better mom for letting my kids in and out of the bathroom while I am in the shower, if later I feel such a need for alone time, that I end up yelling at them for being kids.
Taking a vacation without the kids will recharge you, but it is not always possible and the reality of life once you get back can quickly make you fall into those bad habits. So, after a string of texts with my besties and some thoughts about how to regain both control and sanity, here are some ideas I hope will give you a break, ease your daily life, and make you feel better.
- A pedicure. I love seeing my toes looking pretty, it makes me feel both feminine and put together something that as a mom I don’t often feel like. I do it myself in the evening, I don’t have time (or money) to go to the salon on a regular basis
- Completing small cleaning/organizing projects during random free moments. Things like reorganizing dresser drawers while the kids are busy playing independently will make you feel a little more in control of life. I am not naturally organized, but love opening doors that lead to organized closets
- A workout. I am partial to yoga, but a brisk 5 mile walk with my sister last week was wonderful too, especially because I got both the benefit of exercise and the company of my favorite gal
- A shower, plus 10 extra minutes to get ready. It is amazing what a little make up can do for me, not just on the outside, but also on the inside, even when I am wearing yoga pants
- Make the house look nice. Look for simple things that will cheer you up immediately. I’ve been loving spring and the ability to cut flowers from my yard to bring inside.
- Make lists. one for your day, one for small projects, one for large projects. It will make you more efficient and as you cross things off you’ll feel more productive
- Get out of the house. I love being with my kids at home, but sometimes I just need to get out. A trip to the zoo or the library is enough to get everyone tired and in a better mood
- Chick flick + a nice dinner. My husband works nights and I usually do work after my kids-finally-fall asleep. Every so often I make a favorite meal and put on a movie I love and doesn’t make me think. Spaghetti Puttanesca + Love Actually (or The Holiday) is a favorite of mine
- Get up early. It seems counterintuitive, but getting up before everyone else so you can take a shower, have a coffee and start crossing things off of your list will make you feel better than having 30 extra minutes of sleep
- Have fun. Date night is great, but stepping out of your routine will give you the added bonus of novelty. Try out a day date, instead of the usual dinner date, or do something you’ve been wanting to do for a while, like trying out a pop up dinner, going to a concert or gallery show, or sign up for a cooking class
I personally need to work on most of these, I have not been very good at taking care of myself lately, and it shows. Do you have any other ideas? How do you keep yourself sane?