Often, it's easy for moms to forget to schedule time for themselves. From drivings kids to soccer practice to cooking up a healthy dinner and getting them to bed on time, mamas don't have an easy job. Carving out some "you time" is essential for the health and sanity of you and your family. The Confident Mom shares a few helpful tips in penciling in time for self-care:
1. Use nap time effectively.
Even if your children are too old for naps, they definitely have a quiet time scheduled in their day. Take their quiet time as an opportunity for you to do the hobbies you enjoy, such as reading, writing, listening to music, exercising, or crafting. Try to avoid using this time to do household chores, remember, this is your time for self-care! You can also trying taking a bubble bath, long shower, or spend some time drinking tea with friends.
2. Have a different sleeping schedule than your children.
The Confident Mom suggests to make it a habit to wake up early if your children sleep until late morning. She says that getting up earlier than her family is her way to get more accomplished in the day, even if it means taking a 20 minute nap later in the afternoon. Rising early allows you more time for yourself and you can get better organized for the day without your kids demanding breakfast at the same time.
3. Plan your meals.
Save time by planning your meals for the week. Make a list of the ingredients you will need for the entire week and purchase them all in one trip to the grocery store. That way, you won't need to run to the grocery store every other day and wait the long lines.
4. Find child-friendly shops.
Research or ask around for stores near you that have supervised playrooms for children while you go about your shopping. IKEA is a great option for all your furniture needs. Check out this article by Red Tricycle for a list of kid-friendly coffee shops in the Bay Area and this article for San Francisco's most kid-friendly restaurants.
5. Team up with other moms.
You're not alone in facing the challenges of motherhood! Find a network of mamas with similar aged children you can plan group outings with or schedule play dates. Mom-to-mom support has been shown to help reduced stress among mothers. Find motherhood support in our New Mom's Support group and Radical Mamas group.
6. Try multitasking.
The Confident Mom says that you can mix “being mom” and “you time” at the same time. She suggests taking your children out for a walk in the stroller while listening to an audio book or music on your iPod. Do you have a bike trailer for your little one(s)? Look online at places like Craigslist or Trading Cradles to find a used one and get moving. Kids will love getting cozy inside with a snack, drink and a few books or even their own story on an MP3 player. You get some exercise and fresh air and your kids get an adventure too!
7. Have a "Me Menu".
A "Me Menu" isn't a list of your dinner plan, rather, a list of everything you enjoy doing! Often times mothers forget what brings them joy to their lives other than their children. Your passions do not disappear once you have children, but it's easy for moms to get so busy that they forget the activities they once enjoyed dong. The Confident Mom says to take some time to jot down ideas of what you would like to do if you had 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour and several hours. Keep this list handy so that if you happen to get 15 minutes of time, you can look at your list and make that time useful for you!
Schedule in some time for self-care here at Community Well by signing up for classes that allow you to be in community with other mamas. Try out postnatal fitness conditioning, mama prenatal yoga, or community yoga. Seek motherhood support in our mama support groups, such as the radical mamas group or new mom's support group. Take a look at our calendar of classes and services to see which classes best fit your schedule and be sure to pencil in some mama self-care here at Community Well!