If there's one thing all moms have in common, it's that we're all "working" moms. Our job as a mother can be tiring, thankless, and often, we can find that we've put everyone before ourselves, or that there aren't enough hours in the day to take care of everyone and then us. Frankly, it can really wear you down.
All of us moms need to recharge not only our physical battery (sleep, glorious SLEEP!), but also our mental and emotional batteries. Especially with all the changes that can happen to our bodies with pregnancy, and trying to keep little bodies clean and clothed, we moms can sometimes lose our sense of self. It's way too easy to get caught up in a routine that is stressful and sometimes depressing.
Childcare isn't always available, affordable ... and, for some moms, isn't even desirable. So I've got a lot of ideas of ways for mom to recharge or boost her spirits without having to shell out dough to a babysitter, or waiting until Grandma can take the kids.
- Pluck your eyebrows while the kids are busy. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes, even if you never have time for make-up.
- Get some tasty and soothing teas and brew a cup in the mornings and evenings. The hubby and I enjoy a cup almost every night right after the kids are in bed, while we read or watch TV.
- Go to 'Mom Groups' and get some adult social time while the kids play. I go to LLL for more reasons than just breastfeeding!
- Sing loudly in the car. Turn the speakers to the front so you're not blasting the kids, and belt out a favorite tune you know all the words to and love. Your kids don't care if you're tone deaf.
- Clean. Yes, I know. But blast some music and dance like a dork, and before you know it, you'll be done. Let's face it -- having a clean house does make you feel better.
- Dye your hair a new color, or put in some clip-in colors. Doing little things for yourself can go a lot way to boosting spirits.
- Hug your child when you're ready to yell at them. Often the more you want them to leave you alone for five seconds, the more needy they get because they sense it. Take a minute or two to love on them, and you'll both feel better.
- Read some new books. I read for 15 to 90 minutes every night before going to sleep, after the kids are in bed. Not only does it help me fall asleep, but I love having that time to enjoy a fantasy world that I can discuss with friends as well.
- Paint and file your nails. I love having my nails looking neat, even if they're doing nothing but wiping butts. My daughter loves having her nails painted with kid-safe polish too.
- Get some exercise in the form of yoga, Wii Fit, or Dance Dance Revolution. Activity, even in your living room while kids are napping, is known to release serotonin and boost spirits, and help get you going if you're groggy.
- Watch silly, kid-friendly YouTube videos. Animals are a big hit with any aged crowd.
- Learn how to make espressos from home. A yummy, frothy drink in the morning makes me happy, and saves me money rather than hitting up Starbucks too.
- Play in the bed in the morning, rather than jumping straight up to start your day. A fun, loving family moment first thing can help set a nice tone.
- Watch a kid movie you enjoy too. Despicable Me and Up come to mind. Laugh a little more at the jokes in Shrek that go over your kids' heads.
- Find some good online like-minded mom friends who you can commiserate with -- just being told, "It's normal, and this too shall pass" can help a ton.
- Lower your expectations. You have kids -- it's okay to not have a sparkling home or perfect hair.
- Have an English tea party with little tea cups and tiny cucumber sandwiches. Sit at a kid table if you can. Wear big hats.
- Take the kids for a walk. Give your kid a camera they can use (even a kid camera) and have them take pictures of interesting things.
- Take a family nap. Ignore the sweeping and dishes that need to be done and just cuddle your sleeping baby in your bed.
- Sing songs you loved in your childhood. Not only is it sweet, but the nostalgia can be uplifting.
- Put on makeup just to go grocery shopping if you usually don't. Even if you hold the bathroom door shut with one foot while putting on mascara, that can make you smile when you look in the mirror.
- Have a 'do over' if the morning goes rough. If you're not on a schedule, send everyone back to bed and declare a 'do over.' Seriously, this can be a life-saver.
- Make it a goal to hug your child three times for every one time you have to say 'no' every day.
- Decide to enjoy playing with your kids, rather than trying to enjoy yourself despite them.
- Plant and grow something. The first time something grew that I'd planted seeds for myself, I told my mom I finally understood why she bothered gardening -- it's rewarding!