5 Simple Pleasures Every Exhausted Mom Needs Right Now


Major lifestyle switch-ups—like the one that happened while we were all sheltering in place—trigger changes that happen in stages. At first, the unexpected home time (for those lucky enough to get some) felt like a luxury that allowed us to play around in the kitchen (so much banana bread!), get reacquainted with our comfy-pants, and maybe even adopt that puppy the kids had spent years campaigning for. Then came the we-can-do-hard things stage. Remember those color-coded homeschool schedules that got tossed in the recycling just days later?

Now we’ve settled into a third stage, the one that happens when we’ve all hit the wall and we’re tired. Though every county across the country is different, it’s a fair bet that moms everywhere feel similar exhaustion. Did homeschooling take it out of you? Wondering how you’ll balance work and kids for the next three months without summer camp? Right now, it’s the familiar little things that are bringing us comfort and happiness. 

  • 1. Treat yourself to a fancy coffee drink


    You’ve likely spent more time cooking at home over the past few months than ever before, so let a pro handle your coffee. Starbucks’ blissfully user-friendly app is a dream for any mama who’s hit the wall: Tap your favorite go-to drink (or a new option via the “featured” section), customize it every which way, and let your local barista whip it up while you’re on your way. Then pay with contactless payment. You’ve just found your own coffee concierge.

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  • 2. Eat outdoors  

    The fresh summer air is a balm for cranky kids and their equally cranky parents, and the ability to sip on a glass of rose makes this outdoor experience so much better than a power walk around the neighborhood. To lean into it, challenge your kids to turn it into a patio “restaurant” and let them do the serving. Bonus: No crumbs to even consider vacuuming up. Leave it to the birds!

  • 3. Make Grandmom your guest star

    Mamas everywhere are on empty when it comes to ideas to entertain the kids. Give yourself a break, and loop in the grandparents for a family activity that will benefit both parties. Ask Grandma and Grandpa to write simple, early-reader-friendly chapters collecting their memories of childhood, then read one per night. It’ll feel like a warm hug.

  • 4. Have a gourmet breakfast

    Treat yourself and the fam to an upscale spread--no extra time or cooking skills required. The Starbucks app is great for browsing the food offerings at your nearest location, and there’s a wide enough range to please foodie adults and picky kids alike. Find your cafe, check out the menu, and order in advance (the Southwest Veggie Wrap caught our eye…). Starting things off with a new nosh that you didn’t have to cook yourself will put a pep in your step that lasts all day.

  • 5. End the night with a good book

    If reading a book before bed is a forgotten part of your household’s nighttime routine, reinstate it. Even older kids will appreciate the easy pleasure of listening to a novel read aloud. You’ll enjoy it too, especially if it’s a classic book or something from your childhood. The reliable happiness that comes from checking in with favorite characters each night makes this a comforting way to close the day. And it’ll help you get more quality sleep than PM screen time, a boon for next-day energy. It’s a win-win!