Gessica is a mother of two young children, a wife to a hunky husband, a blogger at Catholic Mom Vibes, virtual assistant, and lover of musicals! She enjoys reading, cooking, singing, and crafting. Some of her favorite things include Kansas sunsets, ice cream and brownies, and Pinterest.
There are so many ways that being at home with kids can steal your adultness at times. All too often, our idea is that spending joyful quality time with our children is dimmed by the need for constant supervision, pressing needs, and never-ending diapers to change.
That’s not even mentioning the chores and other necessities that running a home requires. Yuck!
At least that’s how I feel. Do you?
Don’t feel bad, We’ve all been there, and will be there again. At least once. But probably more like a million times.
It’s not that we don’t love our kids. It’s that we sometimes cease to feel like ourselves, or even like a human when we are guiding our kids through the messiness of everyday life.
So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed and just have to do something, anything, to feel like an adult person again?
In my opinion, simple self-care tricks are overlooked big times as mommies. Some of my suggestions require more thought and planning than others, but they are all worth it for quality me-time.
#1: Take a long, hot shower.
This seemingly simple activity is one of the most amazing things I can do in order to feel like me again. The one thing I make time for every single day.
Not to sound weird, but there is something about the oasis of standing in a steamy little space with hot water running over you that transports you to wherever your mind wants to go.
They say you do your best thinking in the shower (do they say that?). I know I totally come up with some brilliant ideas while enjoying a shower.
While I might feel a little bad about using up all the hot water, I usually shower for at least 15-20 minutes to really savor the idea of not being around anybody for all those precious minutes.
If you are a bath person, opt for that instead! Use your favorite bath bombs or soaking mixture and let those physical aches fade away.
#2: Enjoy something for a few minutes.
This could be any food or drink that you really enjoy. For example, after the kids went to bed I would drink a cup of tea that helped me relax and think about sleep (even if I would be up in a couple hours for one of them).
I would also count this as having a bowl of ice cream, eating some chocolate, or even pouring half a glass (or a full glass) of your favorite wine. (One of my favorites is Middle Sister’s Sweet and Sassy Moscato! So good.)
While this isn’t always the healthiest alternative, a little bit of cheating never hurt anybody, yeah?
It doesn’t even have to be food or drink. It can be your guilty pleasure online game, retail therapy from the comfort of your couch, or painting your toenails that haven’t been done in a while (okay, it’s been weeks).
#3: Get involved.
This summer, I committed to going to a Bible Study one night a week for nine weeks. I look forward to it all week because that’s an hour and a half where I can focus on something other than my kids! And it’s enjoyable and I’m learning things!
Find a community activity or club that you feel passionate about. It may only be once a week or twice a month, but you can be surprised how those few hours to do something you enjoy can really revitalize you.
This can be something as simple as going to the gym, volunteering for your favorite non-profit, visiting people in the nursing home (make sure to not go too late, they have early bedtimes), helping out at a local animal shelter, or playing bingo!
Most of these kinds of activities are free or budget-friendly, and I guarantee you will get something out of them, and so will the people you are helping or visiting.
Try to find a babysitter for that one night, or ask your significant other to watch the kids for a few hours. Better yet, call up grandma if she’s close!
You could even make this a couple outing if it interests both of you. Or, if you value teaching your children about being involved in the community, bring them with you, and make it a learning experience. They will get to see you in your element and learn how to serve others or take care of themselves in the future. It’s a win/win, really.
If your baby is quite young yet, it’s probably okay to bring them to your event. Everyone loves talking and looking at babies, don’t they?
You might live in the country and access to anything community related is longer than 30 minutes away. I would suggest finding online communities to connect with. There is a million and one Facebook groups out there for things that might interest you, and you could always take an online course or e-course and commit to learning something that way.
As you all know, the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding things on the Internet. The goal is to find the good resources, though. Like Eventful, which helps you find things to do in your area.
No brainer, right?
#4: Get up early.
You are thinking, “What?” and “No!” at the same time, aren’t you? Trust me.
Once you get used to getting up about an hour before your kids, you are going to love it. For a long time I slept in with my kids, then was super frustrated that I didn’t get anything done and never had much time to myself.
Solution! Rising an hour or two before your kids give you the chance to do anything you want.
Fix yourself a nice breakfast, read a book, sit and simply enjoy the silence, catch up on your favorite television show, whatever you deem worthy of me-time.
Sure, then you are a bit tired before 9 pm, but that just gives you the excuse to go to bed right after your kids and get some quality shut-eye.
Didn’t Benjamin Franklin famously say, “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise?” That’s certainly on to something, I think. He also said, “He who rises late trots all day!” and a plethora of other wise quotes.
You deserve it, mama!
#5: Find a passion or a hobby.
Being a good mom takes lots of energy and dedication, and it is hard to give of yourself and feel like you get nothing back.
As moms, we need to discover something (other than our children) that fuels our fire!
Find something you love to do. It could be writing, reading, gardening, cooking, sewing, sports, crafting, or cleaning.
This goes back to getting involved, but may not require you leaving the house to do it.
You might use your morning time or late evening time to dig into these pleasures or find a separate time to invest in them.
I truly believe God has given us all talents and gifts outside of motherhood. Motherhood can be a given and learned talent, but as women, we still have other interests. So use them, hone them, learn more about them.
I have a couple of resources for you to do this very thing. First, check out Jennifer Fulwiler. She is an inspiration for those searching for purpose aside of being a mom and wife. She’s a writer, speaker, radio show host, and has 6 kids! She’s on fire!
Next, if you’re curious about your job fit score (or what would make a good job fit for you), check out Dan Cumberland’s site! He loves to help people find what they are called to do!
Feeling Like Ourselves Again
Is feeling like ourselves still possible all the time and not just during these fleeting moments of self-care?
Yes, yes it is! We all have a little something that makes us tick. The trick is finding it, using it, and learning what it is.
Your life will be more fulfilling and fruitful when you do, and you will still feel purpose without feeling like you are abandoning your motherhood duties.
In the meantime, always take time to enjoy and care for yourself each day, using any of the tips I gave you or come up with your own. Don’t ever stop believing that you are worth it!