I remember this being a huge struggle during my mat leave. When you are home with your children all day you hardly ever get a break. From the moment they wake up until they go to sleep you are feeding them, playing with them, teaching them, getting active with them, bathing them, cleaning up after them, did I mention feeding them, and feeding them and feeding them….. (so much time in the kitchen) As much as I loved being home with my kids I really started to struggle with the mundane activities, and under estimated the amount of time that I would be cooking and cleaning. I needed little resets during the day to get back to all those positive vibes I used to feel about being home. Now that I am home again and more than ever during this pandemic its become even more important to squeeze in those moments for me. Since everyone else has been home too, I wanted to share some of the ways I snuck in those much needed me time moments.
I used to read all the time before kids, but I found it harder and harder to get any reading done since. If you’ve been following me on social you already know I love audio books, however even my audio books took a hit during the pandemic since the time I listened to them the most was when I was driving. Here’s how I incorporate them in my days now. Invest in a good pair of wireless headphones so you can turn them while multitasking. While cooking or cleaning are two times I enjoy listening to them. But also during art time with the kids. I can easily participate in coloring, painting, stamping, stickers….etc, while listening to a book and not feeling like I am taking away anything from the kids experience.
Skin care has always been important to me. Going to the spa is a special treat but treating myself to facials at home was always a regular part of my routine. On a week where even my evenings are jam packed right up until I want to go to bed, I can still put a face mask on when I bath the kids. Put them in the tub, wash them and my face then put a mask on and kick back while they play in the tub. I can rinse it off right before I am ready to take them back out.
The days of going to the gym before work were long gone when I had kids. All my workouts happened at home during my mat leaves and continues that way to this day. Ideally Its nice to get a work out in when the kids are asleep, but I know from experience this isn’t always possible. Even with some interruptions from them, a good sweat session will do YOU so much good. No gym equipment? No problem, I love doing dance parties with he kids, squats while lifting them up and down (which gets really hard when they turned into toddlers) racing back and forth down the halls, pushing the kids down the hall in a laundry basket is another great one. whatever it is that can get your heart rate up and blood pumping will work wonders for your mood and overall mental health as well.
Get up an hour earlier
I know, it kind of sounds like that’s a sucky idea, but its amazing in the long run I promise. If you used to commute but are now sleeping in a little later and working from home, go back to getting up earlier and use that time to just be ALONE. Before anyone else wakes up, do your morning shower, maybe a work out, yoga, journal, have breakfast, stare at the wall in silence….whatever will leave you feeling that lightness of just being you in your own space.
Create Your Vision Board
Vision boards are great ways to express your goals and dreams in a form of visual art that you can keep to remind yourself of where you want to go and stay on track with getting there. Building one with your kids is extra special. You can hand them magazines and have them hunt down particular kinds of pictures you are looking for, if they are old enough to read then they can search out words for you. If they are old enough to create their own boards then you can each make your own. Win, win, and win.
I hope you’re inspired by these ideas, feel free to send me some of your own as well, or share them on my facebook page.