As moms we often lose track of time and find ourselves so engaged in our children’s lives that we forget about our own needs. In talking to other moms at work this week I’ve heard over and over how stressed everyone feels and how little time they think they have to accomplish anything. When I suggest they really need some time for themselves they look at me as if I’m crazy. How could they possibly find time for themselves?
Here are a couple of suggestions:
Start small. If the idea of 15 minutes is just too much for you, how about 3 minutes? Can you take 3 minutes to close the bathroom door and sit down? (Sit on the toilet if needed, feel free to close the lid). Now take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes. Be with yourself.
Schedule it. If you’re ready to expand to 15 minutes of “me time”, schedule it into your day. If you keep an agenda or planner, write it down. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Honor yourself and your need for time. I take some time while my son is completing his homework or working on the computer, before my husband comes home from work and before I start cooking dinner. Sometimes it’s even longer and no one has expired yet while I was sitting and writing or drawing.
Wake up earlier. Kids too young to be unsupervised? I know this sounds counter intuitive because other than time starvation most new moms are also sleep starved, but try waking up 15 minutes earlier and take some time for yourself then. Maybe you could write in a journal, meditate a little, or just sit. What do you miss most that you used to do before you were a mom? A hot bath with no rubber ducks or Lego boats in the tub? Take them out! And be very, very quiet.
Once you realize how wonderful it feels to have a little time to yourself you’ll be ready to look for more. I’ll share some other strategies for finding time on my next post.
Until then, enjoy your 3-15 minutes of solitude!
This afternoon I experienced cooking as meditation. It happened kind of accidentally as I was making some Nom Nom Paleo Southwest Cowboy Chili. I had happily discovered that I had all the ingredients that I needed and started collecting them when I realized I was in a kind of flow. I had already cut the bacon into evenly spaced little lardons and had the spices arrayed on the counter. I started to really enjoy the smell of each spice, grinding the cumin, pouring out paprika and oregano. I was thankful for the cow that provided the beef for the meal and then realized how thankful I was for the knife, the cutting board, the old wooden spoon and the Dutch oven that I gave to my husband as a housewarming gift when he moved in 14 years ago. We’re getting ready to renovate the kitchen (any and all condolences, prayers and blessings are appreciated) and I have been focusing on what’s wrong with it lately and how much better it will be later after we complete the renovation. Today I found myself appreciating all of the meals we’ve made and eaten here together and how lucky I am to have things like hot running water, a stove and oven that work, a refrigerator to keep our food cold and more than enough food to eat every day. I’m thankful that tomorrow when I come home from work (in what will probably be a stressed mood), I’ll have this yummy chili to enjoy with my husband. Of course I’ll have to cook something else for my son who has decided he doesn’t like beef but hopefully I can find some opportunity to stay mindful and grateful while I prepare his meal 🙂
I hope that you too have something that you do every day that you can sometimes pause and enjoy in a meditative state.
One of the things I’ve found challenging to do as a mom is to nurture myself. It’s much easier to take care of my son, cook special meals for him, have special play-time, make sure his homework is in his backpack and participate in a 45 minute bedtime routine. Taking care of my own needs comes second, third or whenever I think I might have a free moment.
Tonight I took a class called Nurturing Moves that was tailored to my needs. The class includes some yoga, a lot of breathing (BREATHE Mom), belly dancing, meditation, energy clearing and fun. After the class I took some extra time to jump on the trampoline outside in the side yard of I Am Equilibrium where the class was held. I haven’t jumped on a trampoline in at least 12 years and it was awesome. (The Lego movie theme will now be stuck in my head for the evening).
The class was led by Michelle Alva and you can check out her website at www.michellealva.com.
I’ll figure out how to embed links later. Right now I’m going to take care of my need to go to bed early!
How do you nurture yourself?
Welcome to Breathe Mom. This is a place to rediscover who we were before we became moms. Remember what used to make you cool (or hot!) and reclaim what works for you. Even if it’s only 15 minutes each day it’s important to do something for yourself and ONLY yourself that makes YOU feel good. Besides, it might make you a better mom 🙂
More to come soon, I promise!