4 Easy Step to Getting More Self-Care with Kids
There are a few times when moms have to really look at what they’re doing and figure out the best way to get more self-care with kids home. It’s never easy to focus on what you need most when you have kids home needing your attention. These are some of my tried and true, favorite ways to get more self-care with kids around.
There always seems to be a struggle in the transition phases. We struggle when we have a newborn, when they start dropping naps, when they start school, when they’re home from school. The changes seem to come quickly as our babies become toddlers who become preschoolers and so on.
As I write, we have just moved into my in-laws home, pulled my daughter from an amazing preschool, and moved across the state. I was able to gather as much information as I could from her teachers to continue her learning as I could, and then the unimaginable happened. Right now we are self-quarantining because of Coronavirus. Thankfully she isn’t missing any school, and I’m still on her teacher’s texting list so I get the updates to her class and can keep teaching as we go.
This transition has been one of the more difficult ones I’ve had to do yet. I became a homeschool mom by semi-choice, but didn’t anticipate being stuck at home all of the time. I expected to do school, go to the library, visit the park, go to the zoo, etc. Now, I’m stuck at home, in a home that isn’t mine, and with my daughter 24/7. Finding time to really focus me has NOT been easy in the turmoil.
You have to start somewhere
As you try to figure out your best routine, know that nothing will be perfect, but doing something is definitely better than nothing at all. Take the time to really think about what you’re wanting to do. I love to start the process by writing a list of things I want to do for myself. This list can be simple stuff
- paint my nails
- take a walk
- wear something that makes me feel pretty or sexy
- talk to a friend
- write for 20 minutes
- declutter a space in my home
- put on my makeup
- do my hair
- shave my legs
- play a video game for 1 hour
- scroll Facebook for 20 minutes
- pin on Pinterest for 20 minutes
- take a social media hiatus
- watch a guilty pleasure show
Whatever the case may be. It doesn’t need to be anything costly or groundbreaking. Just make it the things that you can think of first when you think about what you want to do.
Expand your list to the bigger things you want to do. These things are the things you wouldn’t do on a daily basis, but you would like to do weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, once a year. This list can go on the same list as your other one, but generally would be the things that you would want to budget for.
These things would be like:
- girls night out
- shopping with your besties
- date night with the hubby
- haircut/ dye at the salon
- get your nails done
- Use a face mask
- get a facial
- get a massage
- plan a vacation away
- go camping
These things aren’t the things you necessarily would do on a regular basis, but the things that you really want to make time for when you’re able. Your list may look completely different from mine and that’s perfect. I would hate for you to feel like you need to copy what I want to do.
Finding time in your day is probably one of the most difficult things, especially when you have younger kids. If your kids are school age, you can generally sneak some time away, but it won’t be the most peaceful. If you have a toddler, you really need to be intentional with this time.
Plan it during their naps, if you’re lucky enough to have a toddler who naps still. You can use part of that time to focus on yourself. I know, I know, that’s when you get the dishes done/ dinner started/ shower/ fold laundry… I get it. I’m not saying give it all up, but take a few moments to do something for yourself intentionally.
One of my favorite ways to figure out when I can take a little time for myself is to plan my day out. I do this one of two ways. If I am settled into a routine with my family, I will write out what my day generally looks like and see where I can squeeze out a little time for myself. On the flip side of that, If your schedule just got flipped upsidedown, it’s the perfect time to test out a schedule for your family. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but that would give you the general outline of what your day would look like.
In either schedule, figure out where you’re able to carve 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or even 30 minutes for your own sanity. What can you do to make yourself feel more like yourself? How much time do you want to spend on your own needs each day?
One of my favorite times to get anything done at all is after my family is asleep. It is time that everything is quiet, there are no distractions around, I can do my thing without anyone pestering me. I love doing my own thing at night, but I’m a night owl. You might find that waking up before everyone is more your jam. Whatever works for you, make it happen.
Make it happen. This is probably the most difficult. Set everything aside and make it a priority in your day. Don’t allow yourself to ignore your needs and get burned out. Focus on the things you need and want so that you can keep being the rockstar mom you are.
Things will inevitably come up. They will get in the way. There will be days of chaos and struggle, but there is always tomorrow. You might be wanting to take a bubble bath after everyone is asleep, but that ‘s the day your little one fights sleep or needs extra snuggles. It is inevitable. But we are moms, we can adapt to whatever we are faced with.
Make a plan B, C, D, E. However many back-up plans you need, make them all work for what you need. I usually spend my chore time trying to figure out what I want to do next. If I want to do my makeup, paint my nails, or maybe read a book. Whatever it is, I dream it up before I make time for it. I also make up my mind about what my backup plans are. That way I can adapt to my time constraints even better.
I have also started to include Little Miss in my routine at times. I don’t do it as much as I probably should, but I will let her do her nails with me, or put on a face mask. She will take time out to look at a book when we decide it’s reading time. She loves to go for walks with us, or just snuggle up and watch a movie or snooze.
Don’t give up
One of the most difficult things is not giving up when the schedule gets crazy. It is something I struggle with far too often. Taking time for self-care with kids around is never an easy thing. There will always be difficult times and days. When you fall off, hop back on, or start back at the beginning and figure out what you need most.
As long as you’re moving forward, you’re doing amazing. There’s no perfect way to make time for your self-care with kids around. Just do what you must.