Taking Time for Self Care

By Mirranda Reinhardt for Pregnancy Awareness Month®
Being a mother can simultaneously be the hardest and most rewarding job in the world. Day in and day out we pour our hearts and souls into tiny beings and help mold them into the people they will become. We care for our families and we make sure our homes run smoothly. At times, it may seem as though the work never really ends.  In all of the hustle and bustle of day to day living there will always be another meal to prepare, another load of laundry to wash, and another dish to clean.

 

I know in my own life it’s easy to get so caught up in things that I forget to take care of myself. Most moms I know seem to be the same way. Everyone else’s needs always seem to come first and sometimes that leaves us running on empty. With so much on our plates it’s important to remember to take time to recharge our own batteries.

With three kids and a husband with a busy work schedule that frequently leads him out of town; I sometimes find it difficult to fit in time for myself. For quite a while I didn’t give myself the care I needed.  I always thought that time for myself meant trying to find a half hour to an hour block in my already busy day to unwind. For many moms, it’s just not possible to find that kind of extra time.

I finally realized that caring for myself doesn’t have to take a lot of time. I can make myself a priority without neglecting other important aspects of my life. A few minutes here and there really makes a difference in my mood and stress levels.

How do I find the time?

-I sneak in five minutes of quiet time in the morning while the kids are playing together. I drink a cup of coffee, check my e-mail and think about the day ahead.

-Music is a great mood lifter so I make sure to have the radio on while I’m doing the dishes. If you sat around my house long enough you might even see me lip synching into a spatula because it just makes me feel happy. Throw in a twirl of the apron as I prance across to the stove and I’m positively giddy.

-I homeschool my older kids so while they’re doing their school lessons and the little one is napping I try to grab a few minutes of reading time. I usually get interrupted once or twice by someone needing help, but it’s time I cherish anyway.

-I make it a point to take showers during nap time or when my husband is home to watch the kids. This can be a tough one because it sometimes means showering at odd times of the day but it really is worth it to me. Those few minutes are the quietest it ever is in my house and it’s nice to be able to think without worrying about somebody needing something.

-When I head out to pick up my big kids from soccer, art classes or play practice I make sure to grab something to do in the car while I wait for them. Though he’s outgrowing it now; my little guy used to fall asleep in the car so I’d have several minutes of quiet to read, surf the internet on my Kindle or just listen to music. When I was really frazzled, I’d leave early for extra quiet time in the parking lot with a sleeping baby.

Finding time for ourselves as mothers can be easier than it seems. Even a few minutes here and there adds up and can make a huge difference. Every mother needs time to recharge; it helps us be the best mothers we can be.

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