Do you write out to-do lists? I do. I love to make lists and I adore checking things off. So many lists to create and obsess over: grocery lists, house project lists, packing lists, gift ideas lists, things to do lists, and on and on and on. I always have multiple lists going on and most relate to the house or the kids.
Sometimes there are one or two things that relate to something I need, like “call to schedule hair appointment” or “go to the gym”. Most times, however, those are lowest on my priority list and they get pushed to the bottom and weeks will go by before I address them again. It is nobody’s fault but mine. I recognize the pattern and am embarrassed that it has continued for as long as it has. Mama needs to be put back on the list.
Have you ever seen that Suave commercial? The one where they show this attractive, smiling young lady who then gets married, has kids, and her appearance drastically changes? She takes care of everyone but forgets to do the same for herself. So many moms can see themselves in this woman. Where does the time go? How in the world can I take time for myself and still be a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend?
With two small children under the age of five, life can get overwhelming. But I don’t have to tell you this. If you’re reading these words, you get it. What I’m learning (yes, I’m a little late to the party) is that taking time for you is a necessity. You run out of energy reserves at some point. You do your children no favors by doing it all and never taking a break. People get mean without breaks. People get crabby. People get easily irritated. OK, you get my point.
The other day I finally made a few phone calls that I had been putting off. I told my hubby that I was going to schedule some “me time” and he needed to be home. I went to yoga for the first time in too many years. I got out of the house for a few hours by myself and everyone was still alive when I got home. These are big victories for a mama like me.
If you are having difficulty finding time for yourself, start with baby steps and you’ll be amazed at how much happier you feel:
- Visit your gym a few times a week and get some cardio in. Your body will thank you.
- Sign up for a class: Photography? Zumba? Yoga? Cooking?
- Practice some retail therapy. Most moms rarely shop for themselves and you deserve it!
- Plan a lunch or dinner date with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Catch up, gossip and eat without feeling like you have to hurry (as you do with kids in tow).
- Put your partner on bath and bed duty for a night while you relax. See? You don’t even have to leave the house for that one!
Every mama is different, but if you have let yourself slide down the list of priorities, stop before it becomes a habit. You are the example you set for your children.
Remember, a happy mama produces happy children.