Over and over again I keep telling myself I need to fill my cup first so I have something to pour out into my kids. But daily I run on empty, feel run down, and forget to recharge myself. Part of my problem was no one has a manual on how to treat yourself as a mom when you can’t get away. Of course, a date night with the husband or a night with girlfriends would be fun, but it’s not always feasible. But I have found that the little things add up to make a big difference when it comes to filling your mom cup.
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I snapped at my daughter this morning. She seemed to be asking too many questions. I yelled at the dog. He seemed to always be stepping right where I was trying to walk. And then I realized I was running on empty. I was stressed, frustrated, and tired and I had nothing left in me. I was running on empty and I had forgotten to fill my cup. I hadn’t managed to decompress from yesterday’s challenges in order to deal with today’s tasks. It even got to the point that I has to ask myself “when did you last treat yourself as a mom?”. And it’s so few and far between, but they’re the little moments that make a big difference when facing the day and not letting the world pile on to emotions!
So now I am learning to seek out ways to sneak in moments of rest and to find ways to treat myself even when the kids are around. And truthfully? They help. A lot.
Ways to de-stress and treat yourself as a mom with kids around
Have a cup of tea.
Have a calming cup of tea. You can sit and sip it while you set aside a daily reading time with your kids. Or maybe for 10 minutes they can play independently while you sip your hot tea and take some deep breaths to help refill your emotional cup.
Use chores to decompress, not stress.
A shift in attitude about chores can really help be a way to de-stress. Of course no one expects chores to be a part of a list for treating yourself, but there is some truth in this. My daughter and I turn picking up into a game where we shoot toys into a box or bag in the middle of the room. We listen to music while we clean the bathroom. And I have even learned to embrace the precious moments that happen when I am doing my least favorite chore, hand washing dishes.
Sign up for s stitch fix.
I can’t lie and say this one isn’t my favorite, because it is. After having kids my wardrobe and of course my body were very different. Nothing fit, I was stuck in the rut of trying to maintain my pre-baby style with my post-baby body, and now I had the problem of trying to shop with kids.
Stitch Fix solved this for me. I could give a basic snapshot of my style, fill out my dimensions, sizes, and preferences, and get this awesome shipment to try stuff on. PERFECT. I have done it more than once now and have had a great experience. I have gotten clothes I wouldn’t have normally tried on, but love and some really practical styles. And now they even have a Stitch Fix app where you can share a profile picture and look at it on the go! (Like I know we all are as moms).
And it’s a treat. It’s a way to have a positive image of myself by not only treating myself as a mother to a package that’s all for me each month or every other month, but it’s also a way to make sure that each morning I am getting dressed in clothing that makes me feel confident, not stressed or burnt out. And so my friend, I invite you to at least look into getting yourself a stitch fix even if it’s just once, or ask friends & family for a Stitch Fix Gift Card. It’s a strangely liberating experience.
Set aside morning quiet time.
I know it’s not always possible, but sneaking in just a few minutes to takes deep breaths, especially of the morning air, think, pray, read your Bible, or do whatever you do in the silence is a big recharge to my mom batteries. As much as I would love thirty minutes or an hour, even 5 is a victory.
Get in the car!
Some days whether I am out and about or not, I will load up and go for a drive. We turn up the music, roll down the windows, and even go through the drive through for myself. It feels liberating and freeing, especially on the hard days. It’s also a way to help my children get some of their stir-crazy out of their system by changing their environment even if it’s just a 20 minute drive. Plus music is always good for the soul.
Hide a stash of chocolate…
… and eat it in the shower… while you scatter toys throughout the house like Hansel and Gretel. (No explanation needed, right?)
Go on a Walk.
Sunshine, fresh air, and a little exercise can do a mind and body good. Treat yourself as a mom to getting out of the house and walking somewhere with the kids. If needed, play the silent game on the way to a park or special destination.
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!