Wednesday, July 8, 2015
10 Things I Do for Myself During Quiet Time
To put it mildly, being a mother to small children is a bit draining. My kids require almost ALL my time, to say nothing of my physical and mental energy. And so it is that every afternoon in our house we engage in the sacred ritual of Quiet Time. My older kids watch a little Netflix and I give the baby her binky (we love the Munchkin Latch. It was designed with pediatric dentists, which gives me some peace about her incoming tiny teeth!) and put her down for a nap.
I remember feeling a bit selfish when I required Stinky to have quiet time every day after he gave up naps. I was forcing him to spend an hour or two on the couch, not because he needed it, but because I needed it. What a jerk mom, right?
Two more children and a few more years have made me realize how important self-care is when you're a mom. I recently told Aaron that I feel like my needs are almost always dead-last. I'm the last to sit down to dinner. I'm often the last to head up to bed and the first up in the morning. I have to share everything from my sweaters to my snacks. There's very little that's just for me.
Quiet time is for me.
Here are 10 things I do for myself during quiet time to recharge my batteries and take back my sanity.
1. I blog
I do tend to wax and wane on blogging but it always pulls me back for one very good reason: it's something I do for myself. I love the creative outlet and the community and it makes me happy. Bonus: my kids can't get in here and mess everything up! It's all exactly as I left it!
2. I nap
Naps are my reset button and sometimes, in order for us to all make it through the day alive, mom needs to press that reset button.
3. I browse the internet for interesting stuff
Stay-at-home-mommyhood can be intellectually isolating and I find great value in reading cool articles or watching fun videos (many of which I share on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, by the way. Go like and follow along!). I feel like it helps keep my brain sharp, even if I spend the rest of my day breaking up fights and trying to keep the baby out of daddy's office.
4. I reach out to other moms
Sometimes this means spending an hour on gchat with Janssen and Erica or texting with my sister. I also have a great group of local girlfriends that often gets together after all our kiddos are down for the night. We leave our husbands watching over our sleeping babies and go walking or meet up at one of our houses to eat junk food and chat. That adult interaction is restorative beyond words even if I lose out on a little bit of sleep to get it.
5. I exercise
Whether it's a short yoga flow, a walk around the block, or an intense circuit workout, a little exercise goes a LONG way toward helping me feel happy and balanced. When I'm out of the habit (like now, for instance, thank you summer) I notice that I lose my cool a lot more easily and I reach the "I'M DONE!" point a lot earlier in the day.
6. I make plans for stuff
I get a lot of joy out of researching and planning. It doesn't really matter for what. Sometimes it's for a vacation. Occasionally it's for an upcoming event I'm helping to plan for the Arizona Blogger and Influencer Meetup. I have a small business idea I've been kicking around that requires some research. Having things to plan and look forward to is my idea of a good time.
7. I eat junk food
And I don't share.
8. I hang out with Aaron
My husband works from home so he's always around, though we generally try not to bug him during work hours. On occasion though, I'll plunk down in his extra office chair and we'll spent some of quiet time chatting without interruption. It's really nice to connect during the daylight hours. When Stinky was a baby and Aaron worked 30 minutes away I would sometimes call him during quiet time just for a little midday conversation with someone who could actually talk back to me.
9. I finally take a shower
During the summer I usually find myself telling my boys at noon that they should change out of their pjs only to look down and realize that I am also still in pajama pants. Quiet time is often my best chance for a shower and makeup- sometimes I even squeeze in a face mask (this one is my current fav)!
10. I spend some mindless time on social media
I'm a huge fan of social media but I try to limit my time on my phone and computer while my kids are awake so I can be more focused on them and stuff that needs to get done around the house. I have no guilt over spending all of quiet time mindlessly cycling between Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes that's exactly what I need.
Do you force your kids into a little quiet time? What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself throughout the day?
Created in partnership with Munchkin because without binkies quiet time would not happen and I would be a total crazy person.