Whether you’re a first-time mom or have been looking after multiple kids for a while, you’ll deserve a little time off of ‘mom duties’ every now and again. Picking up after little ones, making meals and ferrying family members from place to place really take its toll after a while, and it can make it hard to be the patient parent you want to be. So, take some time for yourself – even if (or especially if) you’re a single parent, trying out one or two of these ideas…
Take a walk: getting some fresh air, making your body move and just walking without a specific purpose can be really good for your mental and physical wellbeing. Put on your comfiest shoes and head off in whichever direction you fancy for at least an hour – this quiet time will help you to find a little bit of calm in your busy life.
Take a bubble bath: if leaving the house is difficult, why not take a bubble bath? Recruit a family member, neighbor or friend to watch your kids while you shut yourself in the bathroom for to soak under the bubbles. For extra relaxation, light some candles and make sure you have your comfiest PJs ready to pull on afterward.
Try doing some yoga: we all know that exercise is good for us, but we rarely get around to doing as much of it as we want. That’s why yoga is such a great thing to do as it doesn’t require being super fit or having lots of equipment. Go along to a class or roll out a towel at home to do a YouTube class for a bit of deep breathing and stretching.
Read a book: when was the last time you read a book? Perhaps you’ve managed to squeeze in a few pages at night before falling asleep? Taking an afternoon to devour a new title you’ve been looking forward to is such a relaxing thing to do. Bonus points if you find a cozy corner of a café to read in!
Have a massage: booking yourself in for a massage can feel indulgent and a bit strange if you’ve never had one before. But, laying down and not being able to be productive is a great way to slow yourself down – especially if you’re used to being a busy mom who crams a lot into a day.
Listen to music: remember the days when you used to make playlists and knew the names of current artists? Well, treat yourself to a little bit of time to just listen to some music, seeing what gives you goosebumps all over again.
Go to the theater: it always feels good to go to the theater – the costumes, the sets, and the music is immersive in a way that the silver screen just can’t match. So, treat yourself to tickets to see a show. Make sure it’s something you wouldn’t usually interest your kids, such as ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ – a fabulous 1920s Downton Abbey inspired whodunit comedy – and consider inviting a friend along to enjoy it with you.
Go window shopping: want some retail therapy? A spot of window shopping is completely free, but plenty of fun. Enjoy walking around the mall without the kids in tow, or head to your local farmers’ market for a leisurely stroll.
Head to a museum or art gallery: all moms know that even well-behaved kids take some careful watching in museums and art galleries if only to stop them touching the exhibits on display. So, enjoy feeling like a responsibility-free woman again by taking your time in a museum or art gallery, lingering wherever interests you and finding out about the things you like learning about.
How do those ideas sound? Pretty good, we bet. Treat yourself to some time off and, if you find yourself feeling guilty about it, remember that you can’t help others until you help yourself. It’s a cliché, but the principle of securing your own air mask on an airplane before helping others applies to the principle of taking time for yourself when parenting: more ‘me time’ will make you a better mom.