Summer is a busy time with the kids at home, activities and outings, camping, hiking, vacations and road trips. You are going from one place to the next getting in as much as you can in our short season. (Well I do, I like to pack it all in in about 8 weeks as I know we only have so much time to do all the things we love. And you have to take advantage of the warm and sunny days cause you never know when the rain is going to come and sock you in for a few days and the temperature drops)
The problem is still taking time for yourself with all this increased activity and time with the kids at home. We all know how important it is for Mom (or Dad) to take time for ourselves. A happy parent equals a happy family. We are better able to manage our day, handle challenges and stress and just enjoy life more!
So here are some tips and things that I do so that I get ‘my time’ throughout the day and am still present and ready for my children.
Get up half an hour early, before the kids do and do something for yourself. You might argue that you need your sleep but trust me this is worth it. Do whatever feeds your spirit, whether it be a quiet cup of coffee or tea, meditate, yoga, stretching, something that you enjoy and puts you in a peaceful, calm and happy mind state.
Have quiet time after lunch My little ones still nap so I get a 2 hour window in the afternoon to do what I want; but with my older son home from school that changes. I know you’re saying my kids don’t nap at all! What we have done is set up quiet time after lunch for 30 minutes. All the children go to their rooms at the same time and do a quiet activity such as reading, drawing, etc. The babies still nap so they go to sleep but this works well with Matthew; and I will continue to do it once the babies no longer nap. Then you have time to yourself to do something for you, without the kids, and is a nice break for everyone during the day.
Make a cup of tea, coffee, lemonade, etc. You notice that the kids are playing nicely, take that 5 or 10 minutes and sit down and enjoy your favorite drink. I often find that having just those few minutes is a great way to recharge.
Breathe I am sure you have heard this one before, a few deep breaths can do a world of wonders and I mean in through the nose and out through the mouth, filling up and expanding the stomach. You don’t need a block of time to do this, you can do it on the spot, kids or not for just a few minutes.
Set up some scheduled breaks Whether it be a playdate or you hire a babysitter, this provides the opportunity to take a break and do what you would like for a bit. Whether it be to go for coffee with a friend or by yourself, a massage, a little shopping. You can even take advantage of registering your child(ren) in a day camp program. This will not only provide a break for you but some variety for the kids.
I have found the key is purposely scheduling some time for you, while making sure that the kids are occupied and safe. If I do not schedule time during my day I find I get to the end of the day and am just exhausted. Once you have the time it is easy to find things to do! and even short breaks can make a world of difference.
The important thing is to do things that truly feed your spirit and rejuvenate you, don’t use that time to do housework or prepare dinner! Things like going outside, even if just in the backyard if you can’t leave the house, go for a walk, a massage, coffee, read or even an uninterrupted phone conversation with a friend! You know what feeds you best, do it and everyone will be better off for it.