Maximizing Your Quiet Moments

13
Sep
2012

mom-time-out
Are you laughing yet? 

I know as busy moms finding a few minutes alone is hardly possible and then to have it be “peaceful AND quiet?”  I know, but honestly you have to strive to make a routine in your home where mom can find a few minutes – you just have to.

Even just a few minutes each day for peace and quiet will relax and rejuvenate yourself. Depending on your tastes, you can find several ways to spend as little as ten minutes relaxing when the kids are napping or just before they wake in the morning.  Morning is my go-to time.  It is my guarantee – so I have to make sure I get to bed in order to wake up a bit earlier.  That can be a challenge, but I know how I feel if I miss my time in the morning  my attitude can be just a little off).

Here are some ideas:

  • During your child’s nap time, take a short catnap. Make sure you can hear your little one when he wakes up.  Even 5 minutes with your eyes closed helps.
  • Sit quietly and do some deep breathing exercises. Sit straight and breath in deeply to the count of six – breathe deeply under you fill your whole lungs. Hold for a couple counts and then release the breath slowly until all the air is out of your lungs. Repeat several times.
  • Read a few pages of a favorite book – two of my favorite books right now are Count Your Blessings, Inspiration from the Beloved Hymn – it is filled with short encouraging verses and poems to brighten my day. Another recent discovery is Prayers from the Pews by Teri Lynne Underwood.  It’s sections are short and the author is so genuine in her sharing that it makes me feel uplifted.
  • If there is another responsible person in the house, take a few minutes to go outside and take a walk, or work in the garden (but only if gardening is fun for you – if you consider it or anything else work, it won’t be as relaxing).
  • Unwind for a few minutes by working on a craft that you love, like scrapbooking, beading or card making.
  • Get an exercise DVD that has it’s program cut into short segments – do one or two exercise segments to burn off some stream and relax your body.
  • Do a short yoga session.
  • Pop on your Ipod and listen to some good music for your soul.  My stand-by Cd right now is Big Daddy Weave’s, Love Come to Life.  It just stops me in my tracks and brings me back to what is truly important.
  • Take a few minutes to do some good healthy stretching.
  • Sit quietly and write in a journal. Write anything – your hopes, dreams, plans or funny things that have happened.  I have a gratitude journal and just jotting down 5 things will brighten my day.
  • Sit quietly on the porch or patio and watch the world go by.
  • Make yourself a cup of tea and sip it slowly. Nibble on a favorite cookie, too.
  • Fix yourself a healthy sandwich or bowl of soup and take your time eating it – don’t gulp it down.
  • These are only a few ideas to get your juices flowing. You can probably come up with a long list of things you like to do when you have some free time that help you feel refreshed and relaxed.  Make that list, write it out and keep it handy as a ‘go-to’ resource.  Sometimes it is the hardest thing to think of something to do, at least for me it can be.

Even when you have children, a home, a job, a relationship, hobbies, classes to take, friends to pay attention to, a lawn to be mowed and dishes to wash, you still need to grab time for yourself to relax, unwind and refresh yourself.

These small moments can be valuable helpers in keeping you de-stressed and on an even keel. As a mom, you’ve got a lot to do and a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. It’s important to remember that one of your first responsibilities is to take care of yourself.

You’ll be able to better perform all of you other jobs. Relaxation is a vital element of everyone’s life. Without it, stress can creep up and overtake you, making you less effective as a mother, and in other areas of your life.

What is your favorite 10 minute activity?

Photo Credit

Finding Time for Mom

17
May
2012

mom-self-care

Where do all the hours go?  We fill our days with activities, commitments and caring for others and often – very often forget ourselves.

Making sure you get some breaks to do something nice for yourself is of utmost importance in order to be a happy, positive and well-balanced mom.

“The mother is and must be – whether she knows it or not – the greatest, strongest, and most lasting teacher her children have.”                 –  Hannah Whitall Smith

Carving out some “you time” to refresh and relax away from caring for everyone else is the fuel that keeps us upbeat rather than beat up!  It is our responsibility to nurture ourselves so we can be the best we can be – not only for our children, but for our husbands.

It almost seems backwards to say that taking time away from your family can in fact benefit them, but it is true!

When you do things for yourself to nurture your mind, body and spirit, your whole family will benefit.

The biggest struggle is finding the time – that is the number one issue that needs to be tackled when you are trying to carve out time to care for your own needs. It’s challenging to find time to do non-child-related activities. We find ourselves so busy with the tasks of motherhood and managing household chores that we are often overlooked completely.  But as I share with other moms, no one is going to serve you a nice “chunk of time on a silver platter”.

You need to make it happen for yourself.

Here are some of my favorite tips to find time for you:

Use nap time effectively

Even if your children do not take naps, they can have a quiet time set aside each day.  Nap time is the perfect time to spend time your way.  If you like reading, writing, listening to music, exercising or have a craft hobby, this is a good time to pick up a book or headphones without having your children badgering you!

Try to avoid using this time to clean up the house or do other chores, if you must – take only 10 minutes to tidy up. You can also enjoy a bubble bath, a long shower,  drink a hot cup of coffee or  even take a short nap yourself (*gasp*).

Have a different sleeping schedule than your children

If your children sleep until late morning, then make it a habit to wake up early. I have found that getting up earlier than my family is my sure fire way to get more accomplished, even if it means I take a 20 minute nap in the afternoon to refresh. You get more time for yourself and I find that I can be better organized to meet the demands of my day. If your children go to bed early in the evening, you can stay awake until later to enjoy some “you time”.

Plan your meals

Take time to plan your meals for the week and grocery shop well. Make a list of needed items for at least one week and purchase them all in one visit to the grocery store. This is a tremendous time saver. You will not have to worry about having things for your recipes and you will save time which you can have for yourself.

Find child-friendly shops

Many stores now offer supervised playrooms for children while you go about your shopping, ticking off items on your shopping list. When my kids were younger they LOVED going to IKEA to play in the ball pit!  Now there are many stores that offer a place to drop your children while you shop. One of my favorites is a local chain, Fred Meyer.  They have a play area you drop your kids at and have a coffee bar located inside the store.  I can drop my little one and go grab a coffee and get some peace and quiet.  I love this little secret!

Team up with other moms

You are not the only one who has to face these challenges of motherhood – who else can relate – other moms.  Team up with a few moms with similar aged children, plan outings together, or just have kids over for a  play date in your home.  By sharing the responsibility of caring for the children you will find mommy time for all of you! You can pick dates for each of you to look after the children, while the others get time off to spend doing whatever they like.

Try multitasking

You can mix “being mom” and “you time” at the same time.  Take your children out for a walk in the stroller while listening to an audio book on your iPod.  Or pop them in a wagon for a walk around the neighborhood, stopping at the local coffee shop for a treat. Do you have a bike trailer for your little one(s)?  Look online at places like Craigslist or Trading Cradles to find a used one and get moving.  Kids will love getting cozy inside with a snack, drink and a few books or even their own story on an MP3 player. You get some exercise and fresh air and your kids get an adventure too!

Have a “Me Menu”

Often times when I ask moms what they enjoy doing, they are left speechless.  It seems they have forgotten the things that brought them joy or activities they once enjoyed doing.  Take some time to jot down ideas of what you would like to do if you had 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour and several hours.  Keep this list handy so that if you happen to get 15 minutes of time, you can look at your list and make that time useful for you!

Spending time with your children is certainly one of the greatest pleasures of motherhood, but it is also important to spend some time relaxing and de-stressing yourself so that you can be the best mom you can.

How do you get time for yourself?

Photo Credit

 

Mom Summer Camp

24
Jun
2011


This past week my friend and fellow guest columnist here on The Confident Mom, Dana Bailey posted on facebook that she wanted to go to “mom camp”.  Wouldn’t that be great?

No whiny kids, no laundry, no preparing meals or cleaning toilets – it is all done for you.

A week of fun activities planned for you to do and all you need to do it show up.  You don’t have to do any planning, any logistical thinking or negotiating, just decide what YOU want to do.  AHHHHH, sounds wonderful.

Here is what would be included in my week of ‘mom camp’, I mean I can dream can’t I? [Read more…]

Ten Minute Tuesday

8
Feb
2011

Welcome to a regular feature Tuesdays here at The Confident Mom, Ten Minute Tuesday. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song!! Just sit and close your eyes – let the song speak to you – HE is enough – Always Enough by Casting Crowns. The line that speaks to my heart right now…… “hope for the orphan”…..

I hope it encourages you today and gives your spirit a lift.

If you are reading this via RSS feed or email, you will need to click on the post to view the video.

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.   — Amos 5:14 (NIV)

Susan signature

 

 

Photo Credit

Ten Minute Tuesday

25
Jan
2011


Welcome to a regular feature Tuesdays here at The Confident Mom, Ten Minute Tuesday.   I heard this song last weekend and it really spoke to me, we are so much more than the choices we’ve made, more than our mistakes and the problems we create! Isn’t that good news!  I hope it speaks to you today and give you a sense of who HE is and how much HE loves you.

So go enjoy Your Are More by Tenth Avenue North. If you are reading this via RSS feed or email, you will need to click on the post to view the video.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.      –  Romans  12:12

Susan signature

 

 

 

Photo Credit