Contrary to what it may seem like, spending time with the kids and making time for self care is not mutually exclusive. In fact, incorporating some ‘me time’ into the day is very attainable. While kids are napping, or playing, coloring, or busy doing some independent play, you can take a few minutes to center yourself. Of course, you will be with them in the room but you can do independent activities together.
Here are a few of my self care tips, in no specific order.
Tip #1: Use screen time wisely
Don’t waste screen time as background noise or colors in the background. Use it to your advantage. Save up screen time so that when the kids watch tv/ipad you have 30 mins (tv episode) up to 2hrs (length of movie) to do something. More here on AAP’s screen time recommendation based on your child’s age.
Tip #2: Involve the kids in doing things you like to do
If they end up liking the activity, you could have potentially even more time to do things you like to do. Good activities to involve kids: crafting, baking, painting, yoga, dancing, singing, shopping, playing a musical instrument, beading, reading, journaling, organizing, and more self care ideas here.
I know, mind blowing! Can you imagine how much better you’d feel you were able to regularly have dedicated non-Elmo or Daniel the Tiger time? It is possible! You just have to make it a point to incorporate it into your day.
Tip #3: Save some time for your SO
Don’t forget that before babies came along, yall were a couple. There were regular dates, spontaneous adventures, and more time to just chill together. Though there may be less time to do those things now especially when kids are really young, there are still ways to let that someone know they are still special to you. Having coffee together, leaving a sweet note, or going for a walk or to the park together with the kids, make time for fun and the person who is on this journey with you. It doesn’t always need to be about the kids.
Tip #4: Do something meaningful after the kids’ bedtime
Instead of binge Netflix every night, spend some time (a few mins, an hour, etc) to do something to exercise your mind, body, and soul. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, prayer, a hobby, or cardio with your significant other (wink wink), just do it. Sure, you can watch tv too but first do something meaningful to you that helps you feel centered and rejuvenated.
Tip #5: Be Grateful
Make it a point to find at least one thing that made you happy today and for which you are grateful . Involve the kids too. This is a good habit to start when they are young. No one wants entitled spoiled brats, amirite?
So, every night before the bedtime story or lullaby, my 3 year old and I cuddle and talk about things that we enjoyed doing today including one thing that makes us happy and one thing for which we are thankful. It can be something as simple as the food we ate, or the games we played, or just spending time with each other.
In sum, take a little time for self care. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. At minimum, it’ll make you more pleasant to be around. As you mamas know, on some days that alone is a win.
What are some self care ideas you find enjoy? Please share!
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