Being a mom is a full-time job. There are no sick days, rare to no days off or vacation time, and you need to be wise about late nights because the next morning your kids will be up before the crack of dawn. Every day is planned out in accordance to what your kids, partner and household require individually. The number one person that needs to be taken care of is Mom herself so she has the energy and ability to take care of her family and the other million tasks that need to be accomplished day in and day out.
Even as a stay at home mom, my days are never boring or dull. Each day begins around 6 a.m., with a mid day toddler nap time break (which is not too common these days) and I’m usually in bed by midnight, 3-4 hours after the kids have gone to sleep. While everyday runs routinely, there will a day or two when my tank is running on E and I desperately need to clock out. As shitty as I’ve felt in those moments, I cannot quit. I can’t clock out and have someone step in for the morning shuffle of getting breakfast done, lunch packed, kids dressed, tidying up and at school on time. When my eldest is in class for the day, my little busy-body and I have things to do until school is out. What I can do for myself is to relax as much as I possibly can on a challenging day, even if I find it difficult to do.
There are things that can’t be put to the side like drop off/pick up, cooking, tidying common areas and teaching/entertaining/playing with my toddler but for the few moments in between I try to relax. What’s easiest to do in those times is to catch up on a show or YouTube videos, sit and do my hair or makeup for a bit longer than the 5-10 minutes I had before drop off, write/review my daily journal, take care of the plants, or put more effort into a savory meal. While that may be the extent of my ‘relaxation’ as I parent solo with 2 kiddies until my husbands home/after the kids are asleep, I can take satisfaction in knowing that I managed to get some ‘me-time’ in for the day.
Not every night will run as routinely as the day depending on my husbands schedule. If he’s able to be home in time for what is sometimes the bedtime melt-down then things tend to go a bit more smoothly with getting 2 tired toddlers ready for bed. Once the kiddies are sound asleep, I like to get everything around the house set for the next day, spend time with my hubby and squeeze in as much self care as possible. Here are some of my faves:
- Yoga – currently I’m following Yoga with Adriene’s latest 30 day challenge. It’s been well over 30 days since I started but getting in 2-4 exercises a week is beneficial for me.
- Exercise – currently working through the She’s Tough routine by Latoya Forever. I prefer to get a workout in throughout the day but if I can’t then I will before bed.
- Facial steam / mask – One thing I’d love to purchase is a portable facial steamer. Until then, what’s working great for me is boiling hot water in a bowl with a few essential oil drops and enclosing my face above the steam with a large towel. This is relaxing, soothing and rejuvenating. At least twice a week I will do a face mask of bentonite clay & apple cider vinegar (after steaming or not) to help keep my complexion clear.
- Warm shower – During the morning rush I’m able to squeeze in a quick shower as the ultimate push to get the day going. The night feels complete to me after a long, uninterrupted warm shower or bath.
- Hair routine – About once a week I’ve got a strenuous curly hair wash routine to get through that requires me to shampoo, condition & detangle, deep condition, moisturize and finally style my hair for the days ahead. I push to accomplish this on nights when I’m not doing much else since this can take up most of my evening. I can spend the time while deep-conditioning and styling my hair to watch a show and put my feet up. If I’m not spending the evening with a wash routine, then I’ve got to moisturize and tie my hair up for bedtime.
- Manicure / pedicure – I’ve never really enjoyed getting my nails done at salons 1) because of the intense chemical smells and 2) I never leave pleased with the results. I’m not the kind of person who will pay for a service I can do myself so every 2 weeks I do an at home mani/pedi and I always finish happy with how everything has turned out.
I don’t exactly get leisurely weekends but I rejoice when the weekend comes. The little ones still rise with the sun. Fortunately my husband doesn’t typically work on the weekend so if we don’t have anything planned then we both have the opportunity to catch up on some zZz’s. Sleeping in is so strange and foreign to me now that I usually opt out of doing so and choose a nap instead in the day if I can. One thing that helps me get into the weekend groove is spending as much time possible Friday getting the household deep clean areas done. In doing so, the weekend can actually be spent in relaxation with minimal tidying done until Monday comes knocking. Of course it’s awesome when my husband and I can have solo time during the weekend, it isn’t always possible…it’s actually pretty rare. While spending time altogether creates memories for us all, doing things by myself for a bit is crucial after a demanding week.
When I have a chance on Saturday or Sunday to have solo time, there are few things that I enjoy.
- Sagittarius is one of the biggest travelers and lovers of freedom among all zodiac signs. Staying true to my sign, long walks or commutes while plugged into my music is my go to. Music has always been essential for me, in troubling times especially, as a way to understand or work through my emotions and sort of just feel more. Getting out and walking feels like second nature so whenever I have the chance to, I take it.
- I’m not one to sit for hours and stare at a TV but I do enjoy a movie now and then in the theater. It may really just be the big comfy seat and being uninterrupted for at least 2 hours.
- Since I am the chef in the family, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing and and cooking meals daily. Enjoying a meal that I didn’t have to go to the extent of plating myself is a delight. What’s even better is a quiet meal with a book and a yummy drink on the side.
- I’m not a materialistic person by any means so spending my time at the mall is something I very rarely do. What I rather do instead is browse the self-help or psychology sections at libraries or book stores or pick up anything that catches my eye.
Every little bit makes a difference. The morning may run smoothly and the afternoon a complete disaster. Some weekends I do just great without the extra solo time and some weeks I can’t wait until I get the chance for even just an hour to myself. What matters most is that on the days when I feel I’m on my last strike – I take a deeper breath & let it all out, hug and kiss my family and remember that it’ll all be great.