Now that my kids are older, I don’t experience the same overwhelming desire for a little peace and quiet that I used to (see moms, it does get better!). However, teenagers and tweens bring their own set of challenges that often takes over the minds of parents. It may appear I have more free time, but my thoughts are preoccupied and can be exhausting too. Whether you have babies, toddlers or teens, if you are a mom, you need to remember to take a break and be mindful of our own well-being.
Dads… I haven’t forgotten you. I just feel that men have an easier time allowing themselves some R&R. I’ve rarely heard of a father who feels guilty about being away from the kids while he’s out on the greens. We just seem to be wired differently so this is geared towards moms.
When your children are small it can be difficult to find a way to give yourself some time, particularly if babysitters or outside help are not readily available to you. Here are some ideas of how you can take some time for relaxation, mindfulness and re-energizing:
- take a bath while the kids are napping or spending time with dad
- put the kids in a stroller or a wagon and go for a walk
- meet some friends at the park and let the kids play while you get some adult conversation
- put on a Disney movie for the kids, pop in your headphones, and listen to your favourite singer
- keep a journal reminding you of your accomplishments, your goals or the good things that happened in your day
- spend 15 minutes reading when you get into bed at night
- get out of bed before the kids and drink your coffee in silence
- enroll in a class at a local college where childcare is available
- join a gym that has childcare
- do a puzzle online: here are a couple for you to do right here!
If your children are older like mine, it is easier to find alone time but the list above may still help. De-stressing and mindfulness is needed for moms of teens, and here are some great ways to do that.
- yoga – it helps your mind and your body!
- use an app – there’s “Calm” and “Headspace” and many more apps that will help you focus on your own well-being
- go for a walk
- listen to a podcast
- get together for coffee with other teen parents
- do something with your teens – baking, playing a video game, going for a bike ride, heading to the gym … anything that you both enjoy that will encourage communication
When money and childcare aren’t an issue, you can be a little more extravagant in taking some time for yourself and finding some mindfulness for moms and dads. Leave the kids with the grandparents and do any of the following, without guilt.
- go on a date with your spouse
- get away for a girl’s weekend
- head to the spa
- take a couple’s vacation
Moms have just as much right to some “me time” as dads and we need to learn to do it without the guilt. How do you get some time to yourself?