Recharging Yourself When You Have Toddlers
It’s a common problem with moms. We forget to take care of ourselves. You hear how important self-care is, but do we really do it? I know I don’t.
I have three small children and just started the new world of public school while my oldest is in pre-k. My husband has a demanding job where he works long hours and never ever complains at the role of providing for his family. Family isn’t close. But, I honestly am never alone. I take my kids everywhere, even to my doctor’s appointments. So, how do you recharge yourself when you have little ones to take care of each day?
Caffeine is a no-brainer. I need coffee. Some days I need coffee multiple times a day. While I know this isn’t the best for my nursling, I have to caffeinate myself. I try to limit soda intake, however. Sometimes moms just need coffee. Stevia and almond milk taste delightful to me in the morning when I haven’t had time to fix my hair. It’s my way of taking care of me, otherwise I am a grouchy mommy bear. Find a good local coffee shop and make it your hang out.
Small Amounts of Mommy Interest Time. I try to throw small amounts of my interests into my day with my kids. Some days this is a few minutes of “Price is Right.” (I love that show.) Some days it is reading my Bible for a few minutes in the morning or looking at People magazine while they play. I need my time, even if it is while I am multitasking.
Music is good for the mommy soul. Yes, we listen to “Trolls” and “Moana,” but I have tried to instill a love for The Vamps and even The City Harmonic in my littles. I need to hear some of my songs, too. There is only so much “Hair Up” I can stand in the van.
Friendships and Family. These are a no-brainer, but so hard as a mom. It seems like as a stay-at-home mom it is even harder to maintain adult contact during your day. Whether it is a text, phone call, or even Facebook, I need some kind of interaction in small amounts with a friend daily. It recharges me to hear other stories of victorious motherhood or when motherhood just sucks. It helps me to not take my own battles so seriously.
Babysitters and Alone Time. If you have a trusted friend, a loving spouse, or even a great babysitter, use them. Recently a friend offered to watch my littles so my spouse and I could celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary. I was hesitant, but I let her do it. It was awesome and so worth it. Nothing recharges my mommy battery like a meal with my husband or a few hours to go to Target and Starbucks.
So, mommas, what helps you recharge after taking care of your tribe? Yes, they need us. It’s great to be needed, but we also need to take care of us.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where is about to go drink coffee and call her Grammy to recharge while her toddlers play cars.