Let’s just keep this Mother’s Day party going all week long, shall we?
Today is the first in this week-long series all about Mom Hacks. Over the past few weeks, I asked my Facebook and Instagram friends for their best hints in a few different areas. I’ve since compiled them into three different posts that, I think, are really going to be a lot of fun.
First, we cover the topic of self-care. Next, comes kid & family organization. And lastly, there will be a mega-list of housekeeping hacks along with an interview with a professional house cleaner! She has some amazing hints and product recommendations, so that’s one you won’t want to miss.
Today, though, is all about YOU, mamas!! Today, we tackle self-care. Many years ago, I remember someone talking about mothering in reference to the oxygen mask lecture you get right before take-off. You know what they say, right? In case of emergency, place your own oxygen mask on your face before assisting others.
No! You think. I can’t do that! My babies would need my help!
And you are 100% correct. Our families DO need our help. We DO need to take care of them. That is both our honor and our privilege as moms. But, let me ask you this…
Can you share oxygen if you can’t catch a breath? Can you get water from an empty well? No, ma’am, you cannot.
Taking care of ourselves is vital not only to our own mental health, but to our families, as well. So don’t you dare for one minute think that doing any of things on this list is indulgent or selfish! On the contrary, look at them as little gifts you could give them. Ways you can love them by loving yourself. I challenge you to pick something new and give it a try. What will you pick?
Naturally, this is the first topic that comes to mind when we think of self-care. But it is by no means the only way to do it! What is your favorite?
Put on a face mask. Seriously, you can find some really neat ones for under $5 just about anywhere. Target and Ulta, among other places, have some super fun options. Want to spend more? Knock yourself out! What I like about these (especially the new paper ones that come prepackaged and ready to go) is that once I put it on, I pretty much have to chill out for 15-20 minutes. Bonus!
Mani/Pedi time! Again, this option does not need to break the bank! Do them at home on your own or go spend an hour or two at the nail salon! It’s always nice to let someone rub your feet while you scroll Instagram on your phone and chill out in a massage chair.
Kick back in the tub. Bath bombs (I’m looking at you, Lush!) Bubble bath or bath salts. Even just a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. All of these make for some killer time in the tub for a mom who has had it up to here. And for an added bonus? Crank up your favorite tunes, light a candle or two, and lock everyone else out!
Lock the door. Yep. That’s right. I said it. Lock your dang door, mamas! Now, of course, make sure your people are safe (or make sure dad is home first!). But then…lock them out! Spend 15 minutes with nobody talking to you, touching you, or asking you questions. Take deep breaths and enjoy.
Which leads me to our next topic…
Time for YOU!
I can’t even begin to tell you how restorative it has been for me to find friends who are in my same season of life to do things with. Spending time with the ladies I used to be in a moms’ group with or the other women on the swim team board lets me be me in a way that even date nights can’t. Don’t get me wrong, though. Date nights are wonderful and necessary and all that jazz. But sometimes, women just need other women. Don’t you agree?
Ladies night! Yeah, I’m not going to tell you how to do this. You know your group. Are you a dinner out crew? Movie aficionados? Like to pub crawl? Or maybe hanging out on someone’s patio and killing a couple bottles of wine is more your style. You do you, ladies! Relax and enjoy.
Daytime Hangouts. Meet for coffee. Go for a walk. Hang out poolside while the kids play. Do a Bible study together. The possibilities are endless.
Enjoy your hobbies! Don’t ever forget that there are things you liked to do before you became a mom. Do you sew? Play an instrument? Are you a singer or an avid reader? Maybe you craft things. Make like Nike and Just Do It!
Exercise. Total honesty? I am flat awful at this one. I used to be so good, though! I’d hit up the Y or yoga classes, even walk/jog 4 times a week. Yeah. Not so much anymore. And you know what? I can tell the difference. Mentally, physically. It ain’t good, y’all. Our bodies were made to move. Note to self: this is the one to work on!
Take it to God.
Yes, friends. You knew it was coming. Spending time with the Lord might just be the best kind of self-care there is. Because, honestly? When we spend time with God, it’s not that we are taking care of ourselves. We are allowing HIM to take care of US. Him who knows us better than we know ourselves and loves us better than we can even imagine. What could be better than that?
Read the Bible. Spend time in scripture. Do a study or go at it on your own. Find out what God has to say to you in His own words! Blessed is She has some great options and a beautiful journaling Bible in their shop. And if you follow this link, you’ll get 20% off your purchase (and, full disclosure, so will I!).
Eucharistic Adoration. Spend even 15 minutes (an hour is awesome!) sitting with the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I promise you, you’ll be glad you did. And if you’re local to me and want somebody to go with you, just hit me up!
Daily Mass, Journaling, Meditation — These things can all bring you closer to God. Talk to Him and, more importantly, listen to what He has to say to you!
Don’t forget those necessary appointments!
If you are in need of therapy, chiropractic, massages, the dentist, even a mammogram for crying out loud — make the time to take care of your medical needs. You wouldn’t dream of letting your kid go without her 6-month dental checkup. Why would you go without yours? If your child hurt himself on the ballfield and needed PT, you’d do it in a heartbeat. Why would you let your own body stay hurt?
Remember, ladies. Oxygen mask parenting is where it’s at. Put your own mask on first and you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever life throws at you.
And check back later this week for our next installment of Mom Hacks!
Mom Hacks: Housekeeping Edition