Taking Care of Yourself After Having Kids
I love being a mother. That said, parenting a little person is a very difficult job. If you are like me, the work is constant, day in and day out. Between the laundry, dishes, and children that need to be fed/changed/bathed there is little time for a break. Does this sound like your life, too?
As a mom, being busy is the rule, and burnout is common if you don’t take the time to relax. Some days I am better at this than others. Between my household chores, work, and taking care of the kids, taking care of me falls by the wayside. Taking some time to relax is so important, especially when you want to bring down your stress levels.
Here are some ideas to make the most of your time to unwind
If possible, try and see if you can get a babysitter for the day and go somewhere local to unwind. Get a room at a hotel, bonus points if they offer massages (the Townsend Hotel – a five star hotel in Michigan– is a great option if you’re local to Detroit). Sometimes just going out with your spouse for the day, getting pampered, having some quality time with your significant other is all you need to unwind and give you some energy to tackle the world.
There are so many things that need to be done around the house that working out may be the last thing on your mind. However, you don’t have to head to the gym in order to be active. You can exercise right from the comfort of your own home. Get a workout DVD, Google some routines, and set aside time. If you can’t get that fancy, just load the kids up in the stroller and go on a 20 minute walk. If you can get a friend to join you, even better. You’ll get some much needed adult time and you’ll feel much more relaxed when you return to the house.
I used to love reading books, but since I had my first son, I’ve found that it is rare for me to pick up a book and read something that I enjoy. Recently, I’ve started to set aside fifteen minutes before bed to do some light reading. It helps me unwind at the end of a long day, and I enjoy getting lost in a book. If reading isn’t your thing, allow yourself a few minutes to watch television. Of course, you don’t want to do this for hours a day, but it is a great way to relieve some stress and do something that you enjoy for a change.
Go Out With Friends (make sure wine is included)
It’s easy to lose touch with your friends when you are a mother. A few of my friends and I decided to pick a day each month to go out to dinner. It’s always the second Monday of the month, and one person in the group is in charge of reminding us all about it. We have a blast; we get a chance to talk and have fun without worrying about anything else for a few hours. My husband has been great about watching the kids for me, but I have a babysitter on standby just in case he has something else going on. I’ve made my “mom nights” a priority because I feel so much better when I head home in the evening. It isn’t always easy to get out of the house, but it is worth it in the end.
5. Engage In Deep Breathing
There are times when I feel my temper rising but I don’t want to yell or snap at my kids. It’s not like I can just walk away from these little people that need me, so instead, I close my eyes and breathe deeply for a minute or two. I feel better when I am done, and I’m also proud that I’m modeling good anger management techniques for my children.
6. Rely On Family Or Friends
There are times when I just need adult conversation. My mom and my sister are great people to call, but I also have a couple of friends that I’m close to and feel comfortable venting with. It is important to get it all out sometimes.