If you are anything like me, your family always comes first. Having a Special Needs child in the house often means working harder to make life easier, sacrificing so many other things along the way. For those who have copays eating up the family fun budget quicker than anything, we often switch to eating in, as well as family day trips instead of overnight excursions. But if we are not careful, too much of a focus on “making things better” can also mean we (moms) can become lost along the way.
Does this scenario look familiar? It’s pizza night, and instead of putting up with the complaining, we let our child(ren) pick the toppings. Every time. (Hey, it’s only pizza, right?) Other times, we buy them something on a shopping trip. Or, in other words, we bribe them. (Oh, yeah, we’ve all “been there, done that”, right?) It’s one thing to treat our kids and choose which battles we’ll fight today, but it’s one things altogether different to do so much for others that we end up looking and feeling like a cartoon-inspired mom – hair in a ponytail, mascara on one eye (because we were interrupted…again, while getting ready for the day), and silver roots screaming for cover! Now life isn’t all about looks, is it? (Personally, I’m choosing to go gray. At least this week, lol!) But it is about feeling good about ourselves.
So, how do we find time for ourselves? It’s easier than you think. No. Really. All it takes is pulling out the calendar and planning for it. Smartphones make this a breeze, as we can set a reminder, too! Let’s get started!
For those who are stay-at-home moms, carve out time during your day for some “me” time. This may mean enlisting the aid of a babysitter. Not able to get out of the house? Not a problem. When my daughter was young, heading out for a bit wasn’t an option most times, either, so we instituted “quiet time” after lunch. Oddly enough, she respected it and I found time to sit and devour a magazine or two. We made this routine, so it was easy to do. Choose one day a week to pause on the chores and teachable moments to recharge.
For those who work full time, consider taking a lunch break once per week doing something you enjoy instead of getting ahead on errands and other things, or have your partner watch the kids so you can grab a smoothie or lace up and go for an early evening walk. (Remember to provide him some time of his own, too!)
Loving the idea for “me time” and ways to recharge, but stumped for ideas? Here are a few to get you started:
- Go for a walk – by yourself or with a friend or two. Consider how *you* recharge. Some of us need the quiet, while others need to talk.
- Grab a coffee and a good read – out. And put the phone on “silent” mode. Let’s face it; it’s too easy to be distracted when home, isn’t it?
- Take a bath with either a book on tape or your favorite music on.
- Keep a “positive journal”. Choose 5 things daily (or weekly) to jot down that make you smile. It could be something your child said, or simply your favorite place to be. The point of this little book is to provide you with something happy when a rough patch hits, as well as keeping you grounded in the things that make life worth living.
- Ditch the mommy-do and splurge on a haircut that looks good for date night. Disclaimer: I am incredibly guilty of taking a while to upgrade “the look”, but, boy, does a good haircut work wonders!
- Splurge on a few new casual outfits. Something comfortable yet stylish for running errands. Again, sweats and leggings are easy peasy, but you’ll feel better if you leave the authentic PBJ/coffee/mac ‘n cheese tie-dye look at home.
- Find a hobby that speaks to you and go for it! Knitting? Scrapbooking? Blogging? Gardening? We Know Stuff has a TON of ideas for you to explore! (Personally, Denine has me rethinking my canning jitters. Her jams are amazing, and calling to me.)
Whatever you do, make a choice to do something for yourself on a regular basis. The motto, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t adequately take care of your family” rings true for most of us. And for those of us with Special Needs kids in the house, even more so.
How do you carve out “me” time? How does your family respond to it?0