There are not always convenient time slots open for moms to merely walk off the job of mothering but with a little imagination, a girl can be creative.
It is a good idea to have containers or boxes available that can be labeled and filled with a few things. For mothers of babies who still take naps - as soon as that little one is asleep, you can run to the box, remove the contents and get started.
If your kids don’t take naps or if you just can’t wait, you can still get a much-needed break. Sometimes a high chair or playard (to contain baby while still keeping them in view) will hold your little one while they watch a favorite TV program or play with their favorite toys. Even if you have to be in another room, you can still pull a high chair into the entrance and talk to or see your youngster.
Here are a few things I have done in the past, with items available in my small house. I will also suggest alternatives for those that don’t have everything in the list.
Yoga pants/workout clothes/sneakers, water bottle, yoga mat, audio or video workout – A workout is one of the best ways to get back some much-needed energy and to keep up with the kids. Even a ten or fifteen-minute workout helps but I try to shoot for at least a half hour. I have a fold-up treadmill in the corner of my living room, have a TV or laptop to play ‘YouTube’ workout videos, have small weights in a cabinet, and have even cleared the floor to run back and forth in my living room before I got the treadmill.
Anything that gets the heart pumping will make you feel better and give you more energy. Afterward, a good stretch helps along with plenty of water to rehydrate. If you have time, you could jump in the shower for a quick steam and cleanse, easing away tension and stress and giving you some much-needed energy.
Your favorite novel, crossword puzzle book or adult coloring book, pen/pencil/colored markers, comfortable pillow or throw, refreshing beverage or snack – A quiet atmosphere and a book are items seldom enjoyed by mothers whose children are awake. If you can fit this one in, it is sure to be a relaxing way to spend some time on yourself.
Bath soaps, moisturizers, peels or scrubs, and bubble bath for a refreshing hot bath or shower (leave door open and have a towel ready, in case you have to check on baby) – Nothing beats a luxurious bubble bath. I have done this one during naps but I have also had to jump out of the tub to put baby back to sleep or to check on him. I have also needed a bath while baby was still awake so I put the high chair in the doorway and gave him plenty to do while I soaked.
Clips, combs, curling iron, makeup, or other accessories to make yourself look beautiful – A make-over can make you feel so much better, especially if after all the hard work you get to show it off. Curl or style your hair, put on make-up and jewelry and make yourself look good.
Its nice to have boxes labeled and filled with these items, for quick access, but you could also make up a snack box too. Pack snack sized items or ones that can be resealed for use later, like granola bars, peanuts, candy, or licorice. The key to getting in some quick alone time is to be prepared. If you have everything ready ahead of time, you won’t waste any time getting ready.
If you're like me you'll want to make the most of your time which means combining activities. For example, I open my laptop on top of a cabinet so that I am standing up while searching the web. I can walk in place for a workout or do some organizing while also glancing at the screen. Although this may not be very relaxing it serves as a way to multi-task.
Anything that can be done to save you a couple minutes can help make more time for you to relax. After a little practice maybe some of these will even become routine.
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