Don’t get me wrong: I love being a mommy! It’s the greatest blessing in my life and I absolutely love my kids. However, sometimes I just need a tiny break. It’s easy to get worn out when you’re a mommy, and I know most of my mom friends feel like they’d be better moms if they could just get a tiny bit of time to themselves.
I try to find ways each day to steal five minutes for myself so I can maintain my sanity. Here’s what has worked for me:
When you put the baby down for nap time, lay down yourself! As hard as this can be, I force myself to do it. I know there are dishes to be done, laundry to be folded, and floors to be mopped, but that can wait. Even if I only get to lay down for five minutes, it is totally worth it.
Lay down on your living room rug and let your baby roll his toy train or cars on your back. This is the perfect excuse to relax while Baby gets to play with his favorite toy. Unless, of course, you somehow teach your baby to actually massage your back. If so, then you are my hero.
Wake up before the baby does. Yea, I know… this sounds CRAZY! But you’d be surprised how much an extra five minutes in the morning will do for you. It gives you time to get out of those pajamas and into regular clothes which helps with confidence and you’ll have just enough time to make some coffee! You also won’t be waking up frantically to the sound of a crying baby.
Wear the baby! Invest in a good wearable baby carrier and strap that baby in so you can sweep, mop, and even dance around a bit for exercise. This was actually our miracle way of getting KJ to go to sleep for the first few months of his life.
Schedule your OWN bath time. As moms, we are good at planning out the day for our babies. Dinner at 6, bath at 6:30, storytime at 6:45, and bed at 7. But when do WE eat and bathe and sleep? If you can schedule YOUR day as well as your babies, you are much more likely to get some moments to yourself. Ask your hubby if from 7:15-7:30 he can care for the little ones if they wake up so that you can have a few minutes to bathe in peace.
Speaking of bath time, this is my favorite part of my day: Grab a chair and prop your feet up on the side of the tub. Then ask your kiddos if they want to wash your feet! Tell them how fun it will be and that they’ll get to make bubbles with the soap. My boys think this is so fun because they are getting to do an activity that typically Mommy does to THEM. And you’d be surprised how great it feels on your tired feet! You’ll thank me later, so I’ll go ahead and say you’re welcome now!
I can’t say this enough: You HAVE to get a baby swing. A swing is truly a lifesaver! It is the perfect alternative to laying baby down in the crib or play yard. It keeps them busy and lulls them to sleep like nothing else will. This gives you time to get a few things done around the house.
Try doing some “muscle minutes.” It can be a challenge to pack up the baby and head to the gym. If your babies are like mine, then they’ll throw a fit at the gym nursery and you won’t end up getting to exercise much. So try instead to complete some “muscle minutes” each day. All you do is take a minute at a time to do one exercise. You don’t do it all in a row, either. You simply stop doing the dishes and do squats for one minute, then go right back to doing the dishes. Or you lay the baby down for a nap and do push-ups for one minute. Write out a chart for accountability and see how many muscle minutes you can complete each day.
As hard as it can be to find moments for yourself, I truly believe these ideas will make it easier. Stealing five minutes for yourself each day isn’t selfish; it’s necessary for mom life. So get to it, Momma!