*This is the 4th installment of Go, Green Mamas’ new series,”How Your Family Can Thrive in a COVID-19 Summer.”. Stay tuned and follow this blog for access to the entire 12-day series!
As a mom I know just how strong that natural urge to take care of everyone else first can be. And right now it seems like just about everyone in our lives needs a little extra care. Whether it’s entertaining and teaching the kids, restructuring our jobs, reaching out to loved ones or simply restocking the toilet paper; mamas’ plates are stacked right now.
Don’t let yourself run out of gas. Fueling those tanks is more important than ever. As you brace for an extended summer with the kiddos, you’ve got to find time for yourself as a mom. Here are 15 ideas for doing just that.
1. Get the whole family involved in household tasks.
Everyone living in a house is responsible for messing it up, therefore everyone should be involved in keeping it in order. Here is a list of tasks that are reasonable for each age group. Don’t do it all, moms!
2. Find time-saving meal strategies.
Think about how much of a typical week you spend planning, shopping for and preparing all the meals your family eats. There are a lot of ways to reduce this time and effort. Why not set your time saved aside and bank it for more relaxing mama-oriented activities instead? I know you’d rather be reading a book or taking a nap than stressing about food right now.
Here are some ideas:
Find some freezer meals that your family would love, then bulk prepare them on a weekend.
Or use these healthy meal prep ideas that don’t involve a freezer.
If you have a slow cooker, try some of these easy, healthy options.
For ladies with more affinity to their instantpot, here ya go!
For anyone needing help with the planning aspect, I highly recommend Platejoy. Use the code GOGREEN10 for a discount. They are currently offering $15 off for healthcare workers
If you’d prefer instead to forgo the shopping part, there are several healthy meal delivery kits available.
4. Move regularly.
5.Schedule time with a friend.
We are all social creatures whether we are extroverts or introverts. It’s not healthy to be all holed up in our houses without contact with the outside world. But there are ways to interact with it safely. Don’t wait till you are crawling the walls for some social contact to pick up the phone and dial a friend. Whether you opt for zoom, facetime, skype or in person with social distancing precautions right now; we can all use a friend.
6. Have a box of fun ready for the littles.
This is especially relevant for moms of toddlers, but moms of older and younger children can benefit as well. Having some fun toys and activities ready to enjoy while mom reads or feeds the baby can be a real win for me-time.
Here are some ideas for toddler busy boxes, some of which can also be useful with infants, depending on the age.
For older children, simply head to a thrift store or shop one online. Or you can have some of their current toys that get switched out from time-to-time.
7. Be a “yes mom” sometimes.
It’s easy to get so caught up in our work that we struggle to say “yes” to our children’s needs for attention. Playing hide and seek may not pay the bills, but it definitely feeds our children hearts. And, of course, when you stop and think about it, you will realize that occasional breaks for such a valuable partaking are not going to inhibit success. Say “yes” sometimes to small requests. You won’t regret it.
8. Remain self-aware & take breaks as needed.
Sometimes in all of our busyness we fail to realize where our breaking points are, or at least acknowledge them. Take some time to think about what gets you most irritated and stressed through the course of your day. Then make a plan for how to better cope with that stressor in a healthy way.
9. Make a self-care list and use it.
Have a self-care list ready for those moments when you need breaks. This can be comprised of short, five or ten-minute activites. Here are some ideas. You should also have on hand a list of longer, more effective self-care activities that can be achieved on days or evenings off.
10. Ask for help.
There is no need to do it all alone. There are people in our lives for a reason; and if they are true relationships they will allow for give and take. Think about the people that matter most to you–close friends, spouse, parents, siblings, neighbors, coworkers, fellow parishioners, even your children! How can you rely upon them, or in what ways can you swap what you each need?
11. Track your time & cut out time-wasters.
It is so easy to get used to just doing things and not stop and think if we can do things more effectively in a different manner. Or maybe we can cut out something we routinely do, completely! If we don’t analyze it, we can’t see it. Try using one of these habit-tracking apps to get started.
12. Reconsider your mornings.
I see the morning routine as sacred, and key to starting your day off on the right foot. No mama wants to start her day with the chaos and noise of parenting. We need a little time to ease into it and fuel ourselves first. Here is a great guide by Wellness Mama for forming a morning routine that works best for you.
13. Take advantage of wait times.
Mama’s time is precious when she has many places to pull her attention. Little slivers of spare time can always be found when we are waiting at the DMV, doctor’s office, or in even in line at the grocery store. Have a list of quick tasks ready to go for those moments.
14. Practice self-care during lunch.
Lunch breaks are another fabulous time to soak up some free time. Whether you have an hour or a half hour, this is often an opportunity to carve out some precious self-care. Here are 20 simple ways you can make the most of your lunch break.
15. Structure your evenings.
Evening time use is as important as our mornings. How we spend our hours after we end our work hours will set us up for the coming day ahead. Take a look at these guidelines for making the most of your evening as a mom.
What can you do to make more time for yourself in this crazy season?
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