(and how to keep your kids busy so you can do YOU)
I could tell you that self-care is vital a million and one times, but when you have kids - sometimes it feels impossible. Today, I am giving you my top 6 tips for setting yourself up for success with the kiddos so that you can set some time aside for you.
Expecting the kids to respect your alone time is almost comical, right? Especially if you are just starting out with the whole “self-care game.”
(By the way, I hate the term self-care. It is completely overused right now and I don’t want you to think that self-care is the ultimate solution to all of life’s problems. What I do know is that when you show up for yourself - you can show up for everyone else better as well. Survival mode is no way to live, long-term.)
But setting some time aside for YOU is achievable, especially when you create an atmosphere where the kids are happy too.
Check out the top tips that have helped me spend some time caring for myself - while still showing up well for my fam bam.
Plan Ahead: Setting some time aside for yourself in advance will help you secure some outside help with the kiddos if you need to leave them. It also helps you mentally know that you have a break coming up. (Click here if you need help with your schedule)
High Chair in the Bathroom?: Yep, I totally used to bring the highchair in my bathroom and set the baby up with a special toy or a special snack while I could sneak some time for myself to shower or do my hair and makeup. (Obviously, make sure the baby is buckled and within arms reach in case of emergency)
Utilize Novelty to Your Advantage: My best trick first thing in the morning is play-doh! This keeps all of my kids' attention for quite some time! I get it ready and set out for them and give them a challenge. “Can you make me some cupcakes and cookies and have them ready by the time I am done?” And if they are all Play-Doh’d out - pick up something they are not used to playing with and pull it out only while you get ready each day.
Stick a Movie On: Screen time so you can have a few minutes to yourself - YEP. You betchya! This works even better if tech time or screen time is limited in your household.
Verbally Let Them Know You Are a Human: This is something that I have had to do a few times, and they totally get it. Sometimes your kids look at you as simply, mom. And they forget you are a person. (Kinda the same thing we used to do with teachers? Have you ever seen a teacher out in public and you are like - weird, they are like a real human and grocery shop too??) So I have to remind them - “I am a human. I have my own needs just like you do. I get tired, exhausted, hungry, happy, excited, grumpy just like you guys do too.” And the best part is once I tell them that, they really do respond in grace! They just need a little help recognizing that mama needs a break too.
Stay Consistent: Once you have set the precedent for what to expect when your attention is on something else - they will fall in line. Stay consistent at it and don’t let the guilt set in and stop you from refueling yourself.
You can only show up well, consistently when you are not in survival mode. Remember - this is not a race to the finish line to see who ran the fastest. Slow and steady wins the race (of motherhood). Pacing yourself in your schedule and decisions will allow you to be able to stay steady and not drive yourself right to burnout.
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