Last week my husband worked late almost every night, and most of our regular friends were on their own fun adventures out of town. It didn't take long before I started to feel discouraged and lonely. (This probably sounds familiar, right?)
I realized that because I was not taking care of myself like I needed to, my kids weren't getting the mom they deserve. This weekend I took time to reevaluate what I need to do everyday in order to be the best mom to my little ones. I made a list (you know me, I love my lists!), and came up with five things I needed to incorporate into our daily routine as a family so that I can be the kind of mom I want to be — happy, patient, and fun.
1. Find time to exercise. Although this doesn't happen every single day, I try to make it a priority to exercise most days of the week. A few days a week I go to the gym, once a week I run outside with a girlfriend, and one or two days a week I exercise at home. I run around the block while my kids are on their bikes, or I do a workout video inside. A lot of days my workout only lasts 20 minutes. But when I start to go days without exercising, I start to feel it emotionally and physically, and it affects everyone in the house.
2. Schedule time to see another adult every single day. I would love to say that I can go days and days with only the company of my little ones, but the reality is, I can't! In fact, I've realized I probably shouldn't go even one day without having some sincere adult conversation. In our family, my husband works long hours and I work from home, so if I don't make a good effort to see other adults, it doesn't happen. Adult conversation makes all of the difference in my patience levels throughout the day. It gives me a break, and as an added bonus, my kids might get a chance to play with their friends.
3. Find time to meditate. Every single day I find time to recharge myself spiritually. For me, this means spending quiet time in prayer and in religious materials. Some days it means writing in my journal, other days it is just sitting perfectly still in silence. Whatever your spiritual routine is, I feel like it is 100% necessary for daily revitalization for caregivers. It helps you find balance, and reminds you of your priorities. A lot of times, it helps me have a better understanding of what my role is as a parent to my little ones.
4. Connect with my spouse. Every single day I try to find time to connect with my spouse. Because of the long hours we have both been working, our nights are no longer the best time to reconnect. Instead, we have started having really awesome conversations at lunchtime on the phone. A lot of times this is while we are driving in the car, or while my kids play in the other room. The 20 minutes we take and give to one another are some of the happiest moments of my day. It helps remind me that I have a team member who is fighting for the exact same things I am fighting for, even if he is not there me beside all day. Pretty great, right?
5. Do something just for me. This is so important, you guys! Every single day I try to plan something just for me. It might be something as silly as watching Bachelor in Paradise while I fold the laundry, stashing dark chocolate covered almonds to eat in my bed alone, or driving through Sonic and getting a drink before nap time. I rotate through my perks, but I make sure I have one, every single day. It is something I really look forward to.
Having young children is no joke, right? I love being a mom and would not trade anything in the world for the time I spend with these two little ones, but boy can it be exhausting. It really takes physical, emotional, and spiritual preparation to be the best mother I can be. I take my time with them really seriously and I truly believe of all my jobs, this is the most important one in the world.
What do you do to keep your cool as a mom of little ones? I'd love to hear!
P.S. This is my second post in my series #tubbytoddsoapbox. The series is intended to do the exact same thing as our Tubby Todd products — they're meant to help you love and nurture your little ones! Take a look at my first post here! xx