I am a mamma. Not a mother, mom, or mommy, I am a mamma, a stay at home mamma. I have two small children. I drive a minivan. I can’t leave the house without looking like I’m going on a weeklong safari with all the gear I have to pack. I sleep when I can get it and eight hours almost never happens. I’m seriously considering recording my own cd of no songs featuring “Don’t touch that,” “I’m not going to say this again,” “Get away from your sister,” and my own personal favorite, “1,2,3.” However, I have also developed the ability to tune out even the shrillest of cries when the situation calls for it.
I am a mamma. I never watch a TV show unless it’s animated or been dvrd. Some days I don’t get around to changing out of my pj’s and there are even days I can’t remember whether or not I’ve brushed my teeth. Showers feel like a luxury and dinner most often comes from the crockpot. My house is almost always a mess. I can frequently be caught singing nursery rhymes or theme songs from children’s shows even when I’m by myself. And did I mention I was bilingual? I speak English and Toddler. I also specialize in infant body language.
I am a mamma and I love every minute of it or at least almost every minute of it. But let’s face it, when the kiddies are little there’s not much time for anything else. There are days when I am starving for more conversation than my toddler and her two little dollies can provide. There are days when I wish I could relieve some of the financial burden from my husband. And there are days when quite frankly, I would like to do something for myself. In this, I believe I’m not alone.
So here’s what I’ve come up with. It’s the best suggestions Ive got for all you moms out there who are looking for some way to decompress, or get those creative juices flowing again, or frankly just have a little something of your own that does not involve cartoons, toys, or crying.
SOLUTION #1: FIND A HOBBY. Any hobby will do. Gardening, writing, reading, art, think of what you used to LOVE to do, but you don’t get the time to do anymore. Now, schedule that time. Get a babysitter for a couple of hours once a week to come over so you can have some alone time to fit it in. I write. I love to write in fact, but I can’t do it when my 3 year old is having a melt down because she can’t get her Barbie doll’s clothes off to give her a bath. Alone time gives you a chance to focus on whatever it is that you like to do without the frustration of interruptions. Interruptions which can, if not curtailed, make that hobby of yours not fun fast.
SOLUTION #2: EXERCISE. For some people this comes easy, others not so much. But I highly encourage everybody to get at least some exercise a couple of days a week. Not only will it make you healthier, but you’ll have more energy for your little ones who are bubbling over with it. Run, bike, swim, take a class somewhere, or even just go for a walk.
SOLUTION #3: DO SOME SOCIAL NETWORKING. Maybe you’re like me and a little leery of all these face-book, myspace, twitter, etc. websites, but here’s the thing: Being part of a social network allows you to actually chat about more than where Daisy Bo Peep lost her sheep at. Unlike the phone, where you and whoever you’re talking to has to be available at the same time to talk, both parties on the social network post their comments at their convenience. Plus, you don’t have to deal with those three way conversations. You know the ones I’m referring to, mom, mom, and toddler calls.
SOLUTION #4: READ. When’s the last time you picked up a good book? And by good book I don’t mean a book about your child’s latest skin irritation or how to get your toddler into big girl pants and out of her diaper nor am I referring to anything written by Dr. Suess. I mean a novel, something funny, suspenseful, dramatic, something just for you. Books are a great way to take your mind off the daily have to’s.
SOLUTION #5: DO SOME VOLUNTEER WORK. There are literally thousands of organizations looking for help to do good work for others. The possibilities are endless here. My frustrations are always minimized and I am reminded of all the blessings in my life when I am serving those in need.
SOLUTION #6: FIND A PART TIME JOB. I know right. Before you had kids, you never would’ve thought a job might seem like a break? A part-time job not only can provide you with some of the adult conversation you’re lacking, but can also make a positive impact on your family’s budget. I say might here, because make sure you take into consideration the cost of childcare, transportation, work attire, etc. in light of the pay you’ll bring home. Be sure also to look for one that will be flexible enough so that if you need to leave early because of a sick child or some other emergency at home you can do so.
SOLUTION #7: START A HOME BASED BUSINESS. I can hear you now. “Is that even possible with kids?” “Do mommyhood and home based businesses mix?” Absolutely. You’ll need to be smart and efficient and plan your time wisely, but it can be done. Consider a pipeline marketing system to automate those mundane time consuming repetitive tasks. A home based business, like a part-time job, can positively impact your family’s financial situation, but additionally will allow you the freedom to take a day off when necessary (or maybe when you just want to take the kiddies to the pool) without having to answer to someone. You can decide when you’ll work and when you won’t. And if your toddler does happen to have that meltdown that your babysitter just can’t handle, just walk right downstairs, issue that timeout and then get back to it.
So nothing earth shattering here right? But one or more of the above can make a huge difference in your mommy state of mind. As moms sometimes we’re so busy giving our families all we got, that we forget or feel guilty if we want to do a little something for ourselves. STOP THAT! As my mom likes to say, “a happy mom is a good mom.” And sometimes being happy means doing something for ourselves so that instead of it feeling like a chore we can happily return to playing dollies at the royal tea party with a smile on our face.