Got Kids? 8 Tips She Uses to Keep Her Sanity
20 Sep, 2012
We’ve all been there, I know you have. You know–the point between pure exhaustion and guilt that the TV is a better supervisor of your kids than you are. In motherhood its very easy to feel drained, burned out, and lifeless. Between mothering my small brood, running a business, volunteering for organizations like MOPS, I tend to burn the candle at both ends.
What makes mothering more challenging is having one child with special needs children under one roof. One has Aspergers with an auditory sensory disorder combined with inattentive A.D.D. Add one preschooler and one grade schooler the the mix and you get a frazzled me. More often than not, I feel overwhelmed.
You may not be as busy as me or maybe you’re even busier, but I wanted to share with your 8 Tips to restore your sanity and rejuvenate your soul. As a mom for 13 years, I try to do one of these daily. Carving a little time out for yourself is important if you want to be full present for your kids.
1. Take a Time Out. DAILY!
Remember the stewardess on your last flight? She demonstrated how to use an oxygen mask in case of an emergency? And if you were traveling with small children, you were instructed to put YOUR mask on first. Likewise when it comes to caring for your brood. Take some “me” time. A brisk walk, a camera class, read, a hot bath. You’ll find that you are more calm, relaxed and able to tend to your kids without feeling so frazzled.
2. Take a hot bath or shower.
Even if you soak in the tub for 10 minutes, it relaxes your muscles. It gives you a few minutes to be inside your head instead of delegating and debating with your kids.
I try to get 2 miles in each day. At first I hated running, I even hated the fast pace of walking, but I’ve noticed that I feel better. Much better. I have more engery too–which is something we all need! Exercise is another chance to either get away from your kids OR its a chance to build relationships with your kids. Getting them out and moving helps them relax too.
4. Get Organized
Write out your schedule, your kids’ schedules and coordinate where it’s needed most. Seeing what you have on your plate daily helps you to see whether you are too busy in one area and to cut back on extra activities if needed. I have a nook and yes–there’s an app for that. Because I carry it with me everywhere, it’s always syncing to my google outlook calendar. Its been a HUGE life saver.
If you aren’t a high-tech gal, consider chalkboard paint on your kitchen wall.
5. Rise Early
I get up before my kids do, give my kids their round of meds and let them go back to sleep. Then I have a chance to run, spend a few moments alone with my husband and enjoy that second cup of coffee. When the kids do wake up, they find more joy in their day because mama is already relaxed and centered.
6. Kid Swap
Every mom needs one day a week to be able to get some chores done, run errands, or just snooze on the couch. If God can rest one day a week, surely we can find something in our schedules to do the same. My kids to go grandma’s once a week–but that wasn’t always the case. Before the in-laws arrived in Nebraska, I ensured I had downtime every day–a.k.a. NAP TIME. Even though I couldn’t leave the house, I still used this time just for me.
If you can, arrange to kid swap once a week with your friends. Having the extra kids helps keep your little ones entertained and if feels good to help someone out.
7. Say What You Mean & Mean What You Say
Often times I feel the most frazzled is dealing with the consequences of not following through on my verbal warnings or house rules. The kids get confused and are not sure where the boundaries are or they thrive on stirring the pot…take your pick, either way, it’s not pretty.
Always say what you mean and follow through if needed.
8. Find a MOPS Group or Young Mom’s Group
Relationships are vital for our sanity. As women, we were created for relationships. We have about 40,000 words a day we NEED (yes need) to use. Joining a MOPS group brings you in contact with women who are in your shoes! They too, are struggling with the ins and outs of mothering. You’ll make new friends, gain different perspectives on mothering and become more intimate with our mighty God. If MOPS isn’t your thing, join a small group.
What do you do to keep your sanity?