As I woke up and looked at the alarm clock this morning, I rubbed my eyes, secretly hoping that when I opened them back up, I’d be somewhere on a beautiful beach in Cabo, sipping on a margarita. Reality set in as I glanced around the room and saw my wall, decorated with drawings from my children. I instantly felt a lump in my throat, and an ache in my heart knowing that the children that colorfully doodled their unconditional love for me on paper, had no idea that I was secretly hoping my life was a dream and that there was a secret door for me to escape for a moment. I was plagued with guilt, and instantly added myself to the mommy dog house.
After mulling over my sinful wish, for a while, I realized that I was just a normal mom who needed a break. I looked in the mirror and saw bags under my eyes and a faded smile. I’d aged far beyond my 30 something years and it was time to change that. I needed to bring back the pep in my step, glow in my skin, and laughter in my heart. This change would be difficult, but I had to start somewhere.
Finding a sitter is not always the easiest or a cost-effective solution for most moms, but don’t let that change your mind! Here are 5 easy (and affordable) ways to de-stress and bring joy back into your life.
1. Play music that you enjoy – De-stress with some of your favorite tunes. If you’ve got loads of laundry, piles of dishes to wash, or endless crayon marks to scrub off the walls, just remember that the mess will always come back. Don’t let the workload consume you; have fun while cleaning. Jam out! Your kids will get a kick out of seeing mommy dancing and singing while she does housework. It may not be Cabo, but it can be fun!
2. Watch a movie of your choice - This doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be a kid friendly movie; however, choose a movie that makes you laugh and smile. Choose a feel-good movie that reminds you of your inner goddess. Watch an oldie but goodie; it could be a movie you’ve watched a million times, but you love it so much that you’ve lost count. Taking this time for yourself will surely melt away some ( if not all) the day’s stress.
3. Enjoy a glass of wine – Doctor’s orders! A glass of wine at the end of a hectic day is sure to melt the stress away! Enjoy your wine as you watch a movie, hang out with a friend, listen to soothing music, or as you sit outside when the kids are asleep. Moms deserve to relax, too.
4. Invite a friend over – Nothing beats having company when you’re down (bonus if she has kids- instant playdate for mom and baby)! Sharing conversations and laughter is a necessary reprieve from all the mundane stuff. Sometimes, it’s a lot easier to have an adult friend around that you can have a conversation and laugh with!
5. Take a walk - Put your baby in a stroller (or if age appropriate, ride a bike), and enjoy the scenery. Enjoying the sights and sounds of nature reduces anger and stress. Not only is it a change of scenery, but it also provides a chance for you to soothe your overactive mind, and enjoy yourself. It might inspire you to start a new project or craft. It doesn’t matter that you are adding more work; what matters is you are doing things you enjoy, that allow you to relax, and give you a sense of accomplishment. These activities boost self-esteem and keep you on your toes.
Know that you are not alone with these thoughts, and it’s ok to want a break. Don’t limit yourself. You are an amazing mother, but you are also human. Be sure to take care of your mind, body, and health. You deserve it.