Over and over I hear that I need to take time and care for myself. With four boys under 10, I always think: if I take that time, I’ll be so far behind, it will take me hours to catch up. However, when I’m calm, patient and less stressed – when I’m cared for – our family is, too.

mom and baby - taking care of self

So, I look for easy, efficient, inexpensive ways to take a few minutes to recharge. I invite you to give them a try:

1. Listen to audiobooks. One thing I missed the most when I started having children was the time to lose myself in a great novel. In the past couple years, I’ve started listening to books more often. Taking time to listen to the newest Nora Roberts novel or Tina Fey’s Bossypants while folding laundry or making dinner has allowed me to regain some “me” time without sacrificing household maintenance. I like the subscription option audible but I know a lot of friends are happy with their local library download options such as overdrive.

2. Get a pedicure. Once every two months, I treat myself to a pedicure at A Nails in Rock Island. It’s $23 five to six times a year and worth every penny. I may have baby spit up on my shirt, toothpaste smeared under my elbow (how does my three-year-old get it there every day?), 30 extra lbs of baby-weight that I have a sneaking suspicion might just be my weight, but my toes look darn nice in my summer sandals. That makes me feel just a bit more in control which makes me feel less stressed.

3. Use a shower bomb or, if you have the time, a bath bomb. YOU MUST check out the new shop Splash in downtown Rock Island. I am in love with Christiana’s shower bombs. For $3, you pick your flavor, put the bomb in the bottom of your shower and when the water hits it: calm, rejuvenating scent fills the stall. Often time in the shower is the only moments I get to myself, and having a few minutes to breathe in Beach or Calm or Energy or Ocean Breeze is exactly what I need to bring some sanity to my day.  (As a side note these make really fun shower gifts – either for the guest of honor or as the party favor).

Shower bombs

I especially love the energy shower bomb at Splash in Rock Island.

4. Phone a friend. Having a wireless bluetooth headset and calling a friend when I need a re-set is by far my best use of time. I can tackle the dishes and clean the clutter while chatting. I often get off the phone ready to rejoin the family with a smile.

5. Schedule Mom-friend drink night. I participate in HyVee’s meal making evening Simple Fix once a month. Having ready-made meals in the freezer really helps my family with meal planning, but the best part is that after meal making some of us head out to have a beverage and catch up. I highly recommend combining mom-night with a household duty and mixing work and play.

6. Take a 2 minute calendar and prayer break. Each morning  when I get to work (okay, most mornings…when I remember) I flip over the day on my calendar. Taking a moment to set my mind in a calm, positive direction makes a big difference in my attitude for the day. When I take the time I am much happier.

daily calendar photo

This daily calendar helps me take just a bit of time to recenter.

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