We had (another!) birthday yesterday. As my husband and I were talking about it, and how we can’t believe how fast everyone’s growing, it dawned on me…I’m out of the baby stage. All of my kids are…kids. Some are almost out of that stage, too. Siiiiiigh.
While I might not be in the baby phase, being needed almost every minute of the day, I hope I never forget how hard it is. Yes, it’s lovely and heartwarming and ultimately worth it, but it is also really, really hard.
And often, as parents of babies and young children, we forget to watch out for ourselves. We know this. But it’s hard to take time for yourself when you’re surrounded by people who need you so much more.
So. Here are five little ways to treat yourself. Sometimes it takes doing one small thing for yourself to recharge and get you ready to take care of everyone else again.
1.) Get up 15 minutes early
Like most advice, this doesn’t work all the time. If you were up all night with a sick child, for heaven’s sake get all the sleep you can get! But if everyone goes to bed on time, and you get your sleep, it makes a world of difference to get up before the rest of the family. Get a cup of coffee. Meditate or pray. Read. Just sit and listen to the quiet. I don’t manage to do this every day, but when I do it makes the rest of the morning so much less stressful.
2.) Take a walk
Sometimes you just need to get out of the house and get some fresh air. Go by yourself, go with the kids — either way, I always feel better after getting outside.
3.) Have a nice lunch
Have you noticed that lunch seems to be the first thing we sacrifice? After the chaos of breakfast while getting people out the door to school, and before dinner which is usually more involved…I never really bother to make my own lunch. I’ll usually just eat some of the PB&J or chicken nuggets the kids are eating.
But it’s not hard to grab a salad for myself while I’m grocery shopping. Something with some healthy greens, and protein to give me the energy I’m going to need for the rest of the day. These Eat Smart: Plant Powered Protein Salad Kits have at least 11 grams of plant-based protein in each one. They come in single-serve salad kits, with everything including the dressing in them. And they earned the highest praise I’ve ever heard from my husband — “Oh, hey! These don’t taste like bagged salads. They’re really good.”
Personally, the BBQ Ranch was my favorite, but there are a TON of Plant Powered Protein Kits to choose from. And there are larger Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits available, too. One was more than enough for our family of six to have as a side salad at dinnertime, and it was packed with superfoods like kale, broccoli, and dried cranberries. Everyone gave it a thumbs up.
4.) Read a book
I mean a book that you want to read. A grown-up book (or a kids’ book…actually, I’m partial to young adult novels myself). Or a magazine. But take 10 or 15 minutes and read something just for you.
Have you tried an adult coloring book yet? I’m serious. So calming. Get out the coloring books and crayons for the kids, the grown-up books and pencils for you, and go to town. Our whole family — from me and my preteens, down to the preschooler, will have coloring time together and it’s awesome!
How about you — what little things do you do to treat yourself?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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