This week alone I've seen 5 questions on facebook about self-care, so I'm going to take that as the collective consciousness begging for a blog post. There is so much information and advice out there about self-care. But what does self-care really look like for this stay at home, single mom?
Well first, I'll tell you what it DOES NOT look like. I've been told that I need to go on dates, get my nails done, go to a movie by myself, go away for a weekend, put my son in school, have girls nights and get "white girl wasted"...I did enough of that in my 20s...thank you very much! The list goes on. Half of those things on that list would burn me out, just from the added stress from planning for it, the financial stress from spending money on it, and the emotional burn out from not getting time to myself. You know what going out involves? First I'd have to schedule a sitter, then I'd have to go shopping to find something non-mommish to wear, lastly I'd have to spend a million dollars to get an uber and whatever else I'd be buying while out, and lastly, I'd be tired and stressed out the next day from spending too much and not getting enough sleep. I'm an extroverted introvert and being a 24/7 mom, the majority of the time, I have every day to be connected to another person. How is that self-care? That might be what other moms need for their personality types, but that is not what I need or want.
Self-care is not about what fuels someone else, self-care is about what fuels you. What recharges you? I crave time to organize my home, create things, read, and talk to other moms. Being financially stable, having a successful business, and a home I want to spend time in, are things that make me feel balanced. If I had a night off, you know what would recharge me? Cleaning and organizing my house child-free, then starting a fire in my firepit and sitting and reading a book while drinking a kombucha. Having a clean, organized house would bring me so much joy and take stress off my shoulders. Reading a book would give me time to take care of myself and do something that I'm usually too tired to do at night after Calvin goes to bed.
Most of the time, I don't have large chunks of time to myself so I have to fit "me time" around being a mom, working my business, and homeschooling my son. I have to intentionally choose to love myself throughout the day. That involves my morning routine, listening to podcasts, and focusing on personal development, creating things, working on my business, watching a movie while I get household tasks done or organize my life, and reading. This morning, I worked out, meditated, painted my nails, actually blow dried and curled my hair, got some work done, all while Calvin and his friends played. Think of the things that you enjoy or that refuel your soul and find ways to fit those things into your daily schedule. You don't need an entire day off, money, or a babysitter to take care of yourself.
Here's my top 20 list of favorite self-care routines that I can do while my son is present or after he goes to bed.
1) Morning routine: Meditate, read, journal, exercise, shower. The Miracle Morning is another one that people keep talking about.
2) Watch a movie while I fold laundry, lesson plan, budget, or plan out my week in my planner.
3) Paint my nails. It takes maybe 5 minutes and makes me feel amazing.
4) Do my hair!
5) Sleep. I am a night owl and need to be better about this. It's so hard to sleep during my only "me time" though.
6) Find free stuff and refinish/repurpose our finds.
7) Rearrange and redecorate our home.
8) Listen to podcasts while I get ready, clean, or do the dishes. This is my current favorite here.
9) Just Dance on youtube.
10) Nightime yoga.
11) Have cookouts with my mom friends. The kids play while the moms get time to ourselves!
12) Workout: I used to think that I had to take 2 hours out of my day to go to the Y, but in home workouts are my new fave. Calvin loves working out with me and nothing is cuter than a 6 year old doing push-ups.
13) Create things, paint, craft, sew.
14) Read. I strew books all over the house, so I can read while I do other tasks, and I make sure to read a page before bed every night. This is the book that I'm currently reading.
15) Get out in nature. We use Exploring Nature with Children Curriculum and have a blast going on hikes and sketching together. Other days we go camping, swimming, or just play or read outside.
17) Work on my business
18) Clean and organize
19) Budget while I binge watch Netflix.
20) Schedule time with other mom friends so that you get time to be yourself, while your kids play.
Hope I gave you some good ideas that you can use in your own life! Comment below with some of the things that you do to re-charge.