Wearing the “Mom” badge these days is some kind of strange. It incorporates everything that a mom has to contend with inside the four walls of her home, but now—thanks to this “Woman who has everything/can do everything” ideal perpetuated by some—a mother has to be even more than that.
Many are employed in paid work, volunteer at school or church and are active contributors to society. All that, plus they are expected to efficiently run a sparkling clean house and have a hot dinner on the table every night (made from the freshest produce of course).
The question many of us ask is,” Where do I find the time for myself when I have to be everything to everyone else?”
Answer: Make time for yourself and DON’T try to be everything to everyone else. It’s simple. You have to be in good shape to be of any good to others. So let’s come back to you.
Set aside some “Me Time” every week, or if you absolutely have to keep things running, here are a few ideas...
1. List chores into 3 different batches. “Have to Do Now”, “Can Wait” and “Get Someone Else to Do”.
Plough through the tasks in your “Have to Do Now” list and enlist some help if you can. Leave the tasks in the “Can Wait” list for another day. Some moms may find the last list difficult to deal with, but you will be thankful you did it: delegate tasks in the “Get Someone Else to Do” list because really now, you do not need to personally give the dog a bath, chop the vegetables for the dinner party you are throwing, and dust your partner’s shot glass collection all together.
2. Learn to relax. Moms who run ragged need to engage in hard-core relaxation.
When was the last time you indulged in a bath or a long shower? The type that allows you to leisurely put on a facial masque, have a hair treatment, give yourself a good scrubbing and slather on body lotion afterwards.
Let people in your house know that you are going to be unavailable for an hour and lock yourself in the bathroom. Usually a sign saying “Do not disturb unless there is an emergency” helps.
3. Self-preservation: have you looked into a routine that helps you keep in shape and have some time to focus on yourself? Many gyms offer beginners classes for Pilates, Tai Chi or Yoga. Or you can try doing these from a DVD at home. The challenge here is to make this a routine—twice a week, once a week—then stick to it. Make it count.
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4. Double-duty: If you are simply too swamped with things requiring immediate attention, it’s time to be smart.
Vacuuming an entire house takes an average of 40 minutes. Facial masques can take 5-15 minutes to leave on. Hair masques take 3-20 minutes. If you can get your beauty products on before you do the vacuuming, you will find that your shower afterwards will reap more rewards than just being clean.
Another great tip for those without yayas: the next time you visit another girlfriend’s house, use the time it takes for the kids to play and bring out the nail polish! Give each other a mani-pedi while you catch up on the latest gossip. This way you save a trip to the salon and preserve friendships at the same time.
5. Mom’s gift registry: there is nothing wrong about gently directing family and friends towards presents you prefer. If you are short on household help, ask for vouchers to the local laundromat. If you need time away from the kids, ask for babysitting minutes/hours from trusted family and friends who know how to handle kids. Most of the time, people are stumped at what to get you for your birthday and other occasions so why not help them along?
These tips are only as good as your attitude in acknowledging that you are special. You have been fearfully created and put on this earth to be Mom, so take care of yourself.
Photography by Jun Pinzon
How do you take care of yourself as a mom? We'd love to know. Fill up the comment form below.