How do you take care of yourself? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-21-2014, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is something I have been struggling with ever since I became a parent.  I could use some help in my appearance...like getting my nails done...  I appreciate my "me" time where I can get it...  My health has been a tricky issue but I think I have everything under control at the moment.   Probably I should consider joining the health club we looked at last weekend and take classes...

 

It's difficult to fit stuff in for myself.  I admit, I feel guilty as a SAHM.  Because, it is wonderful.  Sometimes I feel spoiled that I get to be a SAHM....even though it is crazy tough. 

 

What do you do to take care of yourself?  Read, home facials, mani/pedis, workout, coffee with friends, walk the dog, etc. ?

 

I need some new ideas.  What are yours?

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#2 of 18 Old 02-22-2014, 01:02 PM
 
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Great question!

I was just thinking of starting a thread along the same line, only for me it's finding time for the most basic of self-care that is troubling me most.  I've never been one to get my nails done or even to go to the hairdresser's, but at least I used to be able to have a shower whenever I wanted one or even take the occasional hot bath.  Now I'm lucky if I get in a shower twice a week.  Sorry if that's TMI. 

Even finding time to write this post is a challenge.  I have a 3 y.o. son and a 4 m.o. daughter.  DH works from home.   Right now, it seems that I'm taking care of everyone but myself.  DH grumbles whenever I take a shower because it interferes with his work during business hours, but there seems no other time of day to squeeze one in.  I know, whine whine whine, but I hear you, Pepin when you speak up for your desire for some "me" time.  My only advice could be to seize the moment as it presents itself.  I had an opportunity to get a massage from my sister last week (she's a registered massage therapist) when she was at my mom's giving her a treatment.  Ahhhhh!  The luxury! 

One thing I've learned from my own experience is that the small stuff you do for yourself counts now more than ever.  If you can get just a little thing in for yourself once in a while, it makes a big difference.

For exercise, I prefer going for a walk.  It's free, I get to commune with nature, clear the cobwebs out of my head, and just have a chance to think my own thoughts.

Hope you find something that works for you!

Sorry to ramble and steal your thread for my own griping.  :blah 

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#3 of 18 Old 02-24-2014, 06:44 AM
 
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I am like a social introvert.  I feel like it is taking care of myself when we have friends over.  It's like meeting everyone's needs but also making my life interesting and fun.  We have hosted poker nights, halloween parties, basic holiday gatherings or had friends over for pizza and conversation (and sometimes we go to friends' houses, too).  We joke that are parties are kid friendly adult parties because we make sure we have juice boxes and everything for the kids, but they socialize and the adults socialize.  It's fun because *I* get a chance to chat with my friends and play some fun games (we love board games and poker).  There's always kids running around so it's my children's chance to see friends and have a blast, too.  To make it cheaper, we usually have gatherings potluck style to minimize my preparation.  My kids are older, though, and I do remember one poker night YEARS ago that we hosted when DD1 was a colicky baby.  I literally spent the whole night in the back room bedroom, rocking a screaming baby.  Luckily she outgrew it!  

 

Other ways I take care of myself are the obvious ones- coffee with a friend, getting my hair done professionally (it's a splurge but worth it and my husband encourages me to do it because it makes me feel good), I paint my own nails cheesy crazy colors sometimes, I am a gym member and go work out and sit in the sauna/steam room, I read great books on my kindle, I go for walks.  One simple thing I do is my afternoon cup of coffee with a piece of good chocolate.  I have a stash of chocolate no one else gets and I eat a piece everyday as part of my daily routine.  It's really not the quantity of stuff you do or how often it happens, it the quality of what you do.  I don't mean in a monetary sense.  But those little things, like painting my nails with dorky, glittery colors, makes me feel happy every time I look at them.  And that piece of chocolate and coffee happens right before my kids are home from school so it's like that last bit of quiet before the rush of dinner/homework/etc happens.  It's the little things.  Sometimes I meditate and my cats sit near me and the dog curls up next to me and it's very peaceful and very much for myself.  But it also benefits everyone because I feel more balanced.  

 

I am not big on mom's nights out, though that's a suggestion.  I like going out with my husband so if I'm going to go out, I want him along.  But my son is old enough to stay with my youngers, now.  When they were tiny and we didn't have a babysitter, I did do occasional mom's night out, though.  I don't know how old your kids are.  

 

I am not probably not really considered a SAHM anymore.  I work part time from home and go to online college.  BUT I still really see myself as a SAHM because I am home and my part time money really only pays for a couple of the kids' extracurricular activities.  For a long time I felt kind of guilty for being able to meet a friend for coffee or doing stuff in the middle of the day.  Sometimes I feel weird being home, even working and with college, while my kids are in school.  But now, instead of feeling guilty for being home, I feel grateful towards my husband for working in a career that allows me to stay home and he encourages and supports me in whatever I choose to do (I did work full time out of the home briefly and quit because I hated it).  Over the years, it has become easier to do things for myself.. to the extent that I will now ask if someone wants to come to Target or the grocery store with me because I want the company!  heehee


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#4 of 18 Old 04-21-2014, 06:05 AM
 
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Hi Pepin & Headforthehill, I can identify with your posts a lot. I'm lucky if i get to shower twice a week too, but can only manage to wash my hair once every 5/6 days. That's definitely TMI! Sorry 😃I do basic maintenance every morning alongside washing my face and applying a bit of foundation, blush and mascara. That's all I can magage really. I get those basics done very early because I've left my 2 yr old in bed watching a cartoon on YouTube on my iphone.

Since my DS turned 2yrs, I finally have insisted to my DH that I need a walk alone at least 4 times a week. I was getting resentful during the winter. I now go for a walk on the beach GUILT FREE between 8am and 9am about 4 mornings a week. This really has helped me so much as I know that it sets me up well emotionally for the rest if the day. It's a sanity saver for me.
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#5 of 18 Old 04-21-2014, 08:43 AM
 
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I love to walk!  I find that even when the kids are with me, a peaceful walk in the woods is a mind-clearing break from the hectic indoors.  When DS was just a baby, I'd load him up in the stroller and go for long walks through town, along the waterfront and through the old streets.  I miss being able to walk at my own pace, for as long as I want, but being able to share this time and experience with my children is something really special.

Today, I'm taking a bit of time to do some Spring cleaning around the house (believe it or not, I find this fun) while my son spends some time at my parents'.  Living close to them is a real blessing, as they can help fill in some of the gaps in my self-care.  If I can't fit in a shower at home, sometimes I can get one at their place.  Tomorrow, I'll get a massage from my sister when she comes down to give my mother her regular massage.  All these things are helping me to feel much better about myself, healthier and more energized.  I believe it's important to feel good about yourself, as well as feeling good physically, in order to be a good parent.  If Mama's cranky, ain't nobody happy!

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#6 of 18 Old 04-21-2014, 10:47 AM
 
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This has made me feel better for sure! Showers are tough with little ones around!! With co sleeping, endless nursing and holding baby for naps oh yeah and household stuff where is there time?! Now that the snow is melting here I have been packing the kids up in the stroller and walking the dog. My 3 year old yaps the whole time!! I can't hear anything she is saying, lol. So I just do a lot of oks and oh.... Bad mommy!
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#7 of 18 Old 04-22-2014, 07:58 AM
 
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I would go seriously batty if I listened attentively to every single word my chatty 3-year-old says.  Yes, I pay attention to him, but 90 per cent of his non-stop chatter is repeating the same statement over and over again, as I say "yeah, uh huh..."  and carry on with my work.  He notices if I'm not paying adequate attention, though, and really plants himself in front of my face to make his statement, and then I know that I'd better engage in this conversation.  He knows how to keep me honest! 

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#8 of 18 Old 04-22-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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I picked up running to give me some me time.  My husband never argues about watching the kids when I run.  I run for an hour in the morning or at night.  That way I get me time with some favorite music and not to sound like a mean mom, no little voices chatting me into a stupor.  I used to not even be able to run a mile and now after a year and a half of running I can run 3.5 miles without stopping, well not in the past three months (I am three months preggo) now my running is much slower, but I am still by myself.


Breezy married to my sweetie pie David With two beautiful children that love each other very much and a bun in the oven due Nov. 5th, 2014


Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

-Benjamin Franklin


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#9 of 18 Old 04-22-2014, 10:27 PM
 
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'Spa day' works for me.  I have two places I frequent regularly, but I always search out ones that are giving discounts. I like to check out new places. I go alone.  It's my little retreat from the world and it really makes me feel fabulous!

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#10 of 18 Old 04-28-2014, 05:21 PM
 
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I'm terrible at self care, too, but getting better.

 

I *make* time for a shower every two mornings. Whether my DD (14 mo) cries/babbles/peeps into the shower or not, I tell her "mama needs to shower and get clean. I'll be out in a moment." It's just five minutes but feeling clean/presentable means a lot. Our house is small and the entire upstairs is baby safe, so I feel cool with letting her roam while I do that. 

 

I sometimes make a special cocktail or mocktail at night, after DD's gone to bed. 

 

I drink plenty of tea. Good tea.

 

I read or watch meaningful movies almost every night. Keeps my brain and imagination flowin'.

 

I try to walk every day because it's good for me/my mental health and my DD loves being outside.

 

Very occasionally I'll meet a friend for coffee.

 

Mothering.com :thumb

 

I'd like to make more time for regular exercise, pay more attention to my diet, and make time each week to paint my nails a pretty color. Those are three self care goals of mine. ;) 

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#11 of 18 Old 04-29-2014, 04:57 AM
 
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Ahhh yes... I can't remember the last time I had pretty nails. 😃
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#12 of 18 Old 04-29-2014, 05:34 AM
 
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I need to get into walking again, but we live on a gravel road and I need a good jogging stroller. When we lived in town I used to enjoy pushing the stroller and just looking at all the homes and their landscapes.

I've always made time for a shower every other day. My babies have been in the bathroom in the bouncy seat with me many times.

I rarely have Moms night out. We don't have any family close by for babysitters or a place for the kids to be dropped off at. Drs and dentist appointments can be fun at times. I do have a couple other Mom friends that can watch the kids sometimes, but they are SAHMs so they are busy too. I try to get together at the park with other Moms in the summer.

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#13 of 18 Old 05-01-2014, 07:48 AM
 
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Hmmm. You might like to check out Isometric exercises, as explained here and how to do them, here . The latter has a You Tube video of 2 minutes that illustrates core muscle workout. Very useful for when it's tanking down outside or where routine exercise outdoors is limited.

You can't beat walking, though. If it's muddy, taking a pole or a stick with you acts as a third leg when skirting round large puddles. Saves you from ungainly slipping up and falling in. :wink 

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#14 of 18 Old 05-01-2014, 08:29 AM
 
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Oh, dear. I'm not very good at taking care of my own wants or needs. I have been trying to get some time in on MDC every day though; it's nice to connect with other moms.

 

I like to craft, read, go to the grocery store alone, bake, garden, and email (or sometimes actually see in person!) friends. Having a moment to indulge in any of my favorite activities really helps me feel like my own person. Not quite there on the looking good part though. I've only just learned to ask my husband to take over the kids so I can have an hour on the weekend. 

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#15 of 18 Old 05-01-2014, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamapigeon View Post
 

Oh, dear. I'm not very good at taking care of my own wants or needs. I have been trying to get some time in on MDC every day though; it's nice to connect with other moms.

 

I like to craft, read, go to the grocery store alone, bake, garden, and email (or sometimes actually see in person!) friends. Having a moment to indulge in any of my favorite activities really helps me feel like my own person. Not quite there on the looking good part though. I've only just learned to ask my husband to take over the kids so I can have an hour on the weekend. 

 

I was just thinking (smell the burning?) ;-) that really, you have no need to fret, for already you're doing excercise pottering around the garden and doing lone walks and back to the grocery store. :)

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#16 of 18 Old 06-20-2014, 03:35 PM
 
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I am going to be honest what I do to pamper myself is shop. No, not in the way you think. I will go grocery shopping but not take my little boy and it is like heaven. I just wander the isles and I get to buy stuff that I want. It may take me an extra 30 min or even an hour sometimes longer than it should because I am legitimately enjoying just strolling down the isles with no little person grabbing at me. The greatest part about it is my husband is going never going to tell me no or give me a hard time about it because he doesn't want to do it.
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#17 of 18 Old 06-21-2014, 10:02 AM
 
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I know what you mean! I feel it's so much easier to just browse around the grocery store when I don't have the little ones in tow. For me, this means that I get to put more thought into what I'm buying. Also, I get done all the faster and maybe have a little time leftover to head to my favourite consignment shops downtown to buy something nice (and cheap because it's gently used) for myself and the kiddies. Everyone gets a reward when mama gets to shop alone once in a while!
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#18 of 18 Old 06-24-2014, 05:40 AM
 
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I streamlined all my self-care so that it was easy to do & I wasn't neglecting myself. I often felt that there wasn't enough of me for both me and my child so I made it easy to lessen the strain.

I also exercised with the goal that by the time my nest was empty I would be in good condition to live well for myself.
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