MAKING MORE "ME TIME" FOR MOMS
Mother’s Day is May 12, and moms everywhere will be honored with brunches and bouquets, cards and cupcakes. We’re all for it! And here’s even more love: if you’re a mother, make yourself Priority #1! Keeping yourself in top form means you’ll feel more present in the moment, and have more available energy to share with those you love.
Start with your own precious skin.
Many mothers are so exhausted after a long day of caring for everyone else that they skip cleansing their skin at night. Don’t do it! Accumulation of sunscreen, makeup and just the grime of the day leads to clogged pores and blemishes, so be sure to treat yourself to a foaming face-wash each night to keep skin healthy.
Another easy, but important promise to make to your skin: that you’ll start each day by protecting your cleansed skin with a layer of moisturizing SPF 50+ broad spectrum sunscreen.
Then check out these tips to simplify your day, reduce clutter, and enjoy more “Me-time” as a mom:
1 - Put yourself on the calendar—in ink! As a mom, you’re already a master-planner. Schedule your own basic exams – dental, mammogram, Pap test – and treat them with the same importance you give to managing your family’s many other appointments. (No, getting the Shih Tzu groomed is not more important than getting your own hair cut and colored!)
2 - Try some magnet-magic: Most toddlers have an everyday cup that’s always getting lost. Glue a magnet on each child’s everyday cup, and stick it to the side of the fridge – this way, you can always find the cup, reducing clutter.
Another magnetic tip: Use a few metal cookie sheets as a handy home for all magnetic toys.
3- Speed up morning prep: For toddlers who may have trouble telling the right shoe from the left, snip a sticker depicting a favorite cartoon character in half, then place one-half inside each shoe. Where the halves meet is where right meets left—it’s an easy way to see which is which.
4 - Road-trip tip: When you’re feeding kids in the car, use a plastic shower caddy to keep meal, drink and snacks organized and keep those fries from flying. For longer trips, use a shoe caddy—the kind used to store pairs of shoes-- over the back of the passenger seat to hold toys and games. Trim the caddy to fit the back of the car-seat.
5 - Repurpose pool noodles: To keep a child from rolling out of bed, slip a pool noodle under the fitted sheet as a baby-bumper.
6 - Try mono-tasking: True, moms are natural multi-taskers, out of necessity.
But multi-tasking often means that some tasks are never quite finished, and so we never get to relish that solid sense of satisfaction that comes from “Job done!”
Try making shorter To-Do lists for each block of available time, and concentrate on a single task until it’s completed.
Distractions (muddy feet, wet dogs, burned cookies, surprise visitors, dead batteries) will always pop up, but just return your focus to one project at a time. By seeming to doing less, you might accomplish more, and enjoy it more, too.
7 - Involve family in the housework: Train toddlers to make their own beds and keep their toys, clothes and random junk off the floor.
Show kids how to load the dishwasher (though unloading and putting dishes away on tall shelves may be too hard when they’re little).
Children can also work with you to fold laundry, straighten rooms, and take out the trash.
Long before children can safely chop vegetables, for example, have them to mirror your motions in the kitchen as you work. Have a toddler “chop” with a soft toy—it gets them in the spirit of helping.
8 - Make things easier to find: Small, light clothing items tend to get flung back and “lost” in the back of conventional bureaus while opening and closing drawers. Consider replacing the dresser with clear plastic storage boxes which stack.
Label each box by grouping undies, socks, tops, bottoms, day of the week, or even by favorite color.
9 - Create a new blueprint for your fridge: Clear boxes in stackable sizes are also a game-changer in your fridge.
Rectangles and squares take up less shelf-space than circles and ovals.
Replace your opaque containers and random bowls with see-through boxes so there’s no more wondering about what’s inside.
This means that leftovers and snacks (tuna salad? Spaghetti sauce? Raw cookie dough?) won’t molder in mystery, and you’ll get better value from your food.
Being a great mom does not require being a martyr. Create time and space for yourself, to look and feel your best – because you deserve many more moments of fun, pampering, and, of course, sleep!