When you spend almost every waking moment surrounded by littles then you can begin to slip into a fog where the joy of those shared moments loses it’s shine. You start to wonder why you live this way, doubt yourself as a wife or mother, and become disinterested in the things or people you love most. I get it. Any stay at home mom who says she doesn’t clearly has some good prescriptions stashed away and isn’t being honest. You can’t keep up the routine of caring for your family if you aren’t caring for yourself first; eventually something will snap and it will probably be mom. So, here are 10 things that help me keep my mind clear, my heart fuller, and our days happier!
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- Hydrate – This is one that you may not even notice but it is 100% vital for me to keep my water intake up or my mood swings become unbearable. The roller coaster I board is definitely not exciting. On the flip side, it is possible to also take in too much water knocking your electrolytes out of balance. I try to stick with the Mayo Clinic’s recommendations of 13 cups of fluids a day (for breastfeeding mothers) with most of that being water but this is one area where I also slip up often.
- Find and stick to a naturally flowing routine – Not only do we need a routine to stay on task but it also helps me feel more productive. Getting up and getting the day going means that we aren’t sitting around at 1pm feeling guilty we missed school, stressed that dinner isn’t planned much less actually thawed or cooking, and the kids are still in pajamas. Along with this though is that if I set up a ridiculous routine that has us fighting our natural flow then we fail miserably at keeping it. You know when your kids usually rise if left to their own devices and when they regularly study best. Use that to your advantage, write out a schedule that matches, and post it somewhere to keep you focused and on track. It seems wonky but I promise, it helps!
- Regulate meal times – This goes with the schedule in a way but it is more for mom than the family. Make time to eat healthy fulfilling meals that not only satisfy but nourish. If you can, aim for a small meal every 3 hours but remember to follow what works best for your family’s natural routine.
- Up your iron intake – I don’t know about all of you but I can always tell when I haven’t been eating quite right. I get tired, grumpy, and hungry. Iron is something I have struggled with since I got pregnant with our third child. I had severe prenatal anemia which should have gone away when she was born or during those first few months but it decided to stick around as a mildly annoying case. Spinach has honestly always been one of my favorite foods. My mom use to gag watching me eat it straight from the can! 🙂 I am known to add fresh spinach to pretty much any meal I cook and after all of this time my husband doesn’t exactly hate me for it. During that pregnancy, I had to take supplements and had to continue them until recently. I still struggle occasionally and know that when I start craving a raw steak that it’s time to up the intake again. If you’ve never researched anemia but feel light headed and exhausted on a regular basis, I urge you to consider having your levels checked. It makes a huge difference in my personality and lifestyle choices. Remember to never start a supplement without discussing it with your doctor first though.
- Vitamins – If you aren’t already on a daily multivitamin then go talk to your doctor and get started. Another supplement that I have had to take regularly for over a year now is Vitamin D3. Without this I become a zombie mom and that is about the best way to describe it. Seriously, this stuff saves me.
- Oil Pulling – Oil pulling dates back centuries and has made a rise in popularity lately. If you don’t know what it is then go research it. There are hundreds of blogs out there with tips, information, and statistics recommending it. Since I started oil pulling, I feel healthier, my teeth are whiter, and I have far fewer hormone related acne breakouts. I actually get clear skin some parts of each month! I use a cold pressed unrefined organic coconut oil and have gotten use to the texture and taste. I still detest coconut but can stand to do my pulls each morning.
- Exercise – Exercise = Endorphins = Happiness. This one just makes sense! My favorite exercise is jogging and I have often joked that the worst part of traveling full time is not having my treadmill. I stand by this statement! We have used T25 and other Beach Body programs but I never stick with them for long just because 3 kids make it frustrating enough to not be worth it. The one I enjoy the most is PiYo if you’re interested in trying one out.
- Find a passion – What makes you tick? Do you have a hobby that could be turned into a focus? I love writing and so this blog is my outlet. There are other things I write that remain a secret but maybe one day I will share them with the world. We’ll see. Reading is one of my best outlets though. I read at least 2-3 books a week and always have a sense of satisfaction and relief with each one that I finish. Do you sew, knit, paint, sing, build, or have a niche? Explore it and make time for growing yourself!
- Splurge on yourself – I often hear moms saying that they have a hard time spending money on themselves. I am definitely guilty when it comes to this but I am trying to do better. If your family can afford whatever the little “gift” is that you are wanting for yourself then do it! It takes me months to finally go buy a few shirts or something small. I watched my Fitbit for about 2 years and it even took almost a year for me to get a $20 coffee maker for the camper. It is a little ridiculous but I am working on it and you should too. Go get that pedicure, order a glass of wine while they pamper you, and don’t second guess a single penny spent for it!
- Take a break – This one is the hardest for me. I have left my children so few times in the last 4 years that your jaw would probably drop. It isn’t that my husband isn’t capable or that he refuses or that I am that much of a control freak. Honest. I just have a very difficult time leaving them alone to go spend time or money on myself. Those 20 minutes when I go upstairs and work alone or when I run to Starbucks to finish an article are so refreshing though. I really need to push this one onto myself but I hope that you do too. You deserve a moment to yourself to recuperate from all that you give!