I know everyone has seen the clip from Family Guy where Stewie is by Lois’s side and just keeps saying, “Mum. Mum. Mummy. Mama. Mama. Ma. Ma.” and Lois finally loses it.
A couple of years ago, it was hilarious. Now, being a mom to a 9 month old, not so much.
She’s probably just mumbling and making whatever noises she can, of course, but that is definitely what I am hearing. I know I’m not alone here, Mamas!! On top of washing clothes, washing bottles, making sure that the house is clean, making sure you look presentable and just making sure your kid(s) are in good shape and don’t smell like farm animals, it can be so overwhelming. But what we don’t usually pay attention to is our own well being, especially the mental aspect. Although a whole day would be wonderful, a lot of us can’t afford that. So the next best thing is just a couple of hours or even just ONE hour.
You may be thinking, “there’s not a whole bunch someone can do in an hour.” But trust me, there is!
One of my hobbies is baking. I usually stick to cupcakes but have always had an interest in sugar cookies and all those really cool decorations you see on Pinterest. I thought it was a lot easier, but I can assure you, it is not. So one day, I looked it up and sure enough, I found a cookie decorating class. I signed up and told my husband he was watching our daughter for a bit. I got a weird look, but it was worth it and he knew I needed it.
My class was at a local bakery on a miserable, rainy day. Let me tell you, Ladies: I’ve never concentrated so hard on making THE most perfect line in my life. I was determined to have the prettiest cookies (I did not) and I was GOING to be a professional by the end of that class ( I was not.) But those 2 hours of not having to worry about a poopy diaper, if I was challenging my daughter enough, or just worrying about what I was going to make for dinner that night, was such a weight off of my shoulders!
I felt like a brand new woman and I most definitely can’t wait to do it again.
So Mamas: go and find your “cookie decorating class!” It doesn’t have to be a class or even something away from home. Tell whomever is going to watch the kids that you need a Mama Hour. They will understand. And if they don’t, they will after an hour!
Some of you may not have someone to watch your babies and that’s ok too. Take ten or twenty minutes while they are entertained. I’m not going to lie and say I’m one of those mamas who is a media free mama. I let her watch “Finding Dory” and “Little Baby Bum Bum” (LIFESAVER). Prior to having my child, I was certain I wasn’t going to let her watch TV or play on the iPad until she was two or three. And kudos to those mamas who stuck with it! I, however, did not. Otherwise nothing would get done around here.
Here are five ideas to clear your head in case your in a pinch for time:
1. Meditate: I’m not saying you have to have to sit criss-cross-apple-sauce and do some “ohm-ing.” Unless if you’re into that… but I’m talking about just closing your eyes, concentrating on your breathing and thinking about all the little blessings you have. That might not take ten minutes (that could actually turn into a nap if you’re not careful) but I sure do feel better after it.
2. Face Mask. I found this one time mask at CVS for $3. And it felt and smelled so amazing! The best thing is that it only takes 7 minutes but you can leave it on longer if you would like. Another cool feature is that if you happen to be in a scaring mood, your children would love it. Ok maybe not love it. They’ll probably be kind of mad at you. But at least you’ll get a chuckle out of it. I didn’t necessarily scare my daughter but she was very confused when she saw a Thing that looked and talked like her mom but definitely wasn’t her mom. Three dollars was totally worth it. It’s a DIY spa day in less than ten minutes!
3. Dance Party! You can totally fit a dance party into ten minutes. It has been done before. Go find a nice quiet place and BLARE your booty shaking song. I like YouTube for this so I can find songs that have cool dance moves. This way, I can pretend that I know what I’m doing and think I look cool when I mostly don’t. Beyoncé’s “Run the World” is good for this. Feeling a little Latin? I know Ricky Martin was relevant like 20 years ago (yes, it’s been that long) but he actually has some pretty decent songs out now. Never in a million years did I ever think I would type that sentence out. Go look for “La Morditita.” He’s actually gotten better looking with years. This one might make the kids want to come dance with you, just an FYI.
4. Hide and Snack: This is exactly what it sounds like. The next time you’re at your grocery store, get yourself your favorite snack. A pint of ice cream, a candy bar, some (weird) people prefer a healthy snack. And when you’re at home and you have those few precious minutes, run and HIDE! That might mean you have to eat your snack in a bathroom with the door locked, or in a dark closet or say you need to go outside to check the mail and you eat your snack and you savor that thing. Because you’ve worked for it. If you’re in a pinch, you might have to skip that savor part and that’s ok too. Whatever works for you.
5. Exercise: Which brings me to my last one. If you have done one too many “Hide and Snacks,” this might have to be your 10 minute getaway. Do some crunches or push ups. Modifying totally counts. Do some squats or wall sits. We all want a nice booty without having to do too much work or go to the gym. Yes it’s going to burn. Especially if you haven’t done it in 2 years or something like that. Stretch! All of these will get your blood flowing and your heart pumping and you will feel like a super hero. And yes, after you’ve done it, you may stand in super hero form for a few second because you deserve it. No you’re not going to die from a 10 minute workout. You’re stronger than that!
If you are lucky enough to get that elusive hour or two, embrace it! Go read part of a book, take a long nice hot shower, fix your hair!! Go find a class or hobby that interests you, take a drive to WalMart or Target and just walk down the aisles. Go get a coffee JUST FOR YOU.
Yes, you deserve it. No, you are not a bad mom.
They will survive without you. The laundry and dishes and mess will all be there when you get back. A child-free hour or a couple of minutes to yourself. Sounds glorious, doesn’t it? Go enjoy yourself!! And when you get back, hug your babies and tell them you love them.