Hi everyone! It’s Selena from Look! We’re Learning! and today I wanted to share a few pointers for finding “me time” when you’re a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I have four children under the age of 10, we homeschool them, and we only have one vehicle, so I’m at the house with all four of my kids every single day.
Here’s how I to find Me-Time as a Stay at Home Mom
1. Establish regular quiet time.
If your kids are younger than two, this may be the easiest step. Naptime is the ideal time to get your “me time” in. Once you get the kids settled, you can enjoy a cup of tea with your favorite book for at least a half hour or so. But as the kids get older and naptime goes out the window, you might be longing for your afternoon break.
Instead of forcing kids to take a nap (which does not work and believe me, I’ve tried), institute daily quiet time. During this time, the kids can stay up and do any activity that does not make noise. For example, in our family right now we have a nine-year-old, a five-year-old, a four-year-old, and an 18-month-old. Our toddler still takes daily afternoon naps, but the older kids don’t.
To keep them quiet and give myself a “me time” break, I let them choose any quiet activity they want, such as coloring, cutting and pasting, reading, or drawing. If they remain quiet for the entire period, they receive computer time after the toddler wakes up. It’s a quick and fairly easy to regain my “me time” every day.
If you simply cannot get away from the house during the day, you can take advantage of early morning hours to get a calm start to your day. What if you’d rather sleep in? Well, I hate to break it to you, but you might have to make yourself into a morning person.
I am a natural-born night owl. I love staying up late and writing, browsing the Internet, even sewing. In fact, as I write this post, it’s nearly 11 p.m. But when I habitually stayed up late at night, I was a very grumpy mama the next day. I realized that I needed to have time alone each morning to center myself and think about my plans for the day with the kids.
So I gradually made myself into a morning person by getting up a half-hour earlier for a few weeks and then adding another half-hour slowly over the next couple of months. Now I get up most mornings at 5:30 a.m. and I don’t hate it! Of course, I go right for the coffeemaker, but that’s another story. When I get that early morning “me time”, I’m prepared for the kids to get up and I’m usually calmer through the rest of the day.
3. Ask your spouse for help.
When all else fails, it’s time to call in some reinforcements. Your spouse is the best person to turn to when you’re in desperate need of “me time”. Talk to your spouse and ask him to be on full-time dad duty for a couple of hours while you get out of the house. Just having a cup of coffee and time alone at a coffee shop can do wonders for your peace of mind.
Another thing that really works for me is going to the gym. I go three nights a week right before the kids go to bed. I get to exercise and get out of the house at the same time. Plus, I sleep better at night, so it’s a win-win!
Selena Robinson is a former tax accountant-turned-homeschooling mom of four. She blogs about her family’s life and adventures every week at Look! We’re Learning! If you’d like to keep up with Selena, you can follow Look! We’re Learning! on Pinterest or Twitter.