Once you become a parent, the carousel never seems to stop turning. The days disappear within the blink of an eye, and the chaos never ends. This leads many moms to wonder how they can possibly sneak in some mom time to help them relax and recharge. Don't fret! We have the remedy to your R & R problems!
Why Moms Need Alone Time
Why does anyone need alone time? To recharge! However, this is especially important for moms because their batteries are in charge of powering the lives of their children, their pets, the household, and then, themselves. This requires a lot of energy, and once you start to feel depleted, it's hard to restore those power levels.
Mental health experts note that the practice of self-care and self-reflection during moments of purposeful time spent alone can be extremely beneficial to a person's mental health "as long as time spent in solitude is time spent without social media or the presence of other individuals." This can allow individuals to "experience heightened awareness of their emotions and behaviors, leading to an increased sense of emotional regulation and overall mental well-being."
The problem is that 'me time for moms' is virtually non-existent. Additionally, the part of this mental health equation that requires a lack of other people being present is downright laughable for most moms. So how do you get mom time away from the kids? We have the answer to this math problem!
5 Ways to Get Solo Mom Time
In order to get the most out of your 'mom time,' you need to be alone. While this can be hard with kids in tow, there are ways to make it happen!
Set Bedtimes and Stick With Them
For the parents who don't have a village to help them out in moments of stress, bedtime is the best time to get a little R & R. If you want to ensure that you always get this time to yourself, you should not only designate bedtimes, but you should also set daily alarms for 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and 5 minutes before your kid's need to be tucked away. This will keep you on schedule.
Choose a different tone for each alarm so that everyone is aware of the meaning of the different chimes.
Once everyone is in bed, give yourself one hour. Do this at the same time every night. Put everything else - the dirty dishes, the unfolded laundry, the messy playroom - on hold for this window of time. Focus on relaxing and reflecting on your day. If you can't designate a full hour, take whatever time you can.
Designate Separate Nights for You and Your Partner
Another fantastic way to get some much needed alone time is to select different family and solo days. For instance:
- Three family nights a week
- Two nights a week for you
- Two nights a week for your partner
Essentially, what this means is that both you and your partner have specific nights that you can always count on to have for yourself. This gives you some freedom to go for a walk, get a pedicure, run to your favorite shop to buy yourself a little treat, or to just binge on a few episodes of your favorite show.
Don't take advantage of your partner during these times of reprieve - decide together on a window of time (two to three hours) that each of you can handle by yourself. Then, commit to this schedule every week. We advise parents to take their 'me time' days during the week and save the 'family time' days for the weekend.
Consider Signing Up for Early Preschool or MDO Programs
If your budget allows, early preschool and Mother's Day Out programs are spectacular places to enroll your kids! These classes can give your kids opportunities to learn and socialize with other kids their age, and they can allow you to get a few hours to yourself.
Schedule Grandparent Time, In Person and Virtually
Most grandparents are eager to get some solo time with their grandbabies! If you have family in town, ask if they want to make grandparent bonding time a regular occurrence. This can be as frequent as once a week or you can plan for once a month.
For the grandparents who live far away, you can easily set up FaceTime or Zoom sessions for them to catch up with their grandkids. This is a great option for the parents of slightly older kids who are hoping to get a small window of time to themselves. Their grandparents will be watching over them, so that you can step away to another room in your home.
Join a Local Mom Group
Mom groups are an ideal spot to meet other mothers in your same predicament. Make friends, let your kids make friends, and then take turns babysitting the group! This can give each parent a chance to get away for a few hours of freedom. Best of all, it's free childcare.
8 Ways to Get Mom Time Even When You Can't Get Away From Your Kids
Let's be honest, there are going to be weeks where bedtimes are pushed, grandparents are unavailable, your partner is travelling for work, and school is not in session. What is a mom to do? We have some relaxing activities that can give you a little reprieve while your kids participate in a parallel way.
In case you didn't know, parallel play is when two or more people engage in the same activity separately, but nearby one another.
Quiet Coloring Hour
Coloring isn't just for kids! It's actually considered a therapeutic exercise that can help to decrease stress. For the moms looking for some 'me time' with no relief in sight, have a coloring hour! Set each of your kids up with a separate coloring book and their own set of colored pencils or crayons.
Next, let them know that this is a quiet coloring session, so there is no talking allowed. Then, turn on some relaxing music and show off your artistic side!
15-Minute Family Meditation
Stretching and concentrated breathing have always been solid relaxation techniques. However, it's hard to find your Zen when you're surrounded by shrieking children. Thankfully, Headspace is a meditation app that actually has exercises for kids! The easiest way to make sure that everyone stays on task is to follow these three steps:
- Pick a room without distractions. Areas without toys or a television are a great choice. You can also do this outside on a nice day.
- Give everyone a beach towel. This will be their 'mat' that they need to stay on for the meditation exercise.
- Conduct your exercises while listening to music. Stretch for one song. Breathe deeply for another. Engage in yoga poses as more tunes play in the background. This gives your kids a clear beginning and end to each exercise, which helps them stay focused.
Get in the Garden
Both tactile and outdoor activities have been shown to reduce stress! This makes gardening the perfect place to find some peace! Best of all, you can focus on this outdoor exercise while your kids play in view. Parents can also have their kids help with this activity by having them start a vegetable garden. This helps build independence and serves as a fun sensory activity.
Go for a Scenic Drive
If you live in an area with nice views, then consider packing some snacks, loading the kids up in the car, and going for a relaxing drive. Lower the windows, crank up the tunes, and tell everyone to simply enjoy the scenery. This is a great mom time activity because you know your kids are safe, but you get a chance to reflect while in the front seat.
Screen time isn't always a bad thing! If you need a break, but your kids seem uneager to engage in this trip to nowhere, grab a tablet or phone, a pair of wireless headphones, and let them enjoy an episode of their favorite show while you recharge.
Do Separate Puzzles Together
Similar to coloring, puzzles are another relaxing activity that you can do solo, but as a group. Let everyone pick out a puzzle or two and take some time to piece together your thoughts.
Enjoy Sensory Play
Engaging the senses is yet another wonderful way to unwind and lower anxiety. This is why fidget toys are so popular. Parents can either buy their own pop it puzzles or they can create a sensory bin that everyone can enjoy! This can be a great way to bond with your kids and unplug from the world at the same time.
Designate a Daily Journal Time
If you have slightly older kids, this can be an excellent tool for everyone. Each day, set aside 15 minutes that everyone has to go into a separate room and write out their thoughts. These journal entries can serve as a way to get out frustrations, brag about amazing moments in the day, and dream about hopes for the future.
Have a Quiet Dance Session
Similar to a silent disco, everyone in the house will grab a pair of headphones and a device that outputs music. This can be a phone, tablet, CD player, or a portable eight-track player, if you still have one lying around. Then, have everyone jam out to their favorite tunes in their own little world!
Get Creative With Your Mom Time
Me time for moms can be hard to come by, if you're looking inside the box. However, when you take the time to think creatively, you will find simple moments for me time in everyday life.