Being a stay home mom is a challenge, if you are reading this, you are having 3 minutes of "free" or maybe your kids are jumping or calling your name for the 100th time in the past 5 minutes. While I'm writing this, my 1-year-old is watching TV, which I know it's not ideal but #guiltfreelife.
So this is why we forget about ourselves often, we forget that we are a priority and that we need to be ok, that sometimes we need to push the pause button to recharge.
A while back I was getting so frustrated because I wasn't getting enough time for myself; I was looking through social media at other moms posting girls' nights out, trips with their significant others, spa days, shopping days, getting their nails done, etc. Then I read somewhere about how self-care and self-love do not always come in that form, that if we put attention to our daily routine, we might be doing some little things and not giving ourselves credit for it. For example, putting on makeup every day! I love doing it, and I do it almost every day, so that's at least 3 minutes. Or there are also days when I have a few extra minutes and I wear a hair treatment.
So yes, my daily dose of self-love might look different, but it's something I'm doing for me, and that's more than enough.
Here are some ideas you might find handy; it doesn't matter if you have 3 or 10 minutes, make yourself a priority and try at least one.
If you have less than 5 minutes
Put make-up on. Just the basics, enough to make you feel pretty and more important, feel that you are doing something for yourself. It makes me feel better when I know I have great eyelashes and my favorite lipstick on.
Pick an outfit you like. I get tired of grabbing the same pair of black leggings and an oversized shirt. So, somedays I enjoy picking something different! Besides, every time I wear something I haven't used in a long time, I get a compliment from my daughter, and that makes me feel great.
Make a to-do list. Even if you already know what you have to do, putting it on paper and then crossing it out when done can make you feel accomplished.
Watch something funny. Yes, TikTok or Reels, but fun ones, something that makes you laugh.
Take your vitamins. I don't know if it happens to you, but I forget to get my probiotics almost daily. Making your health a priority is self-love; take that extra minute to get a glass of water and take your vitamins EVERY DAY!
Skincare routine. Ok, this might take more time, but during busy mornings you can try to stick to the basics and then do the extended version at night.
Meditation. I'm still learning how to do this; luckily there are several free apps. Find some here.
If you have 10 minutes or more
You can take a shower and add extra pampering. It can be a hair treatment, a facial mask, or just shaving your legs. Yeah, it would be great to be able to do it all at the same time, exfoliate, then a hair treatment, a facial mask, and shave your legs; the next best thing, do 1 thing each day.
Drink your morning coffee outside. Being outdoors always helps, take 10 and sit outside without your kids, drink your coffee or tea and just get ready for the day.
Do a list of 10 things you are grateful for. You don't have to actually write them, but just take time to think about these things.
Listen to a podcast. Try to listen to one that is not related to motherhood, there are lots of other topics like self-care, self-love, life, work, and so on.
Check your email. This one sounds so basic because we have our phones with us all day but sometimes we don't actually read emails, reply or delete, etc. Just some organization to feel less overwhelmed.
Snack. Prepare a snack just for you, no goldfish or leftovers from your kids, your favorite snack. And more important, eat it by yourself. My favorite is one rice cake with almond butter, banana, maple syrup, and hemp seeds on top.
More than 20 minutes
Read a few pages. If you love reading, it is hard sometimes to finish a book with so many things going on around the house. My own goal is to read at least 10 pages a day, sometimes I do it right before bed or sometimes when I wake up at 5:30 am. When I finish a book, I'm glad I dedicated some time to it.
Take a walk. Here you can combine talking on the phone with a friend or listening to a podcast while you walk. Again, it doesn't matter at what time; we might have to schedule this 20 minutes with our partners so he can take of the kids and that is great, asking for what we need.
Workout. There are lots of online programs for busy moms or busy women; it's better to do 15 to 30 minutes than nothing.
1 hour or more
If you have time to plan something that will take more time, yay! Here are some ideas. I like to put it on my calendar and send it to my husband (I actually send meeting requests to him so that he can block that from his work calendar).
Dinner with friends.
Schedule a massage. You don't need a whole spa day, but what about a 30-minute relaxing massage?
Work on your hobby. If you don't have a hobby, this is the sign that you should get one. I think it's better if it doesn't involve spending lots of money, that way you can do it more often and not have to skip it if you are trying to cut your expenses. My favorite hobby is cooking, I try to do a new recipe once a week and I ask my husband for alone time.
Go shopping. Yes, this might involve spending money, but the objective is doing it alone, without kids; it doesn't matter if you buy a pair of sneakers or re-do your whole wardrobe.
Cook your favorite meal. As with the snack, cook something you love and... EAT IT WHILE STILL WARM. It is optional to share it with your significant other, or eat it while watching your favorite TV show.
Anyway, as you can see there are many things you can do, it's not about time, but about making it a priority. Maybe you are already doing some of these things, be sure you are giving credit to yourself and really enjoying doing them.