The following is by contributor Rae Grant of My Little Hen.
I‘ve been thinking about how I want to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. I’ve been a mom now for over a decade. While I love it, and it ranks as one of the best choices I ever made in life besides marrying my husband, I do sometimes feel that I am on the merry-go-round of life. Sometimes it’s dizzying, twirling and endlessly busy. Staying at home or going to a job, making a nice dinner or ordering take out, cleaning the house or hanging out and going for a quiet walk. No matter what walk of life we are on, we moms have so many demands and choices to make!
Celebrating Mother’s Day is a great opportunity step off the merry-go-round. It’s a chance to relax and regroup about our role as caregivers and how we choose to take care of ourselves.
Moms are on the job a 24/7. This time commitment lasts for years and for some, a lifetime. As a mom, one quickly learns that our kids take top priority and many of our own personal and long-term decisions and choices end up revolving around the needs of other people. That giving is what makes women good mothers, yet it is can also be what takes the life and fire out of motherhood.
Quite frankly, it can make a soul tired.
Sometimes, we need to stop and get off the ride. Looking around at other women I’ve watched over the years and reflecting on my own experiences as “mom”, I came up with a simple Mother’s Day list of reminders that I wish someone had told me. They are simple, somewhat random observations but took years in the making. If you don’t mind I’d like to share them with you here, for Mother’s Day.
Take a Me Break
1. Taking a ME break from the role of mom is as important and healthy for us as it is for the entire family. Learn to recognize your limits. Many women are trained to serve and comfort. Reverse the tendency to give out and instead give in to your own interests or needs.
2. Take naps to restore yourself. My mom, who had 5 children, told this to me and I always remembered it. I still nap on the weekends when I get the time.
3. Exercise and stay fit. Long sleepless nights, years of mothering will make you tired. Nothing replenishes one’s body and spirit like exercise, fresh air and sunlight. I would love to take up dancing this year. One of my old friends just started Flamenco as a way to connect with her Spanish roots!
Photo by Gilles Larrain
4. Get a good haircut (once in awhile). Nothing makes me feel snappier than a good hairstyle. I can go months without this so it is always a treat and joy to have some style!
5. Don’t forget old friends. Although we can become entrenched in motherhood and new mom friends, our old friends who knew us before motherhood are old treasures. Stay in touch with them, meet up for coffee or a movie. Our home and family life, while most important, isn’t our only dimension.
6. Dream and wonder about yourself. Just as you would encourage your own children to imagine what they might become, give yourself that same consideration. It feels good to be dreamy!
7. Learn the pleasure of a taking time. A simple lunch alone, or having a cup of tea by a window will do wonders for anyone who is busy and in a demanding job. Gaze and think over tea, or just relax and observe.
8. Keep a creative project on a low fire, always. There is no better focus than a creative project to return to when we have little windows of free time. It could be a cooking project, sewing, painting, thrifting, or gardening. Creative projects help us to stay in touch with our own aspirations and keep us connected to ourselves.
9. Do take hot bubble baths. Take lots of them and often. Have on hand a wonderful bottle of aromatic bubble bath. Leave the care of the children to your husband or partner.
Photo by Deutsches Bundesarchiv
10. Breakfast in Bed. A very rare thing for me but how nice, once a year, to stay in bed and have a tray of coffee, a favorite coffee cake and fresh fruit served to you! That’s what I’ll request this year.
So that’s my short and not so profound list. What things do you like to do to take a break from being mom?
Happy Mother’s Day!
Click here for Cooking Fun’s “Mom’s Coffee Cake.” It’s delicious once a year!