Moms are often the most selfless people you will ever meet. They give up their careers to stay home with their children. They trade their late nights with the girls for early bedtimes and Yoga pants. They spend their extra money on diapers and formula instead of fancy purses or shoes.
Becoming a mom can change just about anyone but many moms forget that there is still more to them than just “mom.” They can still be a friend, a wife, a daughter, a woman. Moms need to remember to put themselves as a priority. This doesn’t mean they stop thinking of their kids and spouse, it simply means they take a few hours here and there for themselves.
I’ve found I’m able to do this by enjoying these three pastimes. These aren’t things I ever really thought I would enjoy but I quickly became attached to the emotional and mental benefits of doing each one. Therefore I give you three things all moms need to do for themselves:
Crochet: This could just as easily be knitting, cross-stitching, latch hook, or sewing. I learned how to crochet by watching instructional videos on Youtube. I’m not a crafty person and I don’t really crochet for crafty purposes. I crochet to keep my hands busy. I can do this while relaxing after the kids go to bed. I can do this while bouncing the girls in their bouncers or during nap time.
I try to focus on small projects (baby hats, scarves, finger puppets, and toddler crowns are all examples of my creations). This allows me to feel accomplished at least once a week when after just a collective 2-3 hours, I have a finished project. When the week seems completely chaotic, having a way to accomplish just one thing feels pretty amazing! We need this sense of accomplishment as moms to keep us going.
Read: Reading is an excellent way to enter a new world. Don’t feel guilty about it. Our family will likely not get a vacation for at least a year, if not more, so reading is about the only way to escape to somewhere less insane! Don’t have a collection of books at home (that include more than 12 pages…)? Check out your local library for options to check out books for free.
Also, if you have a smart phone, download a free reading application such as Stanza and link it to websites like Epubbud to get free downloads. If you aren’t really into the literary classics, read books that have been turned into major motion pictures. It’s normally a safe bet that these books will be very entertaining and hard to put down. Some of my favorites are the obvious Harry Potter series, Twilight Saga, and The Hunger Games series. There’s 15 recommendations right there for you!
Run: Even if you aren’t a runner, like Nike says, “Just do it!” There are a million different articles out on the Internet giving you the benefits of running. For me (and for many of my mom friends) the health benefits are simply the icing on the cake. We run to clear our heads. It’s hard to think about anything else when you are pushing your body past its normal abilities. It gives you an adrenaline rush and makes you feel more alive.
By spending 20-30 minutes, just 3 days a week running you will have more energy and be happier and if other moms are anything like me, more energy is like gold! Not sure how to get started? Research the Couch-to-5k program. It will help you start out slowly and build up. Customize it to your comfort level, even if that means you are completing week one more often than any other week.
It’s hard as a mom to remember to do things for ourselves. We are programmed to always being taking care of others so when we have to turn that switch off, it feels unnatural at first. It’s important though. To be the best moms (and wives) we can be, we have to make sure our mental states are in as best shape as possible. I encourage all the moms out there to start at least one of these activities. Once you feel the benefits, you’ll quickly want to start more.
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