As a mom, I understand just how important (and difficult) it is to get some “me time.” Common excuses for not treating yourself to some pampering include these (and some others):
- I don’t have the money.
- I don’t have the time.
- My kids come first (and, yes, they should come before you, but you do still need to do some things for yourself.)
- I don’t spend money on myself.
- I’ve tried, but it always gets ruined.
- I have needy kids and they won’t let me relax.
Many, even all of those may be true, but it is possible to get some quality, inexpensive time to relax and rejuvenate. I want to share some of those ways with you and give you an opportunity to pamper yourself even more (by giving away cash!)
1. Take a Bath
Once your kids are asleep, and really asleep, before you go to bed take even 10 minutes to relax in a nice, warm bath. Dim the lights, place some candles (safely) around the room, add some bath salts or bubble bath to the water, sip some tea, and maybe even turn on some soft music (quietly, so you don’t wake the kids.) I cannot begin to tell you how much this little thing helps my attitude, my sore body, and my ability to get a better night’s sleep.
2. Splurge on Something You Want
Okay, I get it’s hard to spend money on yourself, but when I say “splurge” I don’t mean you have to spend a ton, break your budget and avoid doing something fun for your spouse or kids. This can be something as simple and small as a specialty coffee drink, a candy bar, or that new shade of lipstick you’ve been wanting to try (that is sure to boost your confidence!)
3. Get Crafty
Please, don’t bother saying you aren’t crafty. It is in human nature to be crafty. You may not be “the best” or maybe you over-criticize your work, but you are brilliant and creative, just give yourself a chance. Set the kids up with a craft or activity (coloring pages, play dough, threading beads) then sit right at the table with them and make something you enjoy. You can paint a sign for your kitchen, maybe try to learn jewelry making, color patterns, even join in the play dough fun (or use clay!)
4. Let Someone Else Cook
Easier said than done, many times, but sometimes you just need a break from cooking and you can find a way. If you can afford to eat out, visit your favorite restaurant. If you can’t (or dislike eating out), ask your husband to cook something simple (mine loves to make breakfast foods–pancakes, sausage, cut up fresh fruit.) You can even get your kids involved. They may make a little mess. They may only make a pb&j sandwich. But you can enjoy being pampered by your family while giving them a chance to be in control. Check out my list of kid-made recipes.
5. Go for a Walk
I realize this sounds like work, but it can be so relaxing! If you have to take your kids along, let them ride in the stroller and eat some snacks while they enjoy the fresh air. Listen to some music or the sounds of nature around you. Try to walk somewhere relaxing if you can (or if you enjoy the hustle and bustle that works too.) Walking can help boost your mood, relieve stress, help you feel healthier, and give you time to meditate and get out of the stuffy house.
6. Get a Mani-Pedi
No, you do not need to go out and spend tons of money on a mani-pedi at a nail salon. If you have the time and budget to, then go for it, but I know I don’t. What you can do is soak your feet, file your nails, and paint them yourself. You can even have your kids paint your nails (over some newspaper) and see what they come up with! If they get it all over your toes, no worries. Just take a cotton swab and some nail polish remover and clean up the edges.
7. Play with Your Hair
You can do this either by braiding and unbraiding, trying new styles, or even playing with your child’s hair (if you have a girl, experiment with different types of updos.) Don’t want to play with your own hair? Let your kids brush it, braid it, or add bows and clips!
8. Play Dress Up
That’s right, you can play dress up. You can even get your kids involved. Do your hair and makeup and play with new outfit combinations using what you already own. You may discover some great new ways to wear your clothes. Have a fancy dress? Try that too! Give your kids some clothes and accessories and let them join in the fun then snap photos to save the memory.
9. Do Something You Want to Do
Do your kids, or even your spouse, dictate what you do for fun? Maybe they don’t force it, but you don’t speak up and say what you would enjoy. I get it. I almost always let them do whatever they would prefer, but sometimes you just need to say, “Hey, I really want to do ____.” Maybe you want to work on a puzzle with the whole family or watch a new movie that came out. Maybe it’s family board game night or you just want to walk the mall. Set a date to do whatever Mom wants to do, kind of like a date night, but for the whole family and Mom picks the activities.
10. Make a Special Treat Just for You
Don’t go crazy with it and eat two dozen cookies or make a family favorite and dangle it in front of them saying “nana nana boo boo, this isn’t for you.” Do, however, make something small that you enjoy, keep it out of sight of the others (or make them something different to share) and find a quiet time and place to enjoy it. Yes, you can find quiet time. Yes, it may be difficult, but this can be when (and if) the kids nap, after they have fallen asleep, or while they are preoccupied with an activity. You can even enlist Dad to take them out for a treat while you enjoy yours at home (or have your family stay home if you would rather go out and buy yourself a treat.)