Here we are at the final part of the series on tips for working moms. We have talked already about mindset, prioritizing, and removing distractions in part 1 which you can find here. In part 2, we discussed practical tasks that can make family time run more smoothly. You can find that article here. In this final post, we will discuss essential things that should be included in your schedule to make you a happy healthy mom. We will also talk about why they are so important. Sometimes as working moms we feel like we need to spend 100% of our time outside of work with our kids. We can feel like time out for ourselves or with our significant other will only decrease our quality time with our kids even more. The thing is, if we don't nurture our relationship with our spouses and ourselves, we may have increased time with our kids but far less quality.
If you spend more time with your kids but don't take anytime for yourself, your kids get a crankier, more exhausted you. It's better to take some time out so you can be your best self. The following tips are things that need to be included in your monthly calendar to be your happiest self.
1. Spend Time with Your Partner
This is important for so many reasons. Firstly, it's important to let your partner know that they are still an essential part of your life even though you have kids. They need to feel important and wanted as well. Spending quality time with your partner can help you relax. Take a break from talking about kids and stresses and bills and just enjoy each other's company. This helps you promote a healthy relationship between the two of you. This is important not only for yourselves, but it is also important to model healthy relationships for your children.
Secondly, alone time with your partner helps you get on the same page as far as the kids. Know what their current favorite thing is, or what they are having trouble with in school. You want to discuss how you are handling different situations with your kids so can have consistent behavior.
Lastly, you need to have intimate time with your partner. This is essential to a healthy, happy relationship. Sometimes you might feel exhausted from your day and just not be in the mood. Do it anyway. You will get in the mood. A lot of the time, it's one of those things where you can fake it til you make it. It brings you closer to your partner and can reduce stress, the very thing that was preventing you from getting in the mood in the first place.
Try to plan at least a couple date nights during the month, have a few evenings to chat about family stuff, and be intimate as much as possible.
2. Fit in Some "Me Time"
The unhappiest, most depressed moms are the ones who feel like they are constantly giving. They give to their job, their children, their spouses, their family, their community. They lose themselves by taking on the happiness and well being of everyone else. They put themselves last.
This is an absolutely terrible idea. In order to be the best mom you can be, you should be happy and fulfilled. People can tell when you are faking it, especially kids. By fitting in a little me time, you can renew your whole energy. It doesn't have to be a weekend away at the spa to be effective. It just has to be something that makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
I love dance; it is my passion. When I am not pregnant I rehearse and perform with a dance company. This is my time to do something just for me. We rehearse one day a week, a few weeks a month and perform a few times a year. This is something I need in my life to be my happiest self. Sometimes I feel bad leaving Tyler behind with grandma when I leave to rehearse, but I always feel reinvigorated after rehearsal. I'm excited to see him and he's excited to see me.
You might take some time out during the week for a group fitness class and enjoy the community of other women. Maybe its a mani/pedi at the nail salon. Maybe a monthly brunch with your girlfriends. Whatever it is that makes you happy and feel like yourself, make time for it. It can only make you a better mom. Your kids will thank you for it later!!
3. Plan Specific Family Time Activities
I know you love your kids. I love mine too. But sometimes after a long day, I cannot keep up with the sporadic switching from activity to activity and game to game. I want to spend time with Tyler, but I'm tired. Especially now at 38 weeks pregnant, going from puzzles to Legos to Mashems to puppets to everything else all in one evening just makes my head hurt thinking about it.
One or 2 nights a week plan specific family time activities. Tell your kids ahead of time, so its something to look forward to. for example you can have an Star Wars movie night. Make popcorn and get them in their favorite Darth Vader jammies. Enjoy the movie together as a family. You get to spend time together and it feels like its an event for the kids.
You can plan a family game night. Play Candy land and have the different candies from the game. If you land on that area of the board you get the candy. You can make or buy gingerbread men and decorate them together. You might play Candy Land all the time, but this makes it a special event.
Little things you can do to make an ordinary event a little more special will be greatly appreciated by your kids.
I really hope you enjoyed this series of tips for working moms. I know I enjoyed putting the articles together. We can't be perfect all the time. Some months things come up and we might miss a date night, or my me time might get short changed. We might let mom guilt slip in once in a while or we might accidentally double book a date. But if we make an effort to work on these 9 tips, we will be happier, healthier, better, more loving moms.
In light of the upcoming birth of baby Hailey, on Friday, we will be talking about the transition from one to two kids. Since I do not yet have experience with this, I have compiled interviews from a few bloggers and we will be hearing their advice on how to get through this change. I will see you then.