I’m a working mom and sometimes have a hard time relaxing.
I recognize the need to relax. And I’m certainly finding more time these days in which to relax. But I’m just not wired to do so. My mother and grandmother are the same way. We can’t sit still. We have to be doing something every moment we are awake. Ants in our pants to a tee.
But I’m constantly fighting those genetics and breaking some cycles.
When I’m not at work, I’m playing with my kids, doing chores, COOKING, or writing. If I do find extra time outside of these areas, I go into zombie stare mode and don’t know what to do. Sure, there are lots of things I could do. Clean more, scour the web for wholesome recipes, help build a secret lair with legos, fight for orphans, volunteer, learn to play the cello. But why can’t I just relax instead? As in sit on the couch and just chill.
Because I need to feel productive. I’m a task master. I needto check things off my list. It makes me feel like I’m getting stuff done. While I am in fact putting the smackdown on action items, I’m also wearing myself down and don’t even realize it. During all the checking-off of boxes, holes are forming in my bucket as I pour out my water into tasks. How does my bucket get replenished?
It doesn’t. Not if I don’t stop and relax to recharge.
Age brings wisdom, and I love that. This working mom thing is sometimes trial and error and learn-as-we-go. And one thing I’ve definitely learned is that working moms have to recharge their batteries. We don’t have endless supplies of energy and motivation. We need respite sometimes.
Early in my career I attended a Franklin Covey workshop where I learned all about ‘Sharpening My Saw‘. And it totally applies to motherhood. And airplanes. That’s why they say to put your mask on first before helping children to apply theirs.
Maybe you’re a seasoned mom and you already know this. Or maybe you’re a new mom and you’re freaking out sans ‘me’ time to rejuvenate. No matter your stage of motherhood, relaxing is important mentally and physically in order to be the best mom and wife ever.
I’m not saying to schedule a full spa day tomorrow, unless that is something you can fit in your schedule or afford. But I am saying to find some time during the day or evenings to disconnect and refocus on you.
Simple Ways to Relax
- Your Lunch Hour. I used to be bad about working through lunch. I’d be on a creative roll and it was difficult to get out of ‘the zone’. But, I pretty much stopped cold turkey and started leaving the office for lunch. After a while, I realized it was glorious having that time to go out to eat, away from my desk, or go run errands, or go to Hobby Lobby and indulge my Pinterest desires.
- After The Kids Go To Bed. Granted, I’m not worth much after getting the kids to bed, but for you night owls, this may be your prime ‘me’ time. Maybe there’s a show on TV you want to watch and can relax during that time. Or you just chill on the couch with a good book.
- Naps. Oh, how I miss the days my kids took naps. Not only did I get a lot of laundry done during that time, but I caught up on sleep too. If you have small kids who still nap, PTL! I know it’s tempting to get chores done during naptime, but maybe take one naptime per week and use that for your own saw sharpening, like painting your nails or reading mommy blogs.
- Go Dark on Social Media. Not saying to delete or deactivate your social media accounts. Just put the phone down and disconnect from everything but you for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour – however much time you can squeeze in to refocus on you.
You aren’t a bad mother for needing a little respite. You are human for needing it. Be kind to yourself. Feeling relaxed and recharged will help you be a better mom. You’ll feel energized and like your ‘me’ tank has been refilled. Just be sure to schedule in relaxation time every week. If you can’t make it work one week, get back on track the following week. Balance isn’t easy, and it won’t come without consciously scheduling relaxation. How do you make time to relax?