Why Alone Time Is Important even For Super Mom

As women, we try to do it all. Most often things get done with the exception of self-love and care.

How many times have you heard a new mom or even a seasoned mom struggle with needing time alone?

I get it. Raising a family is a full-time hands-on job and some of you even have jobs and careers piled on top of that. It’s not easy to take time out of these busy days and just give that time to yourself.

 

 

What Moms are Saying…

Michelle – ” I get to go to the bathroom by myself…that’s about it. Yes, even going to the gym alone, I feel guilty. I already have to be away from them so much. The only time I get to carve time out for myself is when my husband and boys are watching sports on TV and I plug my headphones in to watch Netflix. That’s EXTREMELY rare though, because now I have to focus on writing because Sunday is the day that I get a lot of writing done.”

Hannah – I would love to take time to do something for me but I can’t my kids are always with me.
I do not feel guilty if by some chance i don’t do something with them because that is So rare it’s happened once since my second was born.
I get from the hours of 9 to 11 by myself witch actually I spend not even alone with my so cleaning up.

Patricia – ” It’s not alone per say, but my husband and I go away for a weekend with just the 2 of us every February. And once a month we go to lunch and Costco with just the 2 of us. And also shoot for a date night once a month. I don’t feel bad or guilty about this at all, and the kids get to spend quality time with their aunts and uncles and cousins.”

Rebecca-” I definitely take time to do things on my own. Yeah I’m a mother, but I’m still my own person too. I shouldn’t have to lose my own identity because I have a child.”

You know you're a mother when shopping alone is considered a mini vacation

So when you do get time alone…

How many of us feel guilt. Raise your hand… Come on raise them. Yes, that’s more like it almost all of you. Us mommies are givers not takers but guess what? You deserve time for you and the things you enjoy. Not only do you deserve it. Mom, you know the truth here it is a need, a must do.

We all need time to recharge and refocus. Guess what, not only do you deserve it you owe it to you family, to your children and you. Because when you return, you will be happier and able to give of yourself better.

Yes, I get that we can not very often get a whole day away. Though you should do that as well sometimes but here are ten quick ideas for a quick mommy recharge while someone else is in charge of the baby, kids, dog, cat, fish, messes so for a moment forget all that.

 

  1. A walk – Just get out into the fresh air and the sunshine. No matter how terrible I feel the sun always helps as does exercise. Are you feeling more adventurous? How about a hike?
  2. A long hot bath   One rule no rubber duckies or small people asking questions like “Why are you in the tub? Can I come in?” Even better bring in a book to read while you soak. How about you add in some really wonderful Bath bombs and make it a treat?
  3. Meet up with a friend – Go have a coffee or whatever it is both like. Imagine this an ice-cream you don’t have to share? Best of all you get to hear another adult chit chat and I am sure she won’t ask to lick your ice-cream or prevent you from drinking a coffee while it is hot!
  4. Take a nap.- Yes, sleep is a wonderful tool for rejuvenation.
  5. Go you your favorite store –  Alone. Browse the aisles and no don’t run down to the toy isle because you feel guilty the kids are not in tow. Think of things you love. Make-up, a book, clothes, no…clothes for you, not the kids stay with me here.
  6. Watch a movie –  Find a favorite feel good movie or one you have been waiting to see that does not include trolls or any other animated character. I often do this at night after the little ones are tucked in instead of cleaning. The cleaning can wait.
  7. Beauty time – Do something that makes you feel beautiful like a spa day, time at the gym, a manicure just anything that gives you a lift and makes you look and feel wonderful.
  8. Take a class –  Sharpen a skill or learn a new one. That is very grown up and cuts out a clear time for you to escape um I mean take a break. A friend of mine use to go to pottery class and made some really cool stuff. I should have taken up her offer to join her but I was busy thinking I was super mom. (I was really just super worn out mom) Hindsight ladies.
  9. Got a Hobby? – Get a hobby something you immensely enjoy and make time for it.
  10. Have an Adventure – Go for a drive, listen to your favorite music maybe go to a favorite spot or take a new road and go somewhere you have never been or wanted to see.

The importance of time alone for mothers www.simplymoms.net

More from Our Moms…

Anonymous –   In some ways I’m a bit of an introvert and need quiet alone time to refresh and regroup. No, I don’t feel one bit guilty. By taking care of myself it allows me to take better care of my kids. I’m a better mom when I don’t have to be switched on all the time. I take time to meet friends for dinner a couple times a month or just run to the store by myself and we try to have a date night once a month.

” you know you’re a mom when grocery shopping sans kids counts as “quiet, alone time”.

Anonymous– I’m usually not alone, unless they are in school and I go to the store, I go to get my hair done by myself that’s the only thing I do alone.
When I’m at work, I feel guilty, especially if it is a weekend or they are on break.

Jessica – “Yes, sometimes. But rarely and it’s never anything fun. Sometimes when the kids are at school I’ll have someone watch The little one so I can shop alone or go to an appointment.”

Tanya – I don’t remember a time since my girls were born that I did anything alone. When my boys were 5, 7 and 8 and I left their dad, I did get to do stuff by myself but always felt guilty but they were with their dad. Now with my my girls being almost 3 and 18 months We don’t have anyone to watch them and I don’t have any real life friends to go hang out with. I don’t really even have bedtime because I work 7 to 11 mon thru friday. 

What will you do for yourself this week? 

Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.  We love hearing what you Mamas have to say!

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Love Jennifer

 

Books Little Miss Toddler Loves

The one thing I have always loved doing was reading to my children. My fifteen year old still likes me to read to him to this day. Now, Little Miss Toddler loves books every bit as much as my children did and she is always bringing me a book and her favorite blanket and climbing up into my lap asking me to read to her.

The suggested book images are affiliate links from Amazon. I make a small commission on them for you using the links. This does not cost you anything extra.

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Is a colorfully illustrated story about a giraffe who thinks he can not dance. But an unlikely friend gives him words of encouragement and he is soon dancing to his own music. Little Miss loves the animals in this book and the bright and funny illustrations.

Goodnight Moon

A classic children’s must have for saying good night. Little Miss is in love with the moon. The moment she touched this book it was a favorite.

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.

Ten Little Monkeys

Little miss loves the repetitiveness and the silly pictures of the monkeys jumping on the bed. A classic rhyming story that helps develop number skills. I have been listening to her recite this now for days. So it is clear it is well loved.

Peek-Who?

Two things Little Miss loves animals and surprises. This book has both as it provides only a peek of what animal will be on the next page through the die cuts. It is very colorful and a rhyming text. For me, it is a short read which is nice for those times I am busy and want to read her a quick book.

What are your toddler’s favorite books?

Love Jennifer

Friday Favorites From Little Miss Toddler

Little Miss Toddler has a rough couple of weeks a cough, fever and an ear infection. She remained the sweetest happiest little girl I know through it all. This is a little glimpse into her world. Her Friday Favorites.

Little Miss Toddler and her Friday Favorites

  1. Barbies

    This little girl adores her Barbies and thanks to Great Nana and I she has a large collection of about 25 of them. I had her pull a few of her favorites from the large pile. Her Uncle J. Bought her a small Barbie house that has a toilet and her Barbies spend a lot of time using that and jumping on the bed.

Barbies both new and vinatge

2. Pink

She clearly understands this week what having a favorite color means. She is choosing pink these days on a regular basis. This photo was a challenge because though she helped me pick all the pink stuff she wanted to show you. She also wanted to play with it LOL.

Pink

3. The Foot Book by Dr. Suess

When I asked her to bring me her favorite book I knew this would be the one. I know it by heart, she knows it word for word. Hands down this little girls favorite. It is one of my favorites as well.

The Foot Book by Dr Suess

4. VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Enchanted Princess Palace

This gets played with every single day. She immerses herself into pretend play. Interestingly she keeps the sound off. She loves making her “people” go up the stairs and talk. She uses her Little People (Fisher Price) to place with this set as well. My joy is listening in on her pretend play.

VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Enchanted Princess Palace

5. Being out side.

This girl is so happy that the snow is gone. We spent an hour out on the deck the other day blowing bubbles and playing. She kept coming to me telling me it was sunny out and hot. Such joy on her little face. Little Miss Toddler reminds me daily of the simple joys in life.

Sunglasses and outside

What are your toddler’s favorite things this week?

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Love Jennifer

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Five on Friday Link Up

Chores and how to Successfully get the Children to Help

It often gets asked on the Simply Moms facebook Group how do you get your children to do chores? How much do you pay them to help out? Why won’t my kids clean their room and messes?

Having personally been through many stages of parenting. I have raised that child who does not want to lift a finger, the one who cleans everything in sight because they have OCD tendencies and all those in between.

Chores and getting children to help. www.simplymoms.net

I have been successful however in getting every child in my home to help out right down to Little Miss Toddler.

  1. Start when they are very young. 

    While a two-year-old will not have anywhere near the skills of your six or twelve-year-olds they can still help out with small age appropriate jobs and they should. This starts a firm foundation for life of understanding the value of being part of the family unit.

  2. We do not pay for chores.

    No-one pays mom to wash everyone’s dishes or wash clothes that everyone wore. We do not pay children for daily chores they are simply part of being a family and always have been. That has been our rule from day one. We pay with thank yous and I love yous.

  3. There are no assigned chores.

    We do things as they need to be done. Some days my son doesn’t mind dealing with the trash and other days he would rather go out and snow blow.  I tend to just call on the children as things need to be done so they are not stuck doing the same thing day after day.  It keeps the monotony at bay.

  4. Together is always more fun.

    If the yard needs cleaning you will find most of our family out there together cleaning. Even small things like dishes or cleaning a room are always more fun with help. Like the old saying, many hands make for light work.

  5. Make a game of it.

    Often times I will set a timer and we will race to see who can do the most. Or have a little one Play basketball with laundry that needs to be tossed in a hamper. We even incorporate learning with Little Miss Toddler such as asking her to pick up all the green blocks or pick up all the round toys.

  6. Give the whole family a reward for those big jobs.

    When the barn needing cleaning at the end of the weekend we all had a big cookout to celebrate. It’s not the same as a set allowance per chore it is more a celebration of coming together and working hard.

  7. Hold that Wifi!

    For the older children who love their computer time and such, we simply shut down the Wi-fi until things are done. Even as an adult I find it easier to get things done if I am no longer “connected”. It is a great incentive to get things done.

  8. Keep the rules simple.

    I have always taught my children you use it you put it away. You drop it you pick it up. It keeps it simple and them accountable for themselves.

  9. Cut down on things.

    As a family, we have cut way back on the clutter in our lives. It makes it far more easy to clean not only for myself but for the children to help out as well.

  10. Have a place for everything.

    If your children know where things go it will make helping with chores and be cleaning up after themselves much easier for you and them. When I need my can opener I know just where to look. Because everyone in the family knows where to put it after it has been used. A place for everything and everything in its place.

How do you get your children to help with chores? 

Be sure to stop by our parenting group for more on this topic from moms like you!

Love Jennifer

 

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This week we have linked up with The Homemaking Link up.

Toys Toddlers Will Really Play With

Recently I stood in the center of Little Miss Toddlers room shaking my head. She had just dumped a bunch of toys everywhere and ran for the hills. It was a new game she named on her very own called “Make a Mess” What I could not figure out was with so many toys why would she just keep dumping everything and taking off. Then a light came on.

There were just too many toys.

Like way too many. Some really useless, noise making, no imagination needed toys. It was time to sort, declutter and put away some of these things. So Little Miss Toddler and I worked on that over last weekend. The list I am giving you is essentially what she is left with now in her room.

Toys your toddler will really play with and love that foster learning

Then after things were gone and what was left was put away Little Miss Toddler did something she had not done in a long time.

She sat at her table and colored, then she put a puzzle together…She played with her toys.

Less IS more.

This is our Most LOVED by Little Miss Toddler Toy List

  • Cars and trucks
  • Blocks (Wooden and plastic interlocking types)
  • Baby dolls
  • Something to push around such as a doll stroller or a shopping cart
  • Kitchen set, dishes and pretend food
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Books
  • Crayons, coloring book and a scribble pad
  • Dress up clothes simple things to put on such as funny hats, sunglasses and the like.
  • A play set such as a doll house, garage, or castle that includes people, cars, and animals
  • Stacking cups
  • A shape sorting toy
  • A ride on toy or trike
  • A child size table and chairs
  • Ball
  • Bubbles
  • Play dough
  • Non-toxic or homemade paints
  • A bin for playing with water, rice, beans or other sensory items
  • Barbies just because our little REALLY loves them

Toddler plays with a bin of water out on the deck

Often times the most simple things provide hours of fun for a young child. Water play is an excellent example of this.

Open-ended toys that allow imagination to take over are most often the best choices.

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Love Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

Five On Friday (Link Up)

This post was inspired by the Five on Friday Link up.

One

Last night we decided to go out to dinner with the kids at the Home Town Buffet and roam around the Maine Mall for a bit of time after my hubby got home from work after eating we ended up over at best buy. I decided to break away ad go admire cameras. (A girl can dream, right?)  Because at tax time we decided to forgo the camera we had picked so I could have a new computer. Hubby walked up behind me and says “That’s a nice camera. Is that the one you want?” I told him at some point I would like it. He picks it up and buys it…Along with a camera bag, new rechargeable batteries, and a bag. So my number one is how blessed I feel by my husband’s gift. There were things he needed that he put aside for me.

Sony  DSC - H300

Two

Friday visits from my little Grandson and his daddy are always a great ending to my weekdays. Watching my son interact with his son is heartwarming to me.

son and father

Three

I have a great little playmate in Little Miss Toddler. My girls never liked Barbies and she adores those Barbies! My cute little excuse to get down and play with them and of course her! Just look at that smile!

toddler and barbies

 

Four

Finally, the two plus feet of snow is starting to disappear from my yard and I am not complaining in the least. I am ready for kiddie pools, popsicles, sunglasses, tall cold glasses of sweet tea and sunshiny days. I am even excited to start the spring yard clean up.

Spring is Coming

Five

This week I happened to get my box from Pinch Me. It’s nice to get something in the mail besides bills. New FREE body wash is a pretty cool sample and Lucky Old Boy will enjoy his wet dog food treat. I do not have any affiliation with www.pinchme.com and have not been asked to post this I am simply sharing with you something I enjoy.  So if you love freebies Pinch Me is a pretty cool site.

Pinchme

Did you enjoy this post? We are part of  Five on Friday’s link up. You can find other great blog posts like this one over there and share yours as well. Just click the button below.

To Be A Mother In The Not So Beautiful Moments.

As mothers, we often witness things in our own children that we disapprove of. They are human as are we. I have always told my children I may not love all the things that you do or the choices that you make but I will always love you.

Mothering

The real test comes however when they make some really large choices that affect every person around them. What do you do then when perhaps they have not only altered their life but, perhaps in some way yours as well. What do you do at that moment in time?

I will tell you.

You will love them even more. You will be their safe place. You will not falter or crumble. You will not walk away from them with your eyes averted from disapproving stares from strangers or your social circle. You will love them.

One of my hardest journeys has been to support things that are not my wish, will, choice or way.  I have stood tall and firm with truth, and justice for those without choice. But I have also picked up a million pieces of broken heart, dreams and ideas and willfully handed them back to their rightful owner over and over again with as much love and care as I could muster knowing they may keep repeating their own history.

My children are not perfect. I am not perfect. It is a hard pill to swallow.

But, in every moment I love them for I am their mother.

When Should a Child Do Chores (A Guest Post)

Child_Helping_with_chores

 

Doing chores is something that sooner or later every child should be involved in. However, there is no right moment to start teaching children to clean. No matter the age, all of them are able to take part in the housework, even if it goes about a symbolic participation. While toddlers can pick up toys and fill the dog’s food dish, a 6-year-old can sort laundry and set the table. With patience and positive attitude, everyone can help their child to build the habit of cleaning.

 

If you are a proactive parent, who is determined to familiarize their child with the domestic chores, here is what kind of help you can expect from children at different ages.

 

Chores for children between ages 2 and 3

It is pretty easy to involve children on this age in the cleaning because they accept everything as a game. For instance, if you clap your hands when your child puts a napkin in the garbage bin, they will like that and definitely do it again. The other thing about toddlers is that they are pretty curious and sometimes take the initiative to help even if we haven’t asked them for that. In such moments, the best you can do is to show your child that they are doing something good and you are very happy with that. In this way, you can teach your toddler to put the toys on their place, put clothes in the laundry basket, wipe the exterior of the appliances, dust and other simple tasks.

 

Chores for children between ages 4 and 8

If your child is in this group, you only need to find the right strategy for involving them in the cleaning and very soon you will have a little helper at your disposal. Fortunately, these children are easy to trick. Promise them that you will take them to the cinema or the fun fair and they will accomplish all cleaning duties that you wish. These children are able to cover chores such as making the bed, sort the laundry, sweep the floor, clear the table, etc.

 

Chores for children between ages 9 and 12

These children will fabricate all kind of excuses with the sole purpose of getting away with the cleaning. It won’t be so easy to make a 10-year-old help you with the housework if they haven’t done it before. However, when there is a will, there is a way. If you are persistent enough eventually your child will start putting the groceries in the fridge and the kitchen pantries, vacuum, fold clothes, peel vegetables, change the bed sheets and mop the floor.

 

Chores for children on 13 years old and older

If you have a teenager at home you can count on them for a variety of household duties, such as do the laundry, iron clothes, clean the kitchen, wash the windows, clean the bathroom and much more. Teenagers, however, prefer to be engaged in much more interesting activities than cleaning and you can often be confronted with their refusal to participate in the housework. In such cases cleaners from End of Tenancy Cleaning Agency West London advise that the best thing you can do is to speak with them and explain that the whole family needs to participate in the housework.

 

It is never too early or too late to get your child involved in the housework. Children adapt easily to everything, moreover, cleaning can be a very good way for them to learn what is teamwork and that just like the other members of the family, they also need to contribute to the family life.

 

Bio: Baily loves to help and share her experience. She is a small company owner that provides End of Tenancy Cleaning Agency West London, but most of her time is filled with laughter and cries from her two kids. Having your children help, could be a time saver and a great way to keep them busy.

Eight Solutions For Bored Children.

 Do you have some bored children at home? We have some fun yet simple activity ideas for you. 

eight solutions for bored children

  1. Make Play-Doh

Pretty simple stuff almost everyone has on hand.

Salt Dough

2 cups flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup water

Play Dough

Mix all the ingredients together then knead it into a ball.  If the dough is too dry add a tiny bit of water. If the dough is too wet add a small amount of flour and knead it in well. This homemade play dough can be played with or air-dried and painted.

 

2. Pick an object such as a small ball or toy and take turns hiding it around the house in different places My kids always had fun doing this. I would always get really creative with my hiding. They thought it was so funny when I would hide a purple ball on a blanket almost the same color and they would keep walking right by it.

 

3. Play an old school game from back in your childhood with them such as Red Rover, Mother May I, or Red Light Green Light alternatively,  if you are inside Go Fish, Old Maid or war.

 

4. Write the start a story for them on paper and have them finish it and illustrate it.

 

5. Look up how to make a piñata and make one together. It can be as simple or as complicated as you like.

Minnie Pinata

6. Learn a new recipe together or hand down a family recipe and really let them help prepare it. One of my favorite memories was watching my son learn how to make the bread. I have been making bread for over twenty years. I taught him to bake bread just as I was taught by my own mother.

 

7. Take them outside or to a park. Outdoor play is a great way to burn off excess energy.

 

8. Search coloring pages, print them and sit down and color with them. My children have always loved this.

COLORING PAGES FOR ADULTS

Hello Kids Coloring Pages

Coloring Pages for Girls

Coloring Pages for Boys

 

This post was inspired by  Mama Kats Writer’s Workshop . Click the image below to join.

 

Mama’s Losin’ It

The One Thing I learned This Month (Yes, Toddlers Throw Tantrums)

 

As part of  Mama Kat’s Weekly Writers Workshop  I picked the writing prompt “The One Thing I Learned This Month” There is still time to join the fun.

As a seasoned mom, you would think I would have this under my belt. I have raised almost all of my eight children into adulthood. However, when my sweet Little Miss Toddler (Grandchild of whom I have custody) started throwing tantrums this month I was in shock. I was horrified. I was mortified. So sad and left wondering what on earth did I do here? She went from smiles and tea parties to something that resembled a cat being thrown into a pool and add in tail biting piranha.

Tantrums are normal

Then comes the phone call with my own mother. Here is little Miss Toddler building up to what I can see is a tantrum bubbling up and boiling over. She, of course, wanted to “wash her hands” Well there was no real need and she simply wanted to splash in the sink and turn my kitchen into a pool so I said those dreaded words. Not Right Now…

BAM !

There it was a full-blown tantrum. Including Ear piercing, earth shattering, mind crippling screams of what surely sounded like a child who was being harmed in some hideous way. Then there was the rolling about on the floor like the Tasmanian Devil.

My mother, simply being my mother was baffled. When did this start? Why is she doing that? YOU never did this… Mind you the poor woman has forgotten most of my childhood but, she remembers me being a calm little angel. A young outstanding citizen of toddlerhood. Yes, I set the bar very high as a two-year-old. How I curse my toddler days of good manners and calmness. How wonderful that I was so well-behaved. I was most defiantly the prodigy of two-year-old good etiquette. “She is two Ma, a toddler. They have tantrums. She is fine Ma, she is normal.” Those are all the things I said to her. Then I quickly hung up. One, because I was feeling rather defensive, hurt, and my ego took a pretty good hit. Two because whatever she was saying on the other end of the phone I could no longer hear over Little Miss Toddlers howls about hand washing.


 

So as I set the phone down I ran to Dr. Google of course. What were other moms saying? Am I messing something up… Yep, yep, yep Dr. Google says this is normal. I felt better for a moment. Then I wondered what if all those moms are just messing up too? What if they are just justifying their horrible mistakes so other screw ups like me can feel better. Ugg!
Little Miss Toddler was still screaming, still rolling about still throwing this horrible tantrum. Then… It stopped.

Silence…

She crawled up into my lap and looked into my tired eyes and hugged me tightly. She said she was sorry. She meant it and then she fell fast to sleep. As I sat holding her and watching her sweet angelic face fall deeper into slumber.
I had a revelation. I wasn’t messing up. She was simply tired. Just like all the other children I had raised at that age she had thoughts, ideas, feelings and needs they maybe just can not put into words. Just like myself when I have grumpy moments or days because I am no longer that sweet little harmonious toddler *Insert sarcasm*. I was not messing up and she certainly is not flawed. She is simply growing, learning and testing boundaries. She and I are…get this… You ready? Normal.
What I learned was. It is okay. I am not messing up. A tantrum is simply a small child’s way of handling overload, of letting off steam. I ignore tantrums and keep her safe. I speak to her calmly when she is done. I give hugs, and love and second chances, even fifth and tenth if need be. I keep loving her even when her moment is not good. I set boundaries and she keeps testing them. We are both doing a wonderful job. and You know what… So are you. We are doing a wonderful job raising these little humans.
I learned that other people’s well-intended comments even if they are your own mothers really do not add up to much. I am sure we all like to think we did a bang-up job and our little would never have dared to create such a performance but, I assure you as a child I did as did you. I guess it is sort of like labor we all know it was not easy but, we quickly forget how it really was. We forget details and want to remember the best parts. So forget all the comments, let go of well-meaning but, not so great advice. Because like it or not…

Tantrums are normal. 

 

 

Mama’s Losin’ It