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

 

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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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

 

 

 

 

 

The Word Friendly and Why I Had Stopped Blogging

I joined up Mama Kat’s Writing’s Workshop about a month or so ago. When I joined I was writing pretty regular and getting to know some of the pretty friendly people that also blog and join her link up.  I have known what the prompts were this week for a while now and just keep drawing a blank. Even still as I sit here my mind is just totally frozen. In fact, I have barely blogged at all. But I picked a prompt the word friendly.

So, really no blogs from me this week.

Why?

 

Because of life. Life just threw up all over me and I have not been feeling friendly, happy or like blogging at all.

I have been filling my mind with things like playing Ring Around The Rosie with little Miss Toddler. I sing she sings she holds my hands while jumping wildly on my bed and then we all fall down just so I can hear her laugh. Her laugh that makes everything right in this sometimes very, very messy unfriendly world.

I have been cleaning in a circle like I often do when I am stressed because my ADHD like symptoms show up uninvited when my world brings me for a ride that leaves me hanging on by a thread. This really mean the house is cleaned sub-par for my mind is hyper-focused on other things. So many things get started and left while I trail off to the next.

I wouldn’t call it depression. Maybe frustration that there are certain things in life that I can not fix. Or that nagging feeling I get that tells my mind something is off in life or coming at me and it eats away at me until it finally happens. By the time it happens, I am relieved in one aspect it did, it’s over and now it is about just getting back up and dusting myself off. Righting all those wrongs.

I have decided though it is time to just breath. Let things be and get back to being friendly, and doing the things that make my life have more joy and stop letting life sit so heavy on my shoulders for a while. Breath in … breath out. Ahhh much better already… right?

 

So while this is a lame blog post it is the start of pulling my boots back on by the straps. Therapeutic perhaps? 🙂

 

Tell me, when life does you wrong how do you bounce back?

And I will leave you with some happy moments from my week in case you have been missing our photos.

 

Boxes are a great place to sit for a toddler

Box with a Toddler in it
Little Miss Toddler playing Tablet in her box.

 

Turkey
Turkey for dinner because it is a comfort food and man does my oven need a cleaning. Yup real life.

 

Then go on over to Mama Kat’s Writer’s  Workshop and link up with those fine friendly people that make me smile each week. 🙂

 

 

Mama’s Losin’ It

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.

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Breaking The Ice

There was a lot of melting happening today and with the melting, icicles were falling off the roof. I have to tell you I was a bit afraid one of our Miniature Poodles would be hit or even killed by all this falling ice.

Maine Ice hanging from roof

So I went out and did what any loving dog Mama would do. I went right on out there and started throwing snowballs at them. This, of course, intrigued my 15-year-old son who wanted to know what his crazy Mom was up to. I am sure I looked rather funny out there in my pajamas throwing snowballs at the house. So he did what any good son would do.  He joined in.

Breaking The Ice

I cherish these moments with him. I know they are quickly slipping by. He is a sweet boy, with a laugh and a smile that bring joy into a somber room with ease. He reminds me in many ways of my “Dad”. He goes at life with this curiosity and excitement that makes you want to sit there with him and figure things out too.

So we hit all the dangerous crazy huge icicles. The dogs can now safely wander out and do their business.  I guess that sorta makes us heroes LOL.

 

As a side note, mid afternoon it was hardly cold out hence the t-shirt for in the moment play.

 

Giving Him My Heart

So I told how myself and hubby met in my post about The Proposal I am sure you wonder what the rest of that looks like and why he now has my heart for always.

2 weeks before we married
Two weeks before we married out in front of Jordan Marsh South Portland, Maine

 

Just Married
Just Married. We were smiling. Young and foolish there was so much hard work in front of us.

 

The First Month

Imagine talking to someone on a phone for two months. While you may “get to know them” what you do not get to know is their everyday habits, mannerisms, issues, shortfalls, what makes them really angry, happy,  or sad. In basic you do not know how to live with this person on a moment to moment basis. The first month was figuring out neither of us know how to cook. That he was a messy person and I suddenly was not. That he had an ex who for years to come would make it her mission to now not only see him miserable but, to try it with me as well. We had very little money, we lived in a room, and walked everywhere. It was a messy struggle and made for very hard lessons.

The First Year

We eventually, within months moved to a large rooming house in Lewiston, Maine. The building owner left my husband and me in charge of running it. The building was in disrepair and condemned. Three floors, twenty-one rooms that needed fixing. Together him, myself and three other people brought it from unlivable to inspected and approved by the city code enforcement. It was a challenge but, it to this day is what I believe it started to pulled us, two strangers, closer. It was here that I helped raise his daughter who was 18 months old almost full time and would continue to do so for the next 13 years. It was here I became pregnant with our first child together. A tiny baby girl. We bought our first car together and ate many meals at Denny’s. It was also here that I made him chase me across the united states when I left him. not once but twice. Look, I didn’t say this was a fairy tale. Things were rocky at the times but, they were also good as well. We would move many times over the course of the next ten years and I left many times over the course of these years.

Welcome our first baby together
I love this photo. The way he was looking at her … the way he looked at all eight of them everytime they were born. He so loves being a father. We were welcoming our first child from our marriage.

 

Newborn
Our sweet newborn Chelsea. All 5 pounds six ounces of her.

 

Children
Just under two years, two children. I won’t lie it was hard. and there would be seven more children almost yearly. It was hard but, I would not change it. They were and will always be blessings.

 

Ten Years

When I turned 26 ten years in and many children later I packed up and left for what I deemed at the time for good. So many children and other stressors put wear on both of us. I loved him but, we were often bitter towards one another. I like to look back at those times and really think about them. They were true learning and growing years. We were both young and foolish. Our priorities were often lost. My answer was too often leave. So we never fully worked through anything.  So after three months, I came back to him with a promise that I have kept for 16 years. No more leaving, we will work on things together as husband and wife through good and bad just as we had vowed to do on the day we married that from this time forward he fully had my heart and wanted his as well.

26 Years

Our Anniversary came and went this year without anything more than us exchanging the words “Happy Anniversary” to each other. The difference these days is that stuff is not needed. We are happy and secure together. There is no card or gift that could express how we feel for each other. We have walked through hell together and came out on the other side holding hands walking side by side; and will continue to do so. We have discovered the secret to marriage. You become a unit. This is not just about what makes me happy or him happy.  It is about what is best for us as a unit. That day 16 years ago is when we truly became married. He still has my heart and I have his. That is the way it was meant to be.
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Mama’s Losin’ It

5 Habits To A Cleaner Home

I know that maintaining a clean home does not come naturally to everyone. Some people really struggle with the day to day tasks of housekeeping. I realized I have habits that help keep my home fairly clean. I want to share them with you.

Habits to a cleaner home

My personal rule is I do not leave a room without leaving it just a little bit better than I found it. I also try very hard to get my family members to do this. What can I say it is a work in progress for the most part they try. If I walk into the bathroom and there is a towel on the floor I pick it up. If there are glasses on the kitchen table I place them in the sink. I do not complain about who left it I just leave the room better. It helps keep the room cleaned up.

I am a coffee lover. However, I hate dealing with the dishwasher and dishes away so as a personal rule if I am making a pot of coffee I deal with the dishes while it is brewing.  The two now go hand in hand. I also use this time to switch laundry.

Instead of folding everyone’s clothes and putting them away I make piles and deliver them to the person’s room unfolded. They know they are to promptly put them away. It keeps the laundry off my kitchen table in a huge pile which always looks messy.

On really lazy days I set a timer for five minutes and I set forth to do the one thing I am dreading for only that amount of time. Once I start it gets easier to tackle the rest of the cleaning.  Some days I will just clean each room for five minutes. You would be surprised what you can accomplish in a short amount of time

I don’t have more of any one thing than I need. We do not keep Knick knacks laying around. What we do have has very specific places where they belong. Even the toddler knows where her things go and can easily help during clean up time. Reducing clutter leaves less to clean and fuss over.

What are your cleaning habits?

 

Writing Prompts For Mom Bloggers

Writing Prompts for those days I sit here and rack my brain about what to write, Everyday it gets a bit harder. Or I have a great idea and start to write and then just get stuck.  I am hoping as I write more it happens a bit less. One can hope, right?

So tonight I will stretch my mind and put some ideas out there. Because other bloggers prompts have helped me. Maybe I can help a bit too. 🙂

Writing Prompts for Mom Bloggers

  1. Your child’s birth story.
  2. Plan a birthday party.
  3. A list of things you hope to do this year.
  4. 10 ways to save money.
  5. Gardening tips.
  6. Creative ways to calm a fussy baby.
  7. How to get the spark back in your marriage.
  8. You biggest cooking blunder.
  9. A funny story from your childhood.
  10. The moment you knew you were an adult.
  11. Things your mother told you that turned out to be wrong.
  12. Share a recipe you love.
  13. Your top 25 favorite baby names.
  14. Review a product you love.
  15. Reorganize a space in your home and share the process.
  16. Do a craft with your child and share the process.
  17. Do a Vlog.
  18. Tell about how you and your spouse met.
  19. List the a-z’s of you.
  20. Share what is in your purse.
  21. Share 5 of your favorite photos.
  22. Tell other moms how you stop tantrums.
  23. Share your best potty training tips.
  24. Tell why you do or do not cosleep
  25. Share a list of Dollar Tree Products you either love or hate.
  26. Interview a family member.
  27. Tell a story about life from a baby or pets point of view.
  28. Share tips on cleaning your home.
  29. Share the items in your latest shopping trip.
  30. Make a bucket list.
  31. Share funny photos and the story behind them.
  32. Make a list of writing prompts.
  33. Journal the before and after of a hair cut or hair coloring.
  34. Share a journey of weight loss or getting healthier.
  35. Share your thoughts on a news story.
  36. Share your thoughts on a highly debated mom topic
  37. Take a walk and make a photo journal of it.
  38. Tell why you started blogging.
  39. Give new bloggers tips for a successful blog.
  40. Share your daily schedule.
  41. Share a funny story about your child.
  42. Tell why you do or do not share photos of your little ones online.
  43. Share a quote you love and why you love it.
  44. Compose a letter to someone you have lost.
  45. Pen a letter to your child for when they are grown.
  46. Write the rules for dating your son or daughter.
  47. Tell what kind of mother-in-law you think you will be or hope to be.
  48. Write about your favorite vacation.
  49. Tell about strange habits you have.
  50. Write about the hardest part of being a new mom.
  51. Write about the last time you surprised yourself.
  52. Tell about the best gift you were ever given.
  53. Write about a happy moment in your life.
  54. List your favorite books and why you love them.
  55. Make a list of favorite children’s books.
  56. Write about the sort of parent you thought you would be versus the parent you really are.
  57. Tell about the worst parenting advice you were ever given.
  58. Tell about a scary life event.
  59. Write about a moment you will never forget.
  60. Plan an interesting meal.
  61. Come out with your weekly meal plan.
  62. Share the TV shows or movies you love.
  63. Divulge what TV mom you are most like.
  64. Share a day in your life with words and photos.
  65. Tell about your pregnancy cravings.
  66. Share tips on baby care.
  67. Share your cleaning schedule.
  68. Tell why you cloth diaper.
  69. Share how you care for cloth diapers.
  70. Do a review on a brand of disposable diapers.
  71. Do a toy review.
  72. Share a recipe for play dough.
  73. Share a sensory bin you put together.
  74. Tell about your child’s first day of school.
  75. Share your child’s artwork.
  76. Tell why you are a stay at home or working mom.
  77. Share a favorite spot of your home.
  78. Do a home tour.
  79. Tell how you organize your child’s toys.
  80. Share a homemade cleaning product recipe you make.
  81. Reflect on a time you had to apologize to someone.
  82. Write about a disappointment that you were able to make into a positive.
  83. Recount your worst E-bay purchase.
  84. Tell about your biggest pet peeve.
  85. Tell about how you helped someone.

What is your favorite writing prompt?