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

Pretty Much Fool Proof Lasagna Simple Version

If you are looking for fancy, complicated superbly homemade lasagna you may want to continue searching.

This is how I have made Lasagna for 24 years for my large family. It is simple and we all can agree that we like it. Finding something that a family of ten all liked was a challenge so I stuck with it and changed very little over the years. It does not include onions we do not care for them but they could be added along with anything else you like.

One major change I did make over the years was that I switched ricotta out for cottage cheese. I have a son that hates ricotta but likes the cottage cheese and the rest of us like it as well.

Lasagna simple recipe www.simplymoms.net

What you will need:

2 pounds ground beef

Green pepper chopped

Onion chopped (Optional)

Salt and paper to taste

2 Jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 box Lasagna noodles

2 cups mozzarella cheese

Large container cottage cheese

Lasagna ingredients

Brown the ground beef, chopped onions ( If you are using them ) and chopped green peppers together in a large frying pan until the ground beef is cooked through. Once cooked drain the ground beef well. We skipped the onions because no one here likes them.

Chopped Green Pepper

 

Chopped green pepper and Ground Beef

Return to the pan once the ground beef is drained well and stir in the sauce. Heat until how though out and set aside. ** I noticed my sauce was slightly watery. So I added a small amount of parmesan and mozzarella to thicken it up a bit. Boil water in a large stock pot for the lasagna noodles. I add a couple tablespoon of oil and salt to my pasta water.

Adding in sauce

 

Once the pasta is cooked. Drain it and cool it off with cold tap water.Just so they are easier to handle. Now you can start layering your lasagna. As you will see Little Miss Toddler joined me. She loves to help.  I really don’t mind. Though I did have to keep telling her to keep those little feet away from the dinner we were making.

I lightly oil my lasagna pan. Some people do not. I do.

The first layer is pasta. I am not fussy in the way I lay them down. If you want to be fancy have at it .

pasta

The second layer is the meat sauce. I put mine on pretty heavy.

and then…. You guessed it another layer of pasta. Sometimes I will do a thin layer of mozzarella over the meat sauce this night I didn’t. The cheese holds the lasagna together better for slicing.

Layering lasagna

Over this layer, you will layer on the cottage cheese and then a thick layer of mozzarella cheese.

Adding cheese to the lasagna

As you can see my little helper has arrived.  Over the cheeses, you will add yet another layer of pasta, over that meat sauce and again a layer of pasta.

Toddler adding pasta to lasagna

last but not least you will be adding mozzarella cheese to the top. We like lots of it.

Toddler adding cheese to lasagna

Place your lasagna in a 350-degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. I like to serve mine with fresh bread and a green salad.

Lasagna and a green salad

 

I love the fact that cooking brings my children and Granddaughter into the kitchen. Skills like cooking are very important for children to learn. Even the youngest toddler can help out with simple tasks. My children have always enjoyed eating what they cooked.

Teen son helping brown the ground beef for lasagna

Is there anything different you do with your lasagna? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Love Jennifer

Color Easter Eggs With What You Have In Your Cabinets!

Did you by chance forget that egg dye kit to color Easter eggs?

Food Dye red blue green yellow for coloring easter eggs www.simplymoms.net

No problem!

I bet you have everything you need right in your kitchen cabinets to dye beautiful vibrant or pastel eggs. Water? White vinegar? Food dye? Good! Let’s go then!

Color Easter Eggs with food dye www.simplymoms.net

 

Hard Boiled Eggs cooked and cooled.

For each color you make you will need:
1/2 cup boiling water

1 Teaspoon white vinegar

20 or more drops of liquid food dye

How to color eggs with food dye for easter www.simplymoms.net

** We used twenty drops you could use more for a more vibrant color. With twenty drops there was less staining on Little Miss Toddlers hands.

So in a coffee mug or container of your choice add the boiling water, vinegar and food coloring color(s) of your choice.

To color, the eggs just place the in the egg dye and let them soak. Shorter times result in pastel colors and longer times will result in vibrant colors.

Easter eggs colored with food dye www.simplymoms.net

We had never done them without a kit but I feel like I could control how much staining Little Miss Toddler would have on her hands by making it myself.What little staining there was washed right of in the bath.

 

Toddler coloring Easter eggs www.simplymoms.net

Happy Easter from all of us at Simply Moms.

 

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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?

If you like this post be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing.

Love Jennifer

We are linked up with:
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.

Moose Burger Homemade Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella

Pizza on a Saturday night? Why sure!

About a week ago we were gifted some frozen moose burger. I have been kind of looking at it wondering what exactly to do with it. I am not against trying new things but I have been under the weather and didn’t want to create a meal that would end up in the trash. So I decided I would take my fresh mozzarella (Way better than the shredded stuff in the bags by the way) and make two pizzas. One moose burger and the other ham that I knew my two pickier boys would eat.

I didn’t get too many good photos because Little Miss Toddler decided that she would like to help by flooding my kitchen washing dishes.  I was afraid she would drown my camera so I had to work quick.

Making Homemade Pizza Crust. Simple Recipe www.simplymoms.net

I made homemade crust.

You could too it is simple but this is a kitchen aid recipe so I used my big stand mixer.

You need:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 TBSP oil I use olive oil when I have it but vegetable oil works fine too.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups of flour

In the bowl dump the warm water and yeast together; stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the oil, salt and two cups of flour. Start the mixer on low speed and watch for it to become a ball of dough as it mixes. If it is too wet add in a fourth of a cup of flour at a time until the dough comes together. Pour a bit of oil over the dough and rub it over the dough ball and set it back in the bowl to rise until doubled. Once doubled punch it down and spread on and oiled pizza pan using your hands to spread it out evenly. Poke it with a fork to prevent it from bubbling while it bakes. Place in a 450-degree oven for 5 minutes and then add toppings.

Homemade pizza dough recipe

For toppings, we used pizza sauce, browned moose burger, fresh sliced up mozzarella, and ham.

Then I simply put it back in the oven for  5- 10 minutes until the cheese was melted and bubbly.

Pizza with moose burger and fresh mozzarella and homemade crust www.simplymoms.net

I will tell you I tripled the crust recipe. I assume it makes one 14-inch pizza depending on how thin you spread it out. I made more because we wanted leftovers and we are still feeding a pretty big family. (Six people) Tripled it made two large baking sheets of pizza with a thick filling crust.

Baking homemade pizza

Do you make pizza at home? What toppings do you choose?

Love Jennifer

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Sand Flour and Oil Version Taste Safe and Homemade

Homemade Moon Sand this is messy play at its finest.

I chose the flour and vegetable oil combination because Little Miss Toddler will not keep things like this out of her mouth. We did it on the kitchen floor.Clean up involved sweeping up and mopping really well (Think oil residue). Next time I would put an old sheep or newspaper down for easier cleanup or simply do it outside.

This homemade Moon Sand or as some call it Cloud Dough is soft, molds together well and it is wonderful sensory play for even a pretty young child. Little Miss Toddler enjoyed it.

Homemade Moon Sand finding the magic in the mess -www.simplymoms.net

What you need is simple and most everyone has it on hand. 

  • 8 Cups of Flour (All-Purpose)
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • A few drops food coloring if you like but not needed. (We skipped this)

In a large bin just mix it all together really well. Done and done.

We tossed in some kitchen scoops, spoons and the like. She had a blast.

 

Maybe Moon Sand is not what you intended to find or wish to make today? How about some play dough recipes?

 

Homemade Cloud Dough

Toddler Playing With Home made Moon Sand

Toddler sensory Play

Sensory Bin Flour and Oil

Messy Play

Toddler playing with cloud dough and scoops

If you enjoyed this blog post with me and Little Miss Toddler Please be sure to subscribe below.  Thanks for reading! 🙂

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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

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