Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I'm NOT ABOUT to Stop!

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

I love my kids. I really really really do.

But it can get old to be interrupted from the luxury of me-time after only 5 minutes– Every. Single. Time.

The other afternoon, I tried to catch some leisure by turning on a show, curling onto the couch under my fuzziest blanket, and playing sudoku on my phone. The remote in one hand and a bag of M&M’s in the other, I was in heaven. For about 8 minutes until my daughter woke up unexpectedly early from her nap.

Of course.

I think kids come equipped with a radar for when mom is relaxing.

It’s like a horror movie when it’s unreal quiet around, and you know something bad is about to happen. And yet, you jump every time when the bad guy pops out.

For some reason, I don’t learn. I still jump every time my sweet cuties pull me out of my daydream world of relaxation and slap be back into cold, hard reality.

But I’ll keep trying to get a little more down time! Although I love my children and the time I have with them, I understand that I deserve these few moments of peace and serenity doing the things that I love, the things that speak to my soul, the things that keep me going.

Please comment below- What are your mommy-specific guilty pleasures?? How do you keep your mom life and your personal life balanced?

I’m no quitter- and I’m not about to start now. Here’s all my guilty pleasures as a mom that I plan to continue- indefinitely:

woman in white top taking a photo

1. After Bedtime Happy Dance

I hope my kids never see this because I might hurt a few feelings. I’m just really excited for my quiet, blissful evening to begin.

2. Sleep

Sleeping in, naps, early bedtimes… Any and all sleep I can get. Even just one night without waking up at least once would be fantastic. I’ll always treasure any and all sleep that I can get.

3. Leaving Dad with the Kids Even Though I Have Nowhere to Be

Poor guy. There are days when he gets home from work and I’m so ready to pass that baton. “I’m off to anywhere!”

man covering his face with coat

4. Sneaking the Best Treats From the Kitchen so that I Don’t Have to Share Them

As a kid, I knew to watch my dad. If I ever caught him casually walk out the garage door holding a spoon, I knew he was sneaking ice cream from the freezer in the garage.

All I had to do was follow quietly.

If he was caught, he would rather share ice cream with you. Better that than have all of his kids alerted that the ice cream was being eaten and descend like vultures.

5. Shutting Myself in My Room for NO Reason

Just to breathe and recoup. I love my room.

turned on gray alarm clock displaying 10:11

6. Not Adjusting Bedtime At Daylight Savings

There’s this one magical thing that happens at daylight savings time in the Spring. Your child is used to going to bed at 8pm… But when the time changes, he’s tired at 7 instead of 8. So bedtime is now at 7.

Take that, universe, I win!

Note- this only works once per year. In the Fall, the child isn’t tired for an hour after bedtime, so the universe will take its revenge.

7. Go the Whole Day Without Putting My Bra On

Ahhhhhhh. Freedom.

8. Fast Food Runs 15 Minutes Before Dinner Time

Someday I’ll plan out my meals… But not today.

9. Hidden Candy and Chocolate Just For Me

Lindor truffles are for moms only.

person holding remote pointing at TV

10. Binge-Watching My Favorite Shows on Netflix

This only works at night time. See you in 4 hours!

11. Game Nights with the Girls

Girls’ nights are the best! They get you, they know what you need, and they’re all the in same boat.

It’ll be Ticket to Ride and Scrabble for the next 4 hours!

12. Caffeine

Dr. Pepper is my favorite guilty pleasure.

coned ice cream with blueberries and flowers

13. Eating Way More Ice Cream Than I Want to Admit To

Like, way more.

14. Eating Ice Cream Straight Out of the Container When I Finally Give Up On Manageable Portions

It’s just not worth it to dish up that many servings. Better to just take the whole container with me to the couch so that I don’t have to get up again.

15. Adding Chocolate and Caramel Syrup to My Already Insane Amounts of Ice Cream

I’ve already accepted that 5 pounds I’ll gain by tomorrow.


Other Great Reads: 

Fill Yourself- Balancing Parent Life and Personal Life

A Rockstar a Day Keeps the Children At Bay…. Healthy and Natural Tips to Keep Your Energy Up

If “Mom” Were a Paid Profession… How Much $$$ Would YOU Have Made In 2018?

What About Me? Parents- Take Care of Yourselves!


16. Googling New Skills That I Know I’ll Never Really Learn

When I grow up, I’ll be an artist, and a gardener, and a writer, and a cosmetologist, and a chef, and a…..

17. Making the Kids A Lame (But Easy to Prepare) Dinner… Then Waiting To Eat Until They are Done Eating So that I Can Eat Something Better

I really don’t want to eat Macaroni and Cheese. But they will… Unless they see a better option.

All it takes is a little patience, and I’ll be eating well tonight without the effort to make a full meal for the family.

white ceramic bathtub

18. Putting My Bath Bomb Collection to Good Use

See you in an hour!

19. Getting Distracted On Social Media For Long Periods of Time

Woops. On the plus side, I actually know what’s going on in the world around me!

20. That Gut Wrenching Moment When I Snap Back Into Reality and Realize How Much Time has Passed

Ooops. What trouble have my kids been getting into while I’ve been distracted??

21. Saying “They’ll Be Fine” When I Am Too Tired to Stop the Kids from Whatever They Shouldn’t Be Doing

Sometimes it’s just not worth it.

white wooden kitchen cabinet

22. Letting the House Stay Dirty

It’s not that bad!

23. Having Second Helpings of Dinner… Or Dessert

Just a little more please…

24. Staying in My PJ’s All Day

A happy life is finding the perfect balance between looking amazing on some days (so that you have good self-confidence) and never getting dressed on some days (so that you don’t go crazy trying to be perfect).


Check Out These Great Resources: 

Click any of the pictures to enhance your guilty pleasure relaxation experiences!

-Bath Bomb Set

-Neck and Shoulder Massager

-Assorted Lindor Truffles

-Silk Pajamas

-Ticket To Ride (My favorite game for a girls’ night)


 

25. Putting the Kids to Bed 20 Minutes Early On Occasion

There are times that I’m just done. And my kids are still too young to understand time…. They always say that time will go fast.

And it will. Someday, school will ruin this luxury by teaching my kids valuable life lessons of how to read a clock and manage time.

But for now, they don’t get it and that gives me the advantage.

So… In bed they go- 20 minutes early.

question mark neon signage

26. Making Up Answers When I Don’t Know Them

Kids think we know more than we do. It’s flattering in a way. I like to think I know a lot. But every once and a while, I’m grossly humbled when they stump me.

Good thing I have an imagination that fills in the blanks. And I still look smart.

27. Wear Leggings to the Store Because They’re the Closest Socially Acceptable Wardrobe to Pajamas

I just want to FEEL like I’m in my pajamas even if I can’t be. Is that too much to ask??

28. Paint My Nails Crazy Colors

Fun, fun, fun!

Who cares if it only matches my outfit for one day and then I’m stuck with them for a week??

woman talking on the phone

29. Call and Chat with My Mom for an Hour

I miss that lady. Is there anything I have to do in the next 60 minutes?? Break time!

30. Swear Like a Sailor

Let’s let all that built up frustration go in one long stream of curses.

31. Complain about My Kids to Other Moms When their Behavior is Tough to Handle

Again, let’s let the built up frustration go. Take II. Actually, this and swearing like a sailor often go hand in hand.

32. Pin Funny Mom Jokes

Even when they’re a little dicey… Actually, the dicey-er the funnier.

person slicing green vegetable in front of round ceramic plates with assorted sliced vegetables during daytime

33. Google Healthy Meals that I’ll Never Cook

Come on.

Why do I kid myself?

34. Spend Money on Myself

Amazon has a genius business plan targeted to me personally.

I’m the reason they’re rich… and the reason I’m not!!

35. Take the Batteries Out of that Toy that’s Been Driving Me Crazy… Even Though My Kid LOVES It

“What? It’s not working? That’s weird, it worked a second ago… Oh well.”

36. Never Shave My Legs… Until I Have To

My husband likes to fondly compare me to a cactus. It’s ok, I know who I am.

silhouette of two person sitting on chair near tree

37. Soak Up Adult Conversations When I Can Get Them

Like a sponge.

There’s only so much Dora the Explorer and Itsy Bitsy Spider that I can take. I want to think and philosophize and challenge myself here and there.

Or just hear about everyone’s opinions of The Bachelor. That’s good too.

Please comment below- What are your mommy-specific guilty pleasures?? How do you keep your mom life and your personal life balanced?

So moms, now you know all my guilty little secrets… that I fully intend to continue.

I hope you treat yo self to some little perks in life too.

It’s worth it, and you’re worth it.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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What About Me? Moms, Stop Feeling Resentment Towards Your Kids

What About Me? Stop Feeling Resentment Towards Your Kids With These Self-Care Tips

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Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated 2/11/2019

 

So, you’re a parent.

That probably means you haven’t had sleep, money, time, or energy for yourself in…. how old is your oldest? That many years. Plus about 9 months for the pregnancy.

That much dedication is draining.

It can zap our will to keep going.

woman laying on bed

Here’s the worst case scenario when this kind of draining lifestyle goes too far:

Parents who are too emotionally drained start wondering where they lost themselves to the demands of their children. Then they feel terrible, because what kind of a selfish person would take good care of themselves when their kids’ every whim goes unmet?

So they buckle down and make themselves focus on the kids even more. The feelings of wishing for something better keeps coming back, followed by the mommy- or daddy-guilt. This cycle eventually builds into resentment towards the child for keeping you from your hopes and dreams AND for keeping you in a constant state of guilt for not being the perfect parent. But the parent keeps trying to be a good parent.

They flip flop between resentment, which causes them to be impatient and harsh towards their children, and the guilt, which causes them to coddle and pamper their children in an attempt to fix the resentment with false love. The kids are confused because of this flip flopping and don’t know what to expect from mom or dad. This can cause the children to act out, which frustrates the parent.

The parent continues in a vicious spiral downward until they stop and fix the initial problem.

(By the way, I’m not dramatizing this. I’ve seen it in action and it’s a scary thing. It can cause child abuse, suicide, and other scary side effects when this cycle has taken its tole for an extended period of time.)

Please note- depression or anxiety disorders may need professional help of a doctor and/or counselor.  These steps should not take the place of professional help.

Free Self Care Guide 2

Click here to receive your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

And what is the problem?

We all need things. The basics include food, water, and shelter- you know, survival stuff.

But there are other needs that are just as important- like feeling emotionally connected with people, feeling sexually fulfilled, feeling safe, feeling competent, feeling proud of yourself, etc.

Click the image below!
Meet Maslow: How Understanding the Priorities of Those Around Us Can Lead To Harmony And Improvement

And every parent needs a reminder to take care of those things for themselves. And a reminder that taking care of themselves is not selfish.

I believe that every parent has felt twinges of resentment towards their children at times.

After all, they do keep us from doing things we want, and that’s not fun.

So here’s what I do when I start to notice the beginnings of resentment in my parenting. Act fast- Don’t let those feelings fester!

1) Don’t React

Like, you know, yelling or swearing or whatever other less-than-perfect discipline strategies I use when I respond without thinking.

That’s the first step for me- Don’t react.

If I do, I get myself and my kids deeper into a negative situation. Then, I have to deal with that before I can leave to take care of my own needs- which often means that I’m drained and resentful while trying to manage my way through a delicate parenting situation.

It just doesn’t work.

So the best situation is to wait to react. Then I don’t make things worse right when I really need a break the most.

Of course, this is so much easier said than done.

I usually realize that I have some unmet needs when I flip a lid for no good reason. Only then do I stop to ask myself, “What is really going on here?”

That’s when I realize how drained I am.

It’s not the best method, and I’m working on fixing it, but the silver lining is that I usually can stop myself from flipping a lid in the future once I’m aware of my own needs.

So one bad moment can prevent future bad moments.

2) Listen to Myself

A better solution is to be aware of my needs before I flip a lid.

I find that my body and mind give me clues to my own stability constantly- but they are easy to miss if I’m busy. These clues could be things like:

  • A headache

man covering his eye

  • Forgetting to eat or drink
  • Letting my kids get away with things that they usually wouldn’t get away with
  • Forgetfulness
  • Being late for things
  • Not putting effort into daily things- like getting dressed or putting on makeup
  • Short temper with my kids and my husband
  • Assuming that people around me have bad intentions in the things they do

Of course, not all of these things will apply to everyone, but these are some of the warning signs that tell me I’m forgetting to take care of myself.

If I can catch these things sooner, I can take action to fix the problem before I melt down.

When things get busy, it is hard to stop to evaluate yourself.

Self-evaluations can be difficult. People often don’t notice the effects of burnout in yourself until it’s done, even though there are warning signs. I often think to myself, “I can handle this. I can keep going.”

But that’s the problem. It’s like swimming out into the ocean. If I swim until I can’t swim any more, I will have no energy to get back to shore. I have to force myself to take a break before I am at the point where I can’t keep going.

For some great stress management tools, click the images below!

5-Minute Stress Managment: 7 Fast Acting Tension Killer Methods

The Magic of Happiness: How To Reduce Stress And Be Happy Every Day.: (How to be happy, Anti-stress picture book, Happiness, Positive Thinking, Stress Managment, Live stress-free, Overcome stress)

Pattern Coloring Book for Adults: Relax with this Calming, Stress Managment, Adult Coloring Book of Hand Drawn and Geometric Patterns (Adult Coloring Books) (Volume 3)

So, don’t be afraid to give yourself the relief you need early on. This will help prevent burnout rather than recovering from it.

3) Assess My Children’s Situation

This is the part of the process where you have to balance your responsibilities as a parent and your individuality as a human being.

That’s really tricky.

I have two rules of thumb about how to proceeded from here.

First rule- Once I have identified a need in myself, I next need to assess the severity of the need.

The ideal is that I would catch it soon so that I have a few days to find a good time for myself. If I can do that, I can take the steps I need to fix it. These could include:

  • Arranging a babysitter
  • Giving my husband a heads up that he might need to take the kids for an evening
  • Shopping for a treat
  • Finding quiet time after the kids are in bed
  • Arranging an outing

If I don’t catch it in time, I might only have hours or minutes to take care of myself before I have a freak out.

Second rule- Take care of the kids’ needs, not ALL their wants.

Click the image below!
Need It Or Want It? (Little World Social Studies)

Now is no time to be a super mom.

Now is time to simplify.

Again, this is balancing between parenting responsibilities and my own well being.

I can’t neglect the kids and I can’t neglect myself. So I have to figure out the difference between what HAS to happen and what COULD happen. I do a lot of extra things during the day that can be cut out during times of crisis. These might include:

  • Shopping (Usually there’s enough bits and pieces around the house to scrounge up a meal or having a few things in the freezer can save you on bad days.)
  • Cleaning (It can wait til tomorrow.)
  • Laundry (There’s always something to wear in the back of the closet.)
  • Dishes (That’s what paper plates are for!!)
  • Errands
  • Cooking (Cereal for dinner is just fine once and a while!)

Eliminating even one of these things might be enough to lighten the load.

There are things in my routine that I never will give up, even on hard days. You’ll have to make your own list of what is important to you and remember those essentials.

These are the only things I have to worry about during a crisis:

  • Hygiene for everyone (kids and myself)
  • School and homework
  • Meals (I mean that the kids won’t go hungry- but I still stand by my comment about cereal for dinner.)
  • Work (As in my work and my husband’s work- we still gotta have jobs to support our family!)
  • Safety

That’s it. Bare bones. These are the things we absolutely need to survive and retain our standing as responsible parents.

combat knife on tree trunk

It’s strangely relieving to simplify.

Just switching my focus is sometimes enough to give me the break I need. Just remembering that I don’t HAVE to do it all can give me the strength to do the essentials.

  • EXTREME Moments:

I want to take a minute to talk about those times when I only have hours or minutes to take care of myself or I’ll lose it.

There’s no time to plan a getaway.

And this usually happens in the thick of things, so the kids are usually right there and they need me.

And there is the problem. They need me, but I have nothing to give.

Stick to the same two rules- Assess the severity of your needs (we now know that this instance is very severe) and take care of the kids’ needs, not wants.

That means your kids’ needs within the next 10 minutes, which are usually very simple. They just need to be safe for 10 minutes. They don’t have to have their lunch in the next 10 minutes, so feel free to postpone eating. They don’t have to finish their homework in the next 10 minutes, so feel free to take a break from it.

Start there. Try to stay calm. Where is safe for them while you have some quiet time? What activities will keep them occupied so that you can get 5 minutes of peace?

man sitting on gray dock

This is where the good ol’ tactic of putting a movie on comes in handy. My kids don’t watch a lot of TV, so it holds their attention very well.

If you have a fenced backyard, you might send them outside.

Or maybe it’s best for them to go to their room for a while.

Whatever it is, simplify your mindset of what needs to happen. If you are at that point where you only have minutes, the only need that matters is that they stay safe for a sec.

That really frees up your options to meet your own needs. You can be a responsible parent and take care of yourself at the same time. There is no need to beat yourself up over 10 minutes of quiet in your room.

Besides the fact that you feel more rejuvenated after, you also set a good example for your child. They learned that when they are frustrated or overwhelmed, they can calmly take care of the necessities and then handle their own feelings in a safe and responsible way.

Children who know how to do this will become successful adults and model citizens.

4) Don’t Get Distracted

Be aware that your needs change every day, so a bubble bath isn’t going to fix the problem each time.

But it could be exactly what you need on some days!

Consider what you are craving at the moment. Here’s some of my favorites that fill my needs:

  • Eating a treat that I don’t usually get to enjoy
  • A cozy bath
  • A girl’s day with my best friends
  • A date night with my husband
  • Quiet time after the kids go to bed
  • A walk outside
  • Sitting around a campfire or being in nature
  • Getting dressed up and looking good
  • Having a clean house… or at least one clean room… even for 5 minutes
  • Going out to eat
  • Snuggling my husband
  • A warm cup of hot chocolate

Again, sometimes my needs are different so no single activity will solve all my problems. My poor husband often wants to help, but he can’t read my mind to know what to do for me.

I am in charge of communicating what I feel and what I need from him- in specific detail and in kind words.

I have made the mistake of asking him to pick up a treat, only to find that I wasn’t in the mood for what he brought home. It’s my job to make sure he knows if there is something specific I want or don’t want.

Don’t make the mistake of putting yourself off.

sleeping woman in train at daytime

Don’t swim until you’re exhausted- leave yourself energy to get back to shore. Don’t listen to that voice in your head that tells you that you’re fine right up until you’re not fine anymore.

You’re worth taking care of.

Really.

Besides, your well being directly affects your kids. See my post on Taking Care of Others When you Have Nothing Left to Give.

5) Don’t Forget your Significant Other

Although I am getting better at taking care of my own needs, I have to put extra effort into watching out for my husband.

grayscale photo of man and woman kissing each other

He has his own ups and downs in the parenting life and it’s my job to be a support to him when he needs a break, just like he supports me when I do.

So I’ve got to listen to him.

Not just his words, but I also watch him for signs that he might be getting burnt out. Some of my husband’s signs are the same as mine, such as irritability, but some are different.

  • Spending more time alone- like going outside or being on his phone
  • Comments about having a tough day at work- especially for several days in a row
  • Quiet, not talkative
  • Not laughing
  • Worries about money more than usual
  • Wants to buy things
  • Less interest in being healthy (poor diet and less exercise)

My husband’s warning signs are usually cured by some time away doing things he likes to do. Here are some things that usually fill my husband’s needs:

  • Fishing, camping, or other outdoors activities
  • Hanging out with the guys
  • Watching a movie (but not a chick flick- something he is excited about)
  • A good night’s sleep
  • A Saturday or a day off of work
  • A little lovin’ (Fun for me too!)
  • Date nights
  • Buying things like fishing gear
  • Going out to eat

It took some time and a lot of effort to learn these quirks about my husband, but I’m so glad I know them now!

Our life has been so much more balanced since we started being more aware of our individual needs and our needs as a couple. We look out for each other and give each other breaks OFTEN. We keep each other going. Our marriage is stronger and our kids are happier because we are happier. We are better parents.

black stacking stones on gray surface

I don’t always notice my husband’s burnout and he doesn’t always notice mine. We still have miscommunications about it. We still have to be patient with each other.

But things are better. We feel more balanced. We feel less strained.

It was so worth the effort to learn these things about my husband. If you have a partner, I strongly recommend this method!

 

Know that mommy/daddy guilt happens to every parent.

Catch it early and don’t let negative feelings fester.

Find out what you need as an individual and get those needs met. That will allow you to continue to have the strength to be a good parent over the long-term.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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A Rockstar A Day Keeps the Children At Bay- Healthy and Natural Hacks to Boost Your Energy

A Rockstar a Day Keeps the Children at Bay- Healthy and Natural Hacks to Boost Your Energy

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Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated 2/8/2019

Image may contain: text

As parents, we are always out of energy.

Between waking up during the night for our kids and catering to their needs all day long, not to mention the day to day grind of normal life (working a job, meals, laundry, dishes…..) there just isn’t enough energy to go around!

And with all that, it seems like the kids have energy to spare! So not only are we juggling everything, but we have to do it at a run just to keep up with the kids.

It’s exhausting.

And it’s never ending.

No weekends off, no holidays off, no 9-5 shifts. So it’s vital that parents get some much-needed energy boosts here and there.

These are my top hacks to keeping up with the kids when you’re out of energy.

(Please note- depression or anxiety disorders may need professional help of a doctor and/or counselor.  These steps should not take the place of professional help.)

1) Energy-Boosting Foods

What if I told you that you could boost your energy… and at the same time be cutting a few of those extra pounds??

That’s right. Who knew?

There are lots of foods that naturally contain the perfect ingredients to cure your mid-day lull. Look for things like fiber, protein (increases concentration and focus), and complex carbs.

Watch out for the short-lived high that comes with a spike in your blood sugar from things like starches and sugars (especially refined sugars) or caffeine.

Yes, they give you a quick boost in energy but this is followed by an energy crash that will leave you struggling to continue your everyday tasks. When you experience this crash, the natural tendency is to seek out that high of the sugar rush again! It’s a vicious cycle.

woman laughing and running in front of Lindley Park Pool building during day

On the other hand, the following foods provide longer and more stable increases in energy.

  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Eggs
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Salmon or Tuna
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Spinach or basically any dark leafy greens
  • Quinoa
  • Chia Seeds

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  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin Seeds (Click the image below)

Lightly Sea Salted Whole Pumpkin Seeds, 2 LBS by Gerbs – Top 14 Food Allergy Free & Non GMO – Vegan & Kosher Certified – Dry Roasted In-Shell Pepitas from United States

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Pumpkin Seeds, 2 Pounds

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Asparagus
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Hummus (Click the image below)

Casbah Authentic Grains, Hummus Chickpea Dip Mix, 6 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Lilly’s Hummus – Hand-Made Small Batch Hummus Variety Pack, Vegan, Non-GMO, Made with Organic Chickpeas, 2 oz Cups, 16 Count: 4 Roasted Garlic, 4 Classic, 4 Smoked Tomato Basil, 4 Roasted Red Pepper

  • Beets
  • Grapes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pistachios (Click the image below)

Wonderful Pistachios, Roasted and Salted, 32 Ounce Bag

Wonderful Pistachios, Roasted and Salted, 1.5 Ounce (Pack of 24)

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Ginger

Besides all these great foods that help you feel awake and energized, there are great foods that help supplement your sleep. These foods contain ingredients like lactucarium, tryptophan, omega-3’s, melatonin, and serotonin, which can help you sleep more deeply and restfully- thus helping you feel more rested the following day!

Try snacking on one of these great foods just before bed to improve your sleep:

  • Halibut
  • Cherries
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Small amounts of Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Chickpeas
  • Honey
  • Elk Meat (Click the image below)

BEST Premium Natural Style Kippered Cut Thick Strips 1.75 OZ. Elk Jerky – No Preservatives – High Protein – Low Carbs – Buy Multiple Packs & Save! (Elk Spicy, Spicy 1 Pack)

1 BEST Premium 100% Natural Grass Fed Hand Stripped 2 OZ. Thick Cut Delicious Tasty Bold Flavor Elk Jerky from Utah USA – Wood smoked With Hickory Wood by Wild West Jerky (Teriyaki 1 Pack)

Buffalo Bills 100% Exotic Game Meat Sausage Sticks (mixed 1oz sticks – elk, venison and wild boar)

  • Turkey

You can also save energy preparing meals using custom freezer meals. 

2) Don’t Forget Hydration

Water is a very important factor in keeping your body energized.

selective focus photography of girl drinking water

Being dehydrated can cause you to feel sluggish and lethargic. People often mistake feeling thirsty as feeling hungry, which can increase unhealthy snacking.

As we mentioned earlier, if I chose to eat a snack that is high in refined sugars and carbs, I will have a spike in energy followed by a crash. Lack of water can trigger this cycle.

Drinking plenty of fluids will decrease feeling tired as well as decreasing unhealthy snacks.

Remember that not all fluids are created equal. Watch out to make sure you aren’t drinking unnecessary calories or sugars.

3) Get Your Sweat On

Exercise increases serotonin to your brain. This directly increases your energy level.

woman doing yoga on stability ball

When I think of exercise, I immediately want to go crawl into bed instead. But exercise doesn’t have to be mundane.

Any activity that gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up will release endorphins.

My favorite way to get exercise in is to play games with my kids and neighbors. It feels great to spend some quality time with my family and also build a healthier lifestyle at the same time. That’s two things checked off the list!

Here’s some great activities to do with your kids that will also give you a great workout and get your energy up:

  • Tag
  • Freeze Tag
  • Trampoline (Click the image below)

Skywalker Trampolines 15-Feet Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline with Safety Enclosure and Basketball Hoop

Skywalker Trampolines Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline with Safety Enclosure and Basketball Hoop, Blue, 12-Feet

Stamina 36-Inch Folding Trampoline | Quiet and Safe Bounce | Access To Free Online Workouts Included | Supports Up To 250 Pounds

  • Dancing
  • Anything at the park- swings, climbing, etc.
  • Any kind of sports- soccer, football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis…..

NET PLAYZ 4ftx3ft Easy Fold-Up Portable Training Soccer Goal, Set of 2

SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop W/Ball. 18”x12” Shatter Resistant Backboard.

Field-In-A-Bag Set

  • Playing catch
  • Jump rope
  • Climbing trees
  • Piggyback rides
  • Foot races
  • Pretending to be an animal
  • Hopscotch
  • Playing Twister (Click image below)

Twister Game

4) Turn on the Tunes

Sometimes, we have done everything we can think of and we are still just tired.

These are the moments when we need a little pick me up.

silhouette of man and woman playing guitars

The first thing I do in the about-to-fall-over-from-pure-exhaustion moments is turn on the radio or Pandora!

A little bouncy music can change the mood for the day. Instead of moving slow and lazy, it makes me dance! I can get so much more done with some nice background music playing.

And the kids love it! It’s a great way to cheer them up too- since kids seem to feed off of the adults’ moods. If we are tired and lethargic, it affects them. Sometimes, they mimic a lethargic adult and are also tired…. And other times, they do the opposite and have enough energy for both of you!

In any case, music will get them moving to use up some of that extra energy while giving you the boost you needed to keep going.

Plus, music just makes us happy. We need that.

5) Hey, Good Lookin….

woman wearing pink dress while standing near black metal rail at daytime

When parents are feeling zapped, I always recommend putting on a cute outfit. Keeping your body image up is so important to life, but it’s also something that gets overlooked in the busy life of a parent.

So, if you’re so drained that you can’t keep moving, go change your clothes. Find something cute, pizzazz-y, spunky. Something that will put some pep in your step.

Give yourself a confidence boost and then go try again with whatever you needed to get done.

Don’t underestimate the power of your look.

Put on a fresh coat of nail polish, freshen up your lipstick, and get ready to feel amazing! 

Here’s some great products to help you out!
Beauty Glazed Pigmented Matte and Shimmer 35 Colors Chunky Eyeshadow Palette Pop Colors Blendable Eye Shadow Powder Make Up Waterproof Eye Shadow Palette Cosmetics

SHANY All In One Harmony Makeup Kit – Ultimate Color Combination – New Edition

Best Pro Eyeshadow Palette Makeup – Matte Shimmer 16 Colors – Highly Pigmented – Professional Nudes Warm Natural Bronze Neutral Smoky Cosmetic Eye Shadows

6pcs Matte Velvety Liquid Lipstick Matte Liquid Lipgloss Waterproof Lip Gloss

8pc Nabi Cosmetics Professional Selected Lipstick set of 8 Amazing Colors

Kleancolor Nail Polish – Awesome Metallic Full Size Lacquer Lot of 12-pc Set Body Care / Beauty Care / Bodycare…

Sinful Colors 10-piece Surprise Nail Polish Set

KLEANCOLOR NEON COLORS 12 FULL COLLETION SET NAIL POLISH LACQUER

6) Making Moments Count

If I’ve done all this and I am still feeling lethargic, it might be time to sit down and take a break to consider my own mental well being for the day.

Free Self Care Guide 2

Click here to receive your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

Some days just suck.

On those days, I try to see the silver lining.

Remember that the time you do have matters- even if it doesn’t seem like much. The time you have to sleep matters, so make the most of it. The time you have for “you time” matters, so make the most of it.

And the time you have as a parent matters. Yes, we are exhausted. A lot. But we are so lucky to have these wonderful kids in our lives. They bring so much fun and excitement. They keep life real. They make us carry on.

When things just suck, remember to make the moments count. Love your kids. Tell them and show them.

man carrying daughter in black sleeveless top

This will brighten your day and put the pep back in your step.

When you are too tired to do anything, just smile. (What about the days when you have nothing left to give? Read more here!)

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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Fill Yourself- Vital Tools for Balancing Parenting Life and Personal Life

Fill Yourself- 6 Vital Tools for Balancing Parent Life and Personal Life

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Updated- 2/1/2019

Hey, Parents!

Listen up, cause we need to talk about something.

  • Remember that day when you had free time all to yourself?
  • Remember when you got that super good night’s rest?
  • Remember that one time when you went out with your friends?
  • Remember when you took the time to make yourself look sexy?

Yeah, me neither…. That’s the problem.

I know that our kids need us and I’m not encouraging anyone to neglect their responsibilities to their kids.

But I wanna talk about balance as a parent. Specifically about taking care of yourself, inside and out.

(Please note- depression or anxiety disorders may need professional help of a doctor and/or counselor.  These steps should not take the place of professional help.)

Free Self Care Guide 2

Click here to receive your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

Fill Your Cup

Here’s an analogy to make my point.

Let’s say everybody has a cup that represents their needs- emotional, spiritual, physical, all of it. Each person is actively working to fill their cup. A full cup means that all of their needs and wants are being met. An empty cup means none of their needs and wants are being met.

Almost nobody has a full cup, because let’s face it, there’s always something else that we want. So it’s ok if our cup isn’t completely full.

As you go, you see people who have needs that you can fill. So you share some of your water with them.

That’s awfully nice of you! But what about your own cup?

It’s no big deal to share because you have ways of keeping your water levels up.

  • You go to work to get more money for groceries, so you don’t mind sharing a few dollars with a homeless man or that cup of sugar with your neighbor.
  • You listen to a friend’s venting, and in turn they let you vent to them. You’re both emotionally filled in the end.
  • You have a comfortable home, so you don’t mind letting your brother stay in the guest bedroom for a while until he has a place of his own.

Having all these needs met keeps your water up.

But it takes effort to keep it that way.

Glass Empty

So What??

You are constantly sharing your water with your kids. In fact, in proportion to other people, you give way more water to your kids than to anyone else! Again, this is no problem as long as you are replenishing your own water.

But every once and a while, you give ALL of your water to someone (maybe it’s your kids). And you are left with nothing.

Two things happen here:

  1. First, you feel drained and destitute because your needs aren’t being met. It takes significantly more work to refill an empty cup than it does to replenish bits of water here and there.
  2. Second, you are no longer capable of helping anyone else. You might want to, you might try to, but you can’t. I can’t stress this point enough- YOU CAN’T FILL ANYONE ELSE’S CUP, NOT EVEN A LITTLE, WHEN YOUR OWN CUP IS EMPTY.

coffee latte in white ceramic mug

As parents, we must take care of ourselves. Nobody else in the world cares for our kids the same way we do. Not their grandparents, not aunts and uncles, nobody. We must keep our cups full so that we can share our water with our kids, because nobody else will. At least, not like we do.

How do we recover from having an empty cup or a near empty cup?

First of all, let me say that this is different for everyone because each empty cup looks different. There are people who are rich, but their cups are still empty. I’ve seen people who have almost nothing, and yet they are happy. Their cups are full.

1) Get your Basic Needs Met

Material things are important- you know, basic necessities like food, water, shelter. Make sure you have the basic necessities in life first.

Then work on some of the following steps to fill your cup.

2) Your Purpose

Everyone needs a purpose in life.

It gives us drive, it gives us a will to carry on, it fills our cup.

So what is your purpose?

round white compass

Dig deep. Start by finding out what you care about. I recommend making a list of at least 50 things that you care about. I find that when I can’t think of any more items for my list, but I know I have to reach 50, I start to think harder about the question.

My answers start to get more and more creative and my true colors are revealed.

Once you have your list, step back and notice patterns.

What things are truly important to you?

  • Family?
  • Friends?
  • Success?
  • Financial Security?
  • Experiences?
  • Building a better world?
  • Religion?
  • Giving to others?

Once you know what you value, you have your direction. Do some research. Put some time and thought into what you can do NOW.

It’s good to have some overall goals, like “I want to get a promotion at work” or “I want to have a good relationship with my sister”. Goals like these take time to achieve, so it can be difficult to feel proud of your achievement right at this moment.

Those are good things to work for long-term, but make sure you have some goals that you can reach TODAY. This might be “I want to make my sister smile” or “I want to work for an extra 30 minutes to show my boss that I am invested in this company.”

person standing on arrow sign on road

If your cup is empty, you need some immediate wins to fill it back up. Make 1-2 goals that you can be successful at NOW. Then follow through.

Notice when you do well! Notice when you achieve something! Notice the good things you do.

And give yourself a reward! You earned it.

You would reward anyone else for doing something good, wouldn’t you? So reward yourself too!

It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to take time or money.

  • Even just an “I did it!” can be a reward.
  • Or maybe it’s “I’m going to stay up for an extra 20 minutes after the kids are sleeping and play my favorite game on my phone”.
  • Or “I’m gonna eat a piece of chocolate.”

It’s the small things that count.

Find a purpose, put in some effort, and reward yourself for your wins.

Click the image below for a great resource on having a purpose in life.

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

3) Your Look

Another cheap, easy thing you can do to fill your cup is to make yourself look pretty.

Seriously, this totally fills your cup.

Dress for your purpose. It’ll help you win at your goals. And it feels good to look good.

woman wearing pink long-sleeved dress standing inside building

  • Do you want to play with your kids more? Put on something that you can get paint on or muddy in.
  • Do you want to improve your performance at work? Look professional! Put your hair up, makeup on, shine those shoes, the whole nine yards!
  • Do you want to have a relationship with your teenage daughter? When was the last time you tried a new style? Maybe you can ask her to pick an outfit for you. Share in her tastes a little.

Your look says a lot. It really affects how you act. It affects how people perceive you. It affects your attitude.

Use that to your advantage!

Click the image below for some great (and inexpensive!) cosmetics that will help you feel gorgeous!

e.l.f. Assorted Mixed ELF Cosmetics Lot with No Duplicates (10 Piece)

SHANY All In One Harmony Makeup Kit – Ultimate Color Combination – New Edition

L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadow, Nudes, 0.42 Ounce

6pcs Matte Velvety Liquid Lipstick Matte Liquid Lipgloss Waterproof Lip Gloss

SHANY Glamour Girl Makeup Kit – 48 Eyeshadow/4 Blush/6 Lip Glosses

4) Your Time

Time doesn’t cost any money. But it is a valuable and limited resource.

You’re splitting your time between your kids, your significant other, your job, your social life (if you have one- haha), sleep, chores, etc….

Oh, and I forgot, you need time for yourself.

selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones

And that’s just it.

Your water level can go down if you forget to take some time for yourself.

I love my time after my kids are all in bed. They’re down at 8pm every night so that I can have time with me and time with my husband.

Once I’ve got them down, I have to make sure that time is well spent. There are some nights that watching a movie is the perfect activity- I can turn my  brain off and relax and that’s exactly what I needed.

But there are other nights when watching a movie doesn’t do anything to fill my cup. I can’t afford to waste that precious alone time, so I need to be aware of my own needs.

I try to take the first 5 minutes after the kids go to sleep to think about the rest of my night. I ask myself, “What do I need in order to stay sane today?”

  • Do I need to snuggle my husband?
  • Do I need some chocolate?
  • Do I need a hot shower?
  • Do I need to read a book?
  • Do I need to play a game?
  • Do I need to get something done so that my to do list is shorter?
  • Do I need to turn off my brain for a while?

Once you know what you need, do that. Don’t get distracted. Let the dishes go. You’re more important than the dishes! 

Need a little extra help to organize your time? Click the image below!

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

5) Your Focus

Once you have done every reasonable thing that you can for yourself, start looking out for others.

Giving to others fills a need for you and is therefore necessary to have a full cup. That is the need to feel needed.

But this step must be saved for after you’ve got something in your cup again… So we are assuming that the previous steps have replenished your water levels a bit before you try this.

It also decreases the stress of worrying about all the things you wish were different about you. If you’re thinking about others, you’re not picking yourself apart.

This step cures those times when you are happy you’ve made progress, but you get down thinking about how far you have to go. Instead of focusing on your own road, start helping others along the way and you will get where you’re going before you even realize it.

man and woman holding hands on street

Again, you don’t want to give so much that you have nothing left to give. But you don’t want to be stingy or selfish either. You want to give a healthy amount.

How much is that?

I wish there was an easy answer, but the truth is that how much you can give changes based on how full your cup is at any given time.

You might be able to give more sometimes, but it’s ok to cut back if you need to fill your own cup for a while.

Pay attention to how you feel when you are giving to others and after you give to others.

  • Do you feel rejuvenated?
  • Like you want to do more?
  • Like you have new meaning in your life?
  • A sort of a glowing feeling that makes you want to find another person who needs  you so that you can help them too?

If you feel this way, you know you are sharing a healthy amount of water.

  • Do you feel drained?
  • Depleted?
  • Emotionally exhausted?

Then you are giving too much. Take a step back and help yourself. Then go ahead and offer what you can to others once you are built back up.

A focus on others can build us up. Just don’t let it wipe you out. Find balance.

6) Forgiveness

Nobody’s perfect, and that’s good.

Even if it’s cliché, it’s a good and true cliché.

person holding white petaled flower

But it doesn’t do you any good unless you really believe it.

  • If you really believe it, you can forgive yourself when you fail during this process.
  • You notice when your cup is empty or getting empty and you respond accordingly without beating yourself up for letting your cup fluctuate.
  • You accept the facts, try to understand what you can do to prevent problems in your future, learn from the situation, and move on.

Done.

Grudges against yourself (and others) drain your cup FAST!

So don’t let them sneak into your life.

Notice a problem. See it as a fact, not a personal fail. Make yourself better. No need to dwell on your mistakes.

These steps will help you fill your cup back up, and keep it full.

They help you have a healthy, balanced life even if you don’t have a lot of money or resources. And when you have that, you are in a good position to help others- especially your kids.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Please hare this post with any parent who needs to fill their cup!

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