2.11.2016

4 habits that make long days a little easier

The quote that says "The days are long but the years are short" couldn't feel more true right now. Olivia is only a few months shy of turning 3 and Penelope is already 5 months. And as much as we want to savor every second as Moms and try to continually cultivate a grateful heart as we raise our babies, we aren't immune to exhaustion or feeling like some days are the longest ever. And that's okay. Some days I get in to bed wondering how I even made it through such a long and tiring day. But lately I've been focusing on how I can make small & simple changes on a daily basis that make my long days a little easier. And because as Mamas during Love Month, we so often focus on everyone around us {except ourselves}, I'm challenging each of you to focus just a little bit more on loving yourself, and putting into practice some self-care steps that make you feel good, refreshed, relaxed & ready for each and every day ahead.


Below are 4 things I've started doing that have really helped my days feel a little less long:

1 // I get up before the girls. Now, this sounds like the opposite way to make your day feel shorter, but in reality, when I'm up before them I'm able to start the day MY way. I am not rushed to give them baths or make breakfast, my shower isn't cut short and I don't have to eat my breakfast cold. Even though it's tempting to hide under the covers just 5 more minutes, especially if I was up in the night with Penelope, I am so much happier when I get up before them. 


Even if it's only a half hour before they're awake, it gives me time to take a long, hot shower without a toddler pulling the curtain open as soon as the water stops and dumping her bath toys at my feet. I am able to eat breakfast without Daniel Tiger on in the background and don't have little hands trying to sneak eggs off my plate. I am able to get dressed and put together so I feel clean and refreshed by the time they are awake. Some mornings I even have a few minutes to read a few pages in a book or flip through a favorite magazine. I am more calm, less rushed and overall start my day in a better mood. Sleeping in that extra 20 minutes can be tempting, but I usually find both girls wake at the exact same time {seriously, how do they do that??} and then I'm trying to meet both of their {very different} needs while simultaneously knowing mine {a shower, breakfast, a few moments of quiet} aren't going to be met for at least another hour.


2 // I focus on making a breakfast each morning that is really enjoyable to me. This goes in line with #1 and is possible when I get up before they do. Sure, the effort is minimal to pour a bowl of cheerios and eat it while hovering over the tub to wash your toddler's hair and changing your baby's diaper with the other hand, but really? I'm hungry an hour later and feel like I didn't nourish my body at all. Now, don't get me wrong, we love cold cereal around here, but when I take the extra few minutes to make a breakfast that satisfies me and energizes me for the day ahead, I feel so much better. 

Most mornings I make eggs and peanut butter toast, with either sausage or bacon. Our favorite sausage and bacon comes frozen but pre-cooked, so it only takes a few minutes to warm through on the stove. Scrambled eggs are a great protein and toast with peanut butter or jam is always a simple side. Sometimes it's making a yogurt parfait, french toast or an egg mcmuffin (english muffin + fried egg + cheddar cheese + sausage patty). Other mornings its a super simple omelette with some veggies and cheese. I try to have yummy muffins on hand {blueberry lemon greek yogurt muffin recipe here} or in the freezer and fresh orange juice when possible. Making a yummy breakfast for myself, sitting at the table and eating it slowly sets me off on the right foot each day. 

3 // I get out of the house at least one day a week to run errands alone. I'm grateful to have my parents nearby and to have Dustin home early in the afternoon from work most days, both of which allow me to get out and get a few things done without the girls in tow a few times each week. I love going places with them but I think it's imperative that us Moms get that alone time, and that it is spent outside of the house. As a Stay at Home Mom, the lines between work + pleasure get blurred so often. I feel like I am always on the job, since I don't wake up in the mornings and leave the house to get to work. Sometimes I don't feel like I can fully relax if I'm at home because I am constantly seeing things I could be doing and know at any moment nap time could end. Getting out of the house alone helps me to focus on me. Not on our home, the girls, my husband, making dinner, cleaning, folding laundry. I do all those things and love it, but when I am able to remove the distractions of our home, even if only for a half hour, it resets me and refreshes me. And then I get home from errands with a renewed mind, ready to give the girls and Dustin my best care and focused attention. 

4 // Last but not least {and this one is the hardest for me}, I try to go to bed shortly after the girls do. Yikes! Did I actually admit that?! I used to be such a night owl and have always felt like I do my best thinking, writing and relaxing at night. If I spend all day with the girls and get them both in bed by 8 or 8:30pm, my first instinct is to do something enjoyable for myself since it's my first real opportunity all day to relax. Sometimes that's watching a favorite show or a movie, some times it's spending time with Dustin before he goes to bed, other nights its taking a long bath. But then time quickly gets away from me and before I know it, it's nearly midnight by the time I'm actually getting into bed and falling asleep. Add in a baby with a growth spurt waking at the pleasant hour of 5:30am and I am not the happiest camper.

Going to bed early isn't at all easy, but I know I definitely don't like waking up irritable because I'm so tired from staying up late. I have had many mornings where I regretted not going to bed earlier, even if what I did the night before was fun. Even though it's so hard to discipline myself to get to bed by 9 or 9:30pm, I feel a million times better the next day. I know I am more patient,  Dustin has this theory that our bodies are meant to begin shutting down when the sun sets and to start up when the sun rises. Early to bed, early to rise, type of thing. I'm not a morning person at all so this is definitely an area I am challenged in, but I can look back on the past several days and weeks and know that the nights I went to bed shortly after the girls did, my days were way, way better.


Hope you all are having a wonderful week!! XO

2 comments:

  1. As a new mom, this is wonderful advice! Thank-you for sharing your wisdom. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are great tips! I'll definitely keep them in mind, even though I'm not a mom yet! Thanks for the advice - I'll share this! :)

    ReplyDelete


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