As a busy mama – I’m sure the notion of “me time” either make you roll your eyes, burst into laughter…or tears?!! We mamas put our own needs on hold to meet the needs of everyone around us…and that can leave us burned out, frustrated and cranky!
I went to a parenting talk a year ago and what I came away with from it was this - if our ‘cup’ is empty (ie we are not filling ourselves up with the things we need to be happy), then we have nothing to spill out and give to those around us. We need to keep filling our own cup to be able to pour out into everyone else’s.
Since adding a third child to the mix, my cup has definitely been empty (more like a stone dry well actually!) and I keep going back to what I heard in the course…that I need to fill my cup. I need to carve out time for feeding my soul. This doesn’t need to be a huge amount of time on a weekly basis (that would be nice, but lets be realistic!), it could be a 10 minute meditation each day, it could be a long hot bubble bath once a week, it could be a monthly afternoon out with a friend. I love to be creative, and my natural high comes from making something out of nothing with my own two hands (and perhaps the help of a sewing machine!), so for me – I want to make time to pursue my creative fantasies (fixing holes in children’s pants does.not.count) – to do what I love for the sake of just doing it because I LOVE IT! Whether you love sewing, gardening, cooking, shopping…you know what feed your soul and I’m telling you – you need to make time for it!
To follow through with my wild notions of nurturing myself I need an actual plan to do this. I must choose and work to carve out the time – otherwise sneaky old regular life gets in the way of cup filling efforts. Luckily, my husband is on board with this plan (perhaps in the hopes I’ll become less cranky) – if you have small children at home all day every day then you need to enlist the support of someone to give you some alone time. Or, during school or nap times, wedge some cup-filling in there for you instead of cramming work/cleaning/cooking/washing into every free minute. Shiny happy mama = shiny happy family (you know it’s true)!
Most days I’m not even sure what day it is, so I’ve made a pretty little reminder clipboard for my nurturing plans. It’s propped up against my mirror where I’ll see it every day, and I can make a date/plans with myself on a slip of paper and keep it on the board for that week. Each week I will find the time to do one nice thing with myself – and once done I can switch the paper out with my following weeks plan. You can make one too! Yeah! Lets make 2011 the year where our cups are full, our families enjoy the splashings and we truly love and care for ourselves…wishing you all good things for this new year!
Nurture time reminder clipboard project
Mini clipboard (office supply stores carry these)
Acrylic paint & foam brush
Paper (think scrapbook, gift-wrap, hand-made, magazine pages)
Mod podge/gel medium (or any white glue)
Ribbon or lace
Stickers, tags, fun things to embellish with.
Cover all or part of the clipboard with your papers. You can make a collage of papers, or use one special piece. Paint the glue onto the clipboard to stick the paper down on, and then coat the paper in another layer of your glue.
Once the paper is dry, paint the remaining portion of the clipboard with 2-3 layers of acrylic paint (I simply lifted the metal clip to paint underneath it).
Add a strip of ribbon or lace using the glue.
Choose a word such as ‘nurture’, ‘nourish’, ‘breathe’, ‘my time’ to serve as a reminder to yourself!
Decorate the clipboard with any stickers or other fun things to make it your happy place.
*on the back of the clipboard I glued a library pocket to hold ‘ideas’ – then each week I can choose an idea from the pocket, and add to it as I feel inspired.
Some simple and (mostly!) inexpensive nurturing ideas:
Have a bubble bath
Read a magazine in bed
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Take a solo trip to the library
Play with some watercolour paints
Visit a garden
Treat yourself to a nutritious meal at a favorite cafe
Download a meditation online, lay down and relaxxxx
Lay outside on a blanket and watch the clouds
Attend a class that you’ve always been meaning to try
Write a list of things you are grateful for
Receive a massage
Doodle with crayons
Sit in a park and people watch
Visit a museum or art gallery
Go for an indoor swim
Read a chapter of a book
Plan a girls night with some friends – organize and send invites
Have a home facial
Go for a walk and take photos of things you see
Take a self portrait
Create a visual soul collage from magazine pictures
Organize your wardrobe
Burn oils and listen to music
Write a card/letter to a friend
Plant something in your garden or in a pot
Phone your best friend for a chat
Write some goals in your journal
Try a new recipe
Set your timer for half an hour of crafty time
Give yourself a hand massage & manicure
Take yourself out for coffee/hot chocolate
Make a cd of your favorite music for listening to in the car
More Ideas from Emily