We all have breaking points. And, unfortunately, being a stay-at-home mom, those breaking points tend to come more often than I'd like to admit. Over the past three years, I have come up with different ways to cope and escape all the B.S. that can come along with parenting. We already know that it's important to create a good balance of parenting/self-care time. But what happens when you are home alone with two children who are fighting over every little thing and you are at your breaking point!? I've compiled a list of my favorite escapes when I'm alone taking care of the kids and want to avoid hitting that tipping point.
Give yourself an at-home spa pedicure. I use this one. It heats the water and has bubble and vibration options. This is one of my favorite mama escapes. I can't always afford (or find the time) to head to the spa, but I can transform my home into one once in a while. You just need (at least) 15 minutes!
Create a quick yoga routine you love. I have always loved yoga. It has long been my escape for anxiety, stress, anger, and so much more–even before I had kids. The problem is I don't have a lot of time anymore to do some of the yoga routines I love. So I came up with a short 14-minute yoga routine that combines a lot of back stretches for my SI joint issues, along with my favorite yoga poses and some ab work here and there. It's the perfect mixture of a workout, stretch, and endorphin release to give me a huge boost.
Give in to your kids' play demands completely. I'm often guilty of playing with my kids but not being fully engaged, which is not fun for me or them. Sometimes it helps to forget about all the things I need to get done and just play with them: No distractions. Some of my favorites are to build a blanket/box fort, play hide and seek or with Barbies (brings back so many good childhood memories), and dance with the girls with Just Dance.
Put your headphones on! Seriously, blast that gangsta rap if that's what gets you booty-shaking happy! I'm famous for using the one-earbud-in, one-out method when I'm with the girls and we are doing arts and crafts or something similar. Nothing boosts my mood more than music while cleaning up the house!
Toy Purge. One of my favorite stress reducers is to go on a toy binge. When we start this, my stress level almost instantly goes from a 10 down to a 5. The girls usually protest but end up having fun, because they get to go through and play with stuff they forgot about. The reward is looking at my accomplishment and the fresh open space I create by completing a toy purge...only to make room for more toys… The struggle is real.
Bake! Nothing brings more joy to my household than baking! Coming from a family that loves baking, the only time I'm truly happy in the kitchen is when I'm baking...or pouring a glass of wine. In a pinch, my go-to quick fix for when I'm in a bad mood is baking chocolate chip cookies with my girls. Luckily they possess the same passion for baking as I do!
Get dressed and do your makeup! My husband once told me I didn't have to "go all out" doing my hair and makeup just for him to come home to. I quickly corrected him. I don't just make myself "pretty" for others; I do it for myself because it makes me happy! I used to go days (weeks...who knows) without putting on makeup or clothes that made me feel like anything other than a bum. I started to realize that I felt better about myself on the days I did my hair and makeup. I even started to change my wardrobe and added more comfy casual clothes that still looked cute. I have my mom look down to a 10-15-minute routine now.
Find a new hobby, or pick up an old one. My passion throughout childhood and my teens was writing. Before I started writing for my blog last year, it had been at least 10 years since the last time I wrote anything as a pastime. I gave up on my dream of becoming a famous journalist when reality struck me in my first year of college. And I convinced myself over the years that I wouldn't be good anymore, or that I just didn't have the time. After getting used to my new stay-at-home mom gig, I quickly realized I needed a hobby. It just made sense to pick up writing, and it has become one of the most rewarding escapes from parenting stress!