When our phones start to get hot on our palms, we know that it’s time to give it a rest. Perhaps its battery is already struggling, and we need to recharge it. Otherwise, it won’t be able to keep up to our demands, and we risk getting it damaged. This is a simple concept that we face every day, so it’s ironic that we often forget that, like our phones, us moms need to recharge too.
Momhood is an exciting yet overwhelming experience. The responsibilities that we have to do does not stop the moment our kids get out the door to go to school. Nowadays, moms are also working for their families. And in a fast-paced world, we sometimes choose to neglect our own comfort in order to keep up.
However, you must know that you will only be able to face these challenges and responsibilities if you also prioritize self-care. It seems easier said than done, but I discovered two ways on how a busy mom can recharge when she’s home.
Set and Stick to Your Boundaries
One of the habits that I have to break is accepting too much on my plate. Even before I became a mom, I tend to take a lot of tasks thinking that I will be able to handle them. Don’t get me wrong; challenges are there to help you grow. And it’s a boost of self-esteem when you conquered a list that you think you won’t be able to pull off.
However, you also have to accept that sometimes, you have to be realistic in the tasks that you can take. Otherwise, it’s like you’re buying a pair of shoes you like, even though it’s one or two sizes smaller than your feet. You think you won’t get calluses, but you will. Save yourself the pain and potential to feel burnout by creating and sticking to personal boundaries.
For example, if I know that I will have a lot of work for next week, I’ll tell my husband that I won’t be able to pick up the kids at school. It seems so simple, but it gives me time to rest a bit after getting home. Then, when I know I won’t be as busy the following week, I can pick up the kids after work. It’s a simple task to remove or add to my daily routine, but when you have a lot of things on your plate, it can just end up to mom being cranky during the whole drive.
I also remembered a lot of times where I could get an increase in salary if I’m willing to do additional responsibilities in the office. Me and my husband are doing great financially, so I refused the offer. I know that taking it will be too much, especially with our daughter only being four months at the time. And I also don’t want to give a bad impression to my company if I won’t be able to provide quality work in that area.
Another example of boundaries that you can set is a literal recharge area in the house. It can even be an activity during a specific time where you can just relax and unplug. One of the tips that my mother told me was to tell our kids that when mom is in the bathroom, she is busy. Of course, you can only do this once you’ve made sure your kids are safe. But when they’re trying to barge in to tell you a story for the 10th time, it’s okay to lock the door haha.
You can also set a time boundary where if your children wake up earlier than schedule, they have to wait until mom visits them in the room before waking her up. Again, this is only applicable if your kids are safe. But it’s okay to tell them what time they can visit mom and dad’s room in the morning.
Find What Helps You Unwind
Not all moms have the same definition of unwinding. Maybe you’re the type who needs to socialize in order to recharge. Or perhaps you’re like me who has room to retreat in and just enjoy some peace and quiet.
My husband and I converted our basement into another living room, but quieter and more tranquil. We also added a window well cover to use natural light inside during daytime. When either of us needs some peace and quiet, we use this room, and our kids know that mom or dad is busy. My husband plays his games, while I use this room to paint by the window.
Another recharge suggestion that I think works for most moms is any physical activity. You might enjoy running or exercising, and you can also try other activities like yoga and pilates if you want something less intense. After all, exercising is not just great for your physical health. It is also great for your emotional and mental health because it helps your body release endorphins.
These hormones alleviate stress and trigger a positive feeling, which is what you need after a tedious day or week. For me, physical activities do not only help you look good because they help you stay in shape. You’ll also feel good because you can release all the stress.
My other mom friends like to recharge by doing home improvement. Some love decorating and cleaning, which is also advantageous since a clutter-free home is a clutter-free mind. My sister, on the other hand, enjoys gardening, which does not only yield her gorgeous-looking roses. She also gets her dose of sunshine and physical exercise in the comfort of their own yard.
My point here is that you shouldn’t underestimate the effect of seemingly simple activities on your physical and emotional health. And if you’re looking for a sign to say, “yes momma, you shouldn’t feel guilty wanting a recharge,” then this is it. Remember that you will only be as effective in tackling the different day to day demands if, just like your phone, you have charged your “batteries.”