With 3 kids 4 and under, sometimes getting a shower before 10am feels like a miracle. Since having our third baby, I’ve had to let some things go, and that inspired this week’s series, Give Yourself Grace. So far, I’ve shared my favorite household hacks, 5 tricks for keeping up with life with little ones, and today is my favorite. Because it’s all about you.
8 Busy Mom Tips for Taking Care of Yourself
1. Keep your favorite lipgloss in your kitchen, car, nightstand and purse. For me, the key with taking care of myself is finding the things that matter to me, and making them a priority. Because the small things make a huge difference. I may not have an hour to get ready, or even 5 minutes, but I do have a few seconds to grab my favorite lipgloss and put it on before I head to preschool drop-off. The key here is, make it your very favorite lipgloss. (Not the one you got for free from the dentist, not the one your mom gave you in your stocking that you’re trying to use up. Get your very favorite.) It’s a small thing, but the way I think of it, between dirty diapers and toddler tantrums, it may be the only thing I do for me all day. So I want it to be as perfect as humanly possible. My favorite lipgloss is Smith’s rosebud salve, which I literally buy in bulk on Amazon Prime.
2. Buy your favorite lotion, and keep it in your car. For the days when it’s 8pm and you realize you’re still in the workout clothes you sweat through at 6am. I do this all the time, and I love it. When I realize I stink, I reach into my car console and put lotion on my arms and legs. It’s so simple, but makes me feel clean and pretty again (even if I’m not *wink*). Again, make this lotion your very favorite. I love Bath & Body Works’ charmed life lotion, and my new favorite is desert essence coconut from Vitacost. (Literally, I sniffed the girl next to me at boot camp, and then followed her to her car afterward to ask what her lotion was. *stalker alert* I Then went home and immediately ordered 4 tubes of it that day. I’m weird, I know.) It’s a hack for the mornings when you can’t shower but want to feel a little less like a hot mess.
3. Paint your nails. This is one of my favorite ways to feel put-together, even when I’m in my mom uniform and haven’t showered in days. (Again, not showering is a theme here. #momlife) Painting my nails makes me feel clean, put-together, and dare I say it, stylish. Because, it’s really easy to buy a few new colors, and suddenly, you’re up on the latest nail trends and looking super modern. I buy all my nail polish at the drugstore. The color can be a low-quality brand, but I just make sure I have a high-quality top coat so it doesn’t get chipped after one round of dinner dishes. I swear by my Sally Hansen Hard as Nails clear topcoat, and my nails usually last me a good 4 days until I get a chip. (And, I can stretch that if I remember to add another clear top coat like 2 days in.) I know it’s hard to find time to paint your nails when you have young kids, but I always do it when they’re in bed, while the hubby and I are watching TV. It seriously only takes like 10 minutes, and nothing’s better than bright, glossy on-trend nails when you wake up in the morning. To screams for oatmeal and Paw Patrol.
4. Perfect your coffee ritual. It’s another thing that sounds so small, but hear me out. Let’s be honest. Making your morning coffee ritual perfect has huge potential to make your entire morning, and your entire day, awesome. Since I have 3 kids 4 and under, I never get a hot cup of coffee at home (obviously), and I realized that when I tried to bring my coffee in the car when we drive to school, it just wasn’t working for me. I was using a plain ceramic coffee mug, so it sloshed around my center console and didn’t really stay warm. My solution was so simple it was stupid. I bought a $2 package of disposable cups at the grocery store (and you can get a set of 50 on Amazon Prime), so now I have cups that I can take with me and throw away when I’m done. (*mind blown*) It seems so small but, especially when you’re a mom of littles, the small things are so big. Right?
5. Light candles around the house. I know it’s hard with little ones, but I just make sure the candles are high enough that no one can reach. Sometimes, I light a candle during naptime, as I have my Bible study out. It’s another ritual during the day that just makes that moment seem a little more special, a little more set-apart. You could also light candles in your bedroom at night, so that it smells good in there, and feels homey when you and your man go to bed.
6. Buy fresh flowers. You can find $3 arrangements at Trader Joe’s, or grab a succulents pot at the grocery store. And the truth is, you don’t even need to buy anything. Sometimes, when we’re on a neighborhood walk, I just grab a few huge, tropical-looking leaves and put them in a vase by the sink. The brilliant green adds a certain zestiness to the house, and creates a vibrant contrast to the neutral backdrop of our kitchen. For me, it’s really about making my “workspace” (the house) more beautiful. And even if it’s in the most simple way, it can make my whole day so much more enjoyable. Even when the kids haven’t napped and I have 6 loads of laundry to fold.
7. Put your feet in the tub at bath time. I know this sounds so silly, but it’s a hack I love! I find my kids’ bath time so much more enjoyable when I take my shoes off, and slip my feet into that hot, soapy water. Not only does it wash the scuff of the day off my tired feet, but it also spreads a feeling of calm and clean throughout my whole body. Obviously, it’s not as great as a pedicure at the salon, but it is a small taste of relaxation that I can incorporate into something I do everyday. And, another bonus: it totally helps me get into the moment with the boys. Sometimes, I kick my feet around to make it “storm” by sloshing the water around, and they love it! #coolestmomever
8. Own where you’re at. The bottom line is: it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. Don’t compare yourself to other moms who seem to have it all together. We’re all on our own journey. They look put-together on the outside, but they may have other battles and journeys that are just under the surface.
We’re all on our own path.
Just own yours.
So there you have it. A few of the ways I’ve learned to give myself grace, as I navigate life with 3 young kids and hardly any alone time. Do you have any other hacks to add? What are your favorite small ways to take care of yourself? Share yours in the comments section below.
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