This week, we asked three of our GrowMamas this question: What do you recommend in terms of habits or rituals that allow you as a busy mother to relax and nurture yourself from time to time?
“Motherhood is not only the most rewarding job in the world; it is also the most demanding. If we don’t nurture ourselves, it’s easy to feel ‘depleted’ and lose our positive energy, often feeling like we don’t have much to give to others.
Every day I try to set aside 30 minutes in the morning just for myself. On most days, I try to wake up before the kids. During this time I can exercise, take a peaceful shower, or enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while reading. It doesn’t always happen, but when I do get that time just for me, I feel relaxed and ready for my day.”
“When I find myself in a terrible, horrible, no-good day, which usually involves two babies crying inconsolably, a messy house, hungry kids, bad weather, a headache and a lack of sleep, I realize that the day is not working. I rush to herd the gang into the car, disregarding any missing shoes or pants.
Once we are in the car, a calm descends. I hook up my mp3 player to a cheap FM Transmitter and start listening to where I last left off in a lecture series on the 99 names of Allah or stories of the Quran. If it’s after 3 p.m., I switch to NPR. I take a few slow breaths and the van glides out of the driveway.
We go around in circles and never arrive at a destination. Sometimes, I reduce the demands of the day by swinging through a drive-thru, ticking lunch off my unmanageable to-do list. Other days, I treat myself to a latte.
Are we there yet? Not yet. I cruise our city’s streets until at least three out of four are asleep. The quiet car is usually enough to clear my mind and calm my senses.”
And C writes,
“At the start of everyday, I spend 20-30 minutes exercising. Over the years I have found that it mentally prepares me for my day. I follow it up with a good shower with natural soap, and homemade shampoo, facial masque and creams.
After asr, I usually take some me time just reading a few chapters in a book, reading Quran or writing on my blog. Lately however, I have been doing my online coursework for an herbal class and a Seekers Guidance class. After everyone has gone to bed I spend time laughing over the stressful parts of my day with my husband over a few squares of dark organic chocolate.
Exercise, reading and laughter are my recipe for nurturing myself throughout the day and recharging my battery.”