Being a stay-at-home mom is no easy job. Unless you’re a mother, it’s hard to comprehend how much of your day is jam packed with preparations, chores, and busyness while staying with the kiddos. My infant boy has never been an “easy-going” child. He is pitta, full of fire and motion. He has lots of needs, and I am at the center of them. While many people (including my family) assume I am either doing something wrong or choose to lay around and watch Netflix all day, they are plain wrong. The only time I sit is to feed him, nurse him, or let him nap on me.
He still takes his naps lying on me, usually using my breast for comfort. I am fine with it. In the past, I would rewatch Friends for the thousandth time or write a blog or scroll mindlessly. It’s okay every once in a while, but not for every nap or moment of “rest.”
A few weeks ago, I took several days away from social media. A few months before that, I decided to turn off the television during the day. What I learned was that I had more time than I was allowing myself. These outlets are not evil, but giving them too much time was creating a negative headspace. They were distracting me from living, in the here and now.
Other than writing and sharing my feelings, thoughts, and ideas on social media or blogging, I try to be more mindful in real life. With less time in toxic spaces, here is what I have done and learned effective:
1. Instead of watching TV, I read. During Lucca’s first morning nap, I will watch The Today Show, but after he wakes up, the TV is off until the evening. When the television isn’t on, there is time to read, to dive an enjoyable story. There is time to journal and blog. There is time to send an email. THERE IS A LITTLE TIME to even close my eyes. Background noise is overrated; silence can be a blessing.
2. The cell phone is NOT the last thing I look at before going to bed or the first thing I pick up in the morning. At night, I’ll put my phone away and read on my Kindle. Or I’ll meditate. I’ve been doing this for months, and it’s much easier to fall asleep. The screen is not good for the eyes, period. And the drama is not good for the spirit.
3. Drink at least 8 oz of water before breakfast. Coffee is my saving grace in the morning, and I want it before breakfast, but it’s important to stay hydrated. I use a Hydro Flask water bottle and take it everywhere, including to bed. When I wake up, I drink whatever is left in there, typically 8-12 oz. It’s not much, but it’s a start. We can all drink more water. Water helps the organs, skin, reduce headaches, and regulates appetite.
4. I stretch or do yoga every night. Even though I teach classes and do bits of yoga throughout my day, I at least stretch nightly to let the day go and prepare for sleep. Most of what I do is extremely gentle, right out of my Healing Yoga E-Book. Gentle stretches and breathwork help to release tension, find calm, and feel comfortable in the body.
By making these small changes in my daily life, I have found more time to be present. I have found more autonomy in my mind and soul. Sometimes, we need to make small shifts in order to see bigger shifts. There is nothing I have “cut out,” but there are times when I don’t dwell on drama found on the internet. What matters is the present, being with my baby, appreciating nature, sharing feelings and moving on, taking care of ME, and making time for my husband.
What do you need to adjust? What can you do less of to allow more space for what you need? Try one of these habit changes above and see if things in your life move. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you
Be kind to yourself,