We are constantly on the go, rushing to and fro, trying to fit as much as possible into our already over-extended lives. We have to stop, breathe and find our focus. The frazzled rushing is counter-productive. We need a goal-oriented focus in order to be constructive. We are unfortunately unable to create time. We DO, however, have the ability to make time and to take time, even if it means enjoying stolen moments, stolen moments of sanity.
Motherhood can be hard and full of concessions and compromises, but we don't have to feel like we are getting the short end of any stick. With the right mindset we can nurture ourselves while we take care of others. My favorite motherhood "win" is when I manage to meet my own needs as well as those of my family, without cutting corners. Here are my favorite opportunities for stolen moments of sanity.
20 Stolen Moments of Sanity for Mothers
Get up a few minutes earlier than everyone else to take a shower and get dressed in peace.
Treat yourself to Starbucks. Acknowledge that it is a splurge.
Leave work early or come home 10 minutes late to get an errand done without kids in tow.
Spend five minutes cuddling, it means more for both of you than being on time.
Prioritize everything unapologetically, sometimes it is more important to stay home and let your friends go to dinner without you. Other times, a mom's night out is needed.
Accept help from people who offer. Let the bag boy carry your groceries to the car!
Shut off social media! It's great that your high school friend caught a big fish, but the awesome fish your kid drew with chalk is more important.
Read a book for ten minutes before bed. Download a FREE Kindle book and read it on your phone – instead of social media!
Shut off the TV, skip HGTV for an evening and organize your jewelry or a shelf in your closet.
Handwrite a letter to a friend or an elderly relative during your lunch.
Clean your kitchen counter after the kids are in bed. This way one area of the house is neat, organized and ready for a new day.
Scroll through the contacts in your phone. Send an "I am thinking of you" text to a long lost friend.
Park the car at the furthest end of the parking lot and walk the rest of the way.
Listen to your favorite music in the car, don't make any phone calls.
Sneak away to breathe and mediate for 10 minutes during the day, even if the closet is your only sanctuary.
Apply a refreshing facial mask while the kids are playing quietly. Do it even if they are NOT playing quietly.
Soak your feet in the tub while your kids are taking a bath.
When the kids are done eating, give them paper and crayons so you have extra time to eat in peace.
After dinner, sit down to color with your kids. Do NOT stay within the lines.
When the kids fall asleep in the car, pull into a parking lot and relax.
When you don't have the luxury of endless time and resources, remember that stolen moments count. A few minutes of conscious peace, serenity and clarity can be as revitalizing as an entire day at the spa. Allow yourself the luxury of stolen moments, and remember to "BE WHERE YOU ARE!"
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Mama in the Now. It has been republished here with permission.
Tove Maren is a Danish-American mother of four boys, ages 8 and younger. She is a freelance writer and translator. Tove reports live from the trenches of motherhood where she writes about all things related to life love, laughter and LEGOs. You will find her encouraging, as she empowers you to parent by intuition and with confidence.