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Mommypotamus Needs to Chill

on May 4 | in Parenting | by | with 15 Comments

Isn’t this photo awful? It was taken after a rough night with Katie when she was about 7 months old. I decided to post it today because it looks how I feel. Seriously, I’m fine. Life has never held more purpose or promise, and really I can’t complain (much). Yesterday was just a long day and I’m having a difficult time unwinding.

I like to present the idea that I know what I’m doing in life. Usually it works out for me. Except when I don’t. have. any. clue.

The Mommypotamus definition of “know what I’m doing in life” is knowing my job and knowing how to relax and have fun. Work and play . . . simple as that.

Since becoming a mother these two gauges have become moving targets. With each milestone my parenting objectives change, and so does everything else. Yes, my pre-baby activities (clothes shopping, watching chick flicks, sleeping in) sound heavenly. But they don’t fit my life anymore. Sometimes everything clicks. Right now I am in one of those in-between periods where I need to find new ways to relax in three minutes or less throughout the day.

In fact, I think I’ll go do some research in the tub right now. While I’m soaking, maybe you could tell me:

What are the best ways to relax if you have only 5, 15, or 45 minutes? Do you have a favorite funny blog? An essential oil that lifts your spirits? Some Rescue Remedy, maybe? Hmmm, maybe a fair-trade chocolate bar stashed in your diaper bag?

DON’T SAY FACEBOOK. I already do that ; – )

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15 Responses to Mommypotamus Needs to Chill

  1. Mae says:

    I got one escape a week when I was pregnant, prenatal yoga. It was the best part of my week.
    .-= Mae´s last blog ..Meal Plan Monday =-.

    • Heather says:

      Mae, I haven’t gone because that’s when I tuck Katie into bed but I’m thinking maybe she’ll be fine without me one night a week. I’d love to try it.

  2. Russell Hemati says:

    Actually, I think Facebook is actually stress-inducing. It’s a whole bunch of news about people you like – all of which screams out LOOK AT ME!! LOOK AT ME!! If you miss something important (heart icons, baby pictures, job changes, moving) you won’t get any other announcement – so you have to watch it like a hawk. It’s ridiculous, really.

    I have headphones that block out ALL exterior sound. If I have 15 minutes, I find music that will help offset the mood I’m in. If life is chaotic, I put on Bach or Haydn. If I’m feeling perfectionistic, I play jazz or another improvisational genre. If I’m feeling out of control, something defiant and scream-y will do the trick.

    The important part is to listen with my eyes closed – not as background music for another task. REALLY listen. And then get back to the day.

    Well, listen with a little white tea and honey. :-)

    • Heather says:

      Russ, I agree that FB is stress-inducing. But, since I rarely watch t.v. it is the closest thing to “tuning out the world” I have.

      Thanks for your suggestion, too. It’s going to take some organization on my part (my music is scattered throughout the house and I can rarely find what I’m looking for), but I’m going to give it a try.

  3. lizzy says:

    when i was pregnant with titus, and i finally had a few spare minutes to unwind (and since we’d cut our cable so we had zero tv) i would read http://www.joyfolieblog.com/

    i like how she writes and as i cyberstalked her, i got the feeling that if she didn’t live all the way in houston, we could be good friends. (isn’t that usually a side effect of cyberstalking someone?) anyway… i always looked forward to reading her blog at the end of my day before i attempted something akin to sleep.

    hang in there… i’ve totally been where you are and believe me, it DOES get better. :)
    .-= lizzy´s last blog ..i’m gonna open my eyes… see the world =-.

    • Heather says:

      Ohhh! I have been in love with her shoes ever since you introduced me to her site for your photo shoot. I just read the story of how she settled on her new business name. How inspiring! I am reading this book by Bill Johnson called “Dreaming With God.” It is about how our dreams and creativity fit into God’s plan for transforming cultures for the better. He brings up this scripture where God says he will send craftsmen against the four horsemen (can’t remember what they represent but it wasn’t good). Craftsmen who use their creativity to stave of famine, war, etc. I would get the reference right now but it’s in the room where Katie is (hopefully) falling asleep. The passion behind Joyfolie is just what he is describing. I want to live that way! Not making shoes. Bread, cheese and beer will do for me!

      Thanks for sharing, Liz!

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Facebook isn’t relaxation anyway. I’d suggest that nothing electronic is.

    In the most pressure-filled, stress-inducing periods of my life, I found a wealth of relaxation in the discipline of staying aware of the moment and recognizing the nice parts of whatever I was doing. Even if I had to do something I dreaded, and I was on my way there, I realized I could comfort myself with the fact that I wasn’t there yet, and that all I was doing *at present* – the only thing I needed to worry about – was the simple act of walking across the room, or drinking a glass of water, sitting on the bus, or even just using the bathroom. And there was nothing unpeaceful about any of those things. In fact they were all enjoyable in their own way. And when I got to that previously dreaded moment, it wasn’t ever as dreadable, or even as stressful, as I had expected, *if* I continued disciplining myself to stay only with the moment that I was in. Only.

    It sounds SO simple, and it is, but it takes effort to teach yourself to do it. Try it for one day: don’t let your mind wander. Keep it right there, on the sensations, the needs and the enjoyable feelings of whatever it is you’re doing *right now.* I know you’ll find that your mind is CONSTANTLY wandering, but just keep bringing it back. For me, when I learned to do this consistently, it became an unbelievable source of strength and peace that girded me up in absolutely everything I did.

    And by the way, I was caring for a 4-year-old boy at this time, so it’s totally compatible with kids being around.

    Let me know if you try it, and how it works out.

    • Heather says:

      Elizabeth – I am going to try, but I think your will is stronger than mine!

      • Elisabeth says:

        LOL! Yeah, it’s tricky to get through the “And, why am I trying to do this again?” phase. But once through it, it’s pretty amazing how it pays off.

        By the way, I said I don’t think there’s real relaxation in anything electronic, but I think Russ’s suggestion is an exception. That sounds like an awesome idea.

  5. katie says:

    I love that you posted this, I have been feeling the same way, in fact I was going to look up scripture and blog about it myself! I read, burn candles while doing so. I actually got in the bath last night something I haven’t done in months, which used to be a regular thing for me. I have also had to say no to a few oppurtunities to make money. I honestly think the best thing for me to relax is to sit in the back yard listening to the birds chirp, and drinking some coffee or tea, with my bible next to me and read the word as things enter my mind. Now I NEED to remember how to relax! We are much better for those we love if we can learn to be calm, and take a few moments here and there.
    .-= katie´s last blog ..Chamomile rosemary cleansing hair rinse =-.

    • Heather says:

      When our kids get a little older we all need to do a spa day together! I used to think such things were a waste of money but NOT ANYMORE!

  6. Melanie Buck says:

    I have faked stomach aches so that I could lock myself in the upstairs bathroom for 10 minutes and use the time to paint my toes. Red toes make me feel better. I am not proud and ladies when you see my husband, lets keep this one between us.

  7. Jaime says:

    I have high blood pressure and yoga is helping a little. When I don’t have time to yoga – I like to close my eyes and just concentrate on breathing deeply and relaxing my body for a couple of minutes. When I force myself to focus on my breathing, I can keep every other thought at bay and out of my head. There’s something nice and uplifting about wiping the slate clean for a couple of minutes and just relaxing. I can do this when I have just one minute or thirty minutes – but I usually just do the yoga if I have the 30 :)
    The deep breathing is very refreshing. I’m thinking of doing that right now!

    • Heather says:

      Another response that makes me want to try yoga. I talked to my husband tonight and he said he would put Katie to bed so I could go. Yippee!

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