Ah... time to read. When taking time for myself I choose one of two things. Crafting or reading. So while at the library I picked up a few new books.. One of them being Hannah Keely's TOTAL MOM MAKEOVER. Now I will be the first to say that i knew nothing about this rockin' mom, but after reading her book I am pretty sure she is a great gal to hang out with.
She is the mom to 7 kids and a dynamic homeschooler to boot!.. She has a nifty web site http://www.totalmom.com/index.html and lots of great advice on tons of stuff. Best of all she says the sorts of things that I have been saying for a while now and already working on in my own life. So while we both have differnt words for it.. we are both working towards the same goal... she just happened to write a book about it! She is a mom who knows that nobody likes the hostess of a pity party and she STRONGLY encourages all mom's to take care of themselves so that they can take care of their families... neat lady!
So in that spirit I am putting out there my top ten ways to leave your own pity-party and get on with raising your family and rockin your marriage the way you and your husband deserve!
1) Buy new underwear!.. if the only time you bother about wearing nice undies is the one time a year you go get a pap-smear then you have some shopping to do missy!.. Nobody likes to see panties with shot elastic, or worse yet blood stains. And yes you CAN afford to get new undies.. just start with 1 pair a week till you have 10 pairs, then each time one gets ruined buy 1 new pair..it's that easy.
2) Buy a bra that fits. A bra fits when the center point ( between the boobs!) lays flat on your chest. If your bra is nothing more than a hammock for your endowments then you are not wearing the right size bra. Custom order it if you must, but do it. A well fitted bra takes 10 visual pounds off of your weight.
3) Dress at least as well as your dress your toddler. If you would rather die than to see them go out of the house in a stained outfit, don't wear one yourself. Don't drag around the house in something that would be better suited for a dust cloth. This does not make you feel good nor does it send a strong confident message to your children. If you sent your kids to school and their teacher schlepped into the class room in faded flannel bottoms and an over sized old Hanes shirt... would you think they were ready to teach your kids?
4) Get a hair cut!!... I will say that I was totally guilty on this front for a long time. If and when I got my hair done it was a $12 Super-cut that did nothing for me or my hair. While the ladies there might be very nice they work there since they can't get a job at one of the hi-end salons. There is a difference!!!.. Good hair makes you feel good. Same goes for spending some time actually doing your hair. Take 10 minutes.. it will pay you back all day!
5) Teach your kids to respect your time and have a signal that means that they are not to bother you at that moment unless there is blood or fire. I will totally cop to the fact that I had been getting real lax on this one but in the same breath tell you that it was crawling all over me the way the kids were interrupting while I was on the phone or talking with their dad. So we are back into to swing of making sure we are clear about it. A good rule of thumb is... if you would DIE if your child did the same thing to another person then they should not be doing it to you.
6) Flirt with your husband! ( or significant other!).. EVERYONE likes to be flirted with! It puts a pep in your step and makes you feel good. Your husband ( unless he is a total @ss, and if so why are you still married to him?) deserves to feel special too... flirt with him! I happen to be very talented in this area and can ummmm *engage* my husband with as little as a look or a few words but it does not take a sultry voice or even a smokin look. Just tell him how good he looks in that new shirt or how good he smells when he uses that certain soap. For god's sake just let him know you notice!
7) Ditch the guilt. I know for a firm fact that any time I hear that little voice in my head say.. " a GOOD mother would ________" it's like my little bell that I have some resentment about doing that thing. Now sometimes it's something that really needs to be done but very often i find that I am doing/ going into the event, trip, expericne without a loving state of mind. This usually means that I will be somewhat snippy, or worse, in the end I will make everyone unhappy with my bad attitude. Keep track of these things and act in your own best interest since it's most always also in your kid's TRUE best interest .
8) Be a firm gatekeeper of the household finances. Don't bury your head when it comes to money. Don't let your husband worry alone. Even better work on the bills together and come up with a budget and stick to it. Don't spend money out of guilt or to buy happiness or to make up for something that went wrong.
9) Put your kids to bed!.. for you and for your marriage. Little kids need a lot of sleep even if they don't think so. They can get out of the habit and it might take some time to get them back into it. Putting children under 10 into bed between 7-8 pm gets them they sleep they need and you time as individuals, and time as a couple. This time will strengthen your marriage and pay you back in so many ways. If you have older kids ( teens) make sure they also have a firm bed time then leave them be. Create a parental haven in your bedroom. Bring up some drinks, maybe a few snacks, books, whatever.. But do your best to turn off your mommy-brain and work on being you... or even better... you with that great guy your married! Of course all bets are off with sick kids and the like.. but soon as they are better.. claim back your time. You deserve it!
10) Be a happy parent. If you are not do what it takes to get that way. I grew up with a mom who was not happy being a mom. There is nothing worse than feeling like a burden to your parents. Even small children can pick up on this and it will color everything they do. So if you are not happy enough that your children and friends can tell, do what it takes to get that way. Yes there are days that are frustrating but over all it really should be the joy of your life. Think of it not only as a gift to yourself but as a gift to those around you.
Make it a good week!