Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making the Most of a Few Minutes of Mom Time

At this precise moment, Hubby and The Ginger are still sleeping, The Girl is next door at a sleepover, and I have a completely quiet living room to myself. I can hear the heating unit on, have Kitteh swirling at my feet with an occasional half meow or two, frustrated that the laptop is in my lap and not her, and can hear one of the other cats playing in their food dish. It is right now, in these moments, that I try and concentrate on myself. Some days this lasts 2 minutes before The Ginger comes hauling ass downstairs to play video games, and some days I'm lucky enough to get 15 or 20 minutes. However much time I'm graced with today, I'm using it to free-write my way through what goes on in my head when I finally get some peace and quiet.

Moms are everything. We play every role in a child's life that we possibly can, and when we finally get a few minutes to ourselves, we're planning or sorting out what we have to do next. From the moment the child is born this is the life of a Mom.

(And The Ginger awakens and comes downstairs. Yep, today was a 2 minute day.)

When those few minutes of Mom Time come along, we make a grocery list, or do some laundry, or balance the checkbook, or make a list of what still needs to be done in the house. We hardly ever just sit and be, or take a relaxing bath or watch our favorite TV show.

I'm breaking the cycle this year.

About a month ago I was asked to be a beta tester for an amazing website. It's kind of like if pinterest and facebook had a baby and this baby was trying to better your life with games, tasks, writing, visualization and goals. They haven't launched it yet, but when they do, I'm telling y'all now it's going to be the next biggest thing the internet has seen since facebook. And the reason is simple- this website, unlike facebook which is so full of negativity (you can't tell me right now you don't have at least 5 people on your friends' list who don't post 'Woe is me' statuses or political/religious/societal propaganda every day), promotes happiness and has people take steps to be the happiest they possibly can. This website has researchers and scientists behind it that have been studying the science of being happy and how to encourage people to exercise their happy muscle to make it bigger...

Stop snickering. I know, I know, I just said 'happy muscle', but get your minds out of the gutter... not that happy muscle.

I saw a difference after the first few days. I chose the 'Appreciate What You Have' track to perform the
exercises and tasks in, and it immediately made me look at my home, my family, and myself differently. I found myself yelling less, deep breathing more, and just sitting still and listening to the sounds around me (my kids came home from school one day while I was outside doing this- I think they're convinced I've finally lost it). I learned to quit worrying so much and focus on the positive. (And yes, when this website gets out of testing stages, I will definitely share it with everyone!)

Let me put this into Mom Words for all of those moms reading today, thinking, 'Yeah, sounds great, but what does that even mean, and do I have time to do it, too?' I'll give y'all a scenario that I'm sure you can relate to. A routine morning is getting the kids up for school, packing them a lunch, making sure they grab a bowl of cereal, making sure their book bags are packed, and kissing them goodbye as they head out the door to school. As soon as they walk out of the door, my brain would start to worry that their coats weren't warm enough and wonder if they should have worn gloves and a hat, too. Maybe I should have made them bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of them having a sugar-filled cereal. I should have added carrot sticks to their lunches to make them healthier. And crap, I'm pretty sure The Girl is wearing that shirt I hate. She snuck that one in on me.

I spent so much time concentrating on the negatives of a situation that I didn't see the positives. The kids did grab their heaviest jackets, so I'm sure they were fine. They at least ate a breakfast- a cereal that makes them smile and that we were fortunate enough to have in our home. Their lunches had applesauce, a lean turkey sandwich, pretzels and granola bars in them, so they were plenty healthy. And that shirt, while I hate it, is The Girl's favorite and she loves it, so it made her happy today (but yes, we will have a talk about it when she gets home this afternoon).

This is how I now approach things in my life; focusing on the positive instead of the negative, and I couldn't stress enough to moms... and anyone.... everywhere, that they need to do the same. Only 10% of what we moms worry about actually happens (yeah, I learned that on that awesome cool website). That means 90% of my worrying time is a waste of time, and I'm not happy with wasting time. I decided to relax a little more, listen to my intuition about things, and focus on the good of a situation instead of worrying about a little aspect of it.

Which leads me to sitting in the silence of the morning, savoring those few minutes I have before all hell breaks loose in my house (The Ginger is on the video games, my phone keeps going off with text messages, the cats have found something with a bell to fling around the front room, and I can hear that the neighbors are up, so The Girl will be home any time now). In the past, I'd fill those few minutes with making lists for the day or flipping through recipes on the internet for dinner that night or putting a load of laundry in the washing machine. I'd curse that moment when I heard someone coming down the stairs because I had spent my free time doing work instead of being me.Not anymore. I sit those few minutes just listening to my home, my wonderful home that I'm thankful to have, looking at the pictures of my family on the wall in front of me, thankful that my family is back together again, sipping my coffee, savoring that amazing smell I love so much, and just being in the moment. I don't curse the sound of someone waking up, someone that will end this quiet state. I say my thanks for having however many minutes I did have and am thankful that my son can run down the stairs and play video games, and that I have the little ginger-headed child in the first place. And, that he's old enough to get himself a bowl of cereal when he starts off his day downstairs as soon as he sees me with 'Mom, I'm starving.'

Try and change your way of thinking this week. Any time you find yourself with a few free minutes, just sit and listen. Go outside if you want to hear more, and close your eyes and just be. Deep breathe, clear your head of grocery lists and how you have to do laundry, and just be. Even if you can only get 2 minutes in, it's better than not having had that 2 minutes at all. I promise you, you'll see a difference in your life. If nothing else, those 2 sips of coffee you manage to get in during the peace and quiet taste so much better than any coffee you've ever had before, because you are savoring it, taking in the smell, the taste, how happy it makes you feel. Take those few minutes all for yourself, and be selfish about it. You know what they say...

If Mom's not happy, then no one is happy.

If you enjoy Inklings, please take a second to just click the banner below. Each click = 1 vote, and you can vote once per 24 hours. I do happy dances when people vote!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


  1. Practicing yoga teaches so many of these things. The most important thing for a Mom, is to not lose herself. Because Mom has to be happy, before she can make anyone else happy. Taking time for yourself, whether it's exercise, reading a book, having coffee/tea, taking a walk, or doing whatever you can to make yourself happy!

    "Worrying is like praying for what you don't want to happen!" Yogi Bhajan.

    1. I love that quote, and completely agree with you. I'll be starting yoga this week again (I've taken a few years off, lol). Thanks for commenting!!

  2. Great post. I can't wait to find out what that website is once it's officially launched, sounds like exactly what I need! One thing I've noticed is that at night when I'm rocking my 14 month old to sleep, I'm always thinking about all the things I have to do once he's in bed...dishes, putting toys away, finishing the laundry, etc. I've decided to instead try and enjoy those few minutes of quiet and try only to focus on myself and my little one in my arms. It won't be forever that I get to hold him like that, so I need to be present and savor it while I can!

    1. Exactly!! I've found, too, when you savor more, you end up with more things to savor. The Girl actually cuddled with me on the couch the other night (she's 10 and that's rare, lol), and when I enjoyed every second of it, savored it, she decided the next night she wanted to cuddle again. I couldn't be happier!! =)

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Wait, the never-ending lists don't slow down when they reach school-age?? ;). Yes, just slowing down and enjoying the moment. So important. And really reduces the stress level!

  4. I cannot wait for this to come out to the real world! After getting sober almost 4 years ago, I slowly learned gratitude and being grateful with what I already had. I try to look at the best in people, things, and situations and realize that accepting things the way they are is the only way to be happy. HOWEVER!Since becoming a mom, I still cannot get the lists, I need to's, and freakish worrying moments out of my head! It's good to know I am not alone in this though. I guess it's just the world of the mother :)

    Something to help my brain stay on track will definitely help though! Hurry up Beta tester!!!! Let us in! lol

  5. Thank you for this post. Has the website been released yet?