Author Topic: Self Care  (Read 1247 times)

Slow&Steady

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Self Care
« on: May 21, 2019, 03:02:57 PM »
I need ideas for self care.  DH and I are not in a good place right now and I am really stressed out. Our therapist has given me the homework of "extreme self care", my problems:

If it takes away from time with the kids (1 & 5, the 14 year old would be happy with less MOM time) I feel extreme guilt because I already miss so much of the day with them.  I leave for work before they wake up and only usually get 2-3 hours with them in the evening before bedtime.

If I have to get up earlier or go to bed later I will not be able to function very well at work.

If I have to spend money I would rather pay down debt, add to savings, or spend in on family stuff.

cloudsail

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2019, 03:11:25 PM »
What are your options for childcare? Do you have family or friends, or do you have to hire a babysitter?

Parizade

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2019, 03:22:25 PM »
If you can find 15 minutes you can do one of these free guided meditations
Free guided meditations

Can you go for a walk over lunch?
Can you listen to soothing music while you work? Load it onto your smarphone and plug in ear buds.
Can you call a friend and just talk for a few minutes?
Can you drop the kids at the grandparents for an afternoon so you can take a nap?

just a few thoughts

Kmp2

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 04:08:16 PM »
A cup of tea, a bath, a book, a walk/run/bike outside, time in nature, a splash in a puddle, good'ole'movies that make you cry and laugh at the same time, stitch and b*tch with friends... self care need not cost a lot, or even take much time.  My self care is my bike, I need to be outside, and active to be mentally healthy. To fit it in (I have a 1,3 and 6 year old) I bike to the store, or to work, or to my kids soccer whatever trip makes sense that week. I'm outside in rain, snow and sun, and usually it's an activity I do with my kids.

Practice letting go of things, of mom guilt, of chores, of home cooked meals, of clean floors - whatever! But expect less, do less, and be more, breathe. And I mean practice, because we're not good at self care, it takes time to learn it for you especially if your out of practice.

Hugs, be kind to your self.

 


gooki

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 08:22:08 PM »
Going for a walk at any opportunity during the workday, helped me significantly.

better late

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2019, 09:22:43 PM »
Could you ďhireĒ your 14 year old to take on more of the household work? They like to make money at that age and if they take some of the chores you usually do, maybe you can find 10-20 minutes after the little ones go to sleep to take a walk or read a book or chat with a friend etc.

MrsPB

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2019, 04:35:41 AM »
Iím in a similar place right now. 2 young kids, work full time and my partner travels for work, often over the entire weekend causing me to be burnt out. We have no family remotely close so Iím on my own. Self care is so hard. Here are some things I do:
-Buy nice tea bags or coffee (for making at home) so you feel like they are treats. One day a week get a nice take out coffee/tea or treat yourself to take out lunch at work.
-Buy some nice candles and bubble bath so that when you do get a bath, it feels more luxurious.
-Find a couple of guilty pleasure tv shows you can watch to zone out/laugh at etc.
-find some little snacks/treats that are just for you that you can have at work or after the kids are in bed. I like individually wrapped ones, they just feel more special.
-book a vacation day and take the day alone, do not keep the kids home. This one was hard for me the first time I did it, so much so that I went to pick up my kids at lunchtime from daycare! But now I realize I need that time to be a better parent to them. A stressed mom is not good. On these occasional days I will try to nap, watch tv, etc. Just chill out and not have to respond to anyoneís needs. Itís hard because I want to use my vacation for actual vacation and family time but this is what I need to do for self care since I canít get a break at weekends when I am alone with the kids.
Basically, try to elevate the mundane as much as you can. If you canít carve out a lot of personal time, these things can help.

Try to look at your self care as essential for your whole family. You are the core, of you are suffering then everyone is. Put on your own oxygen mask first.



Slow&Steady

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2019, 06:55:45 AM »
What are your options for childcare? Do you have family or friends, or do you have to hire a babysitter?

Kids go to daycare during the day.  DH does pick up and drop offs so they are at home by the time I get home from work.  Family does not live near by, we do have an old daycare teacher that we love and is willing to babysit if needed.

Can you go for a walk over lunch?
Can you listen to soothing music while you work? Load it onto your smarphone and plug in ear buds.
Can you call a friend and just talk for a few minutes?
Can you drop the kids at the grandparents for an afternoon so you can take a nap?

just a few thoughts

I have gone for a walk during lunch a few times, with nicer weather that might be more of an option.
Music at work is a good suggestion.
I generally talk to a close friend on my commute, it helps but that doesn't feel like self care all the time
Grandparents (family) are not close enough to help.

"Let go of the mom guilt", "Put on your own oxygen mask first" are things I have heard a lot lately.  Maybe I need to start listening.

Off to dig my headphones out of my bag and plan on taking a walk during lunch, thank you for the suggestions!

Freedomin5

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2019, 07:12:35 AM »
Sometimes self care is not about adding things to your life (even if they are good things); sometimes self care is about subtracting unnecessary or stressful but ultimately unimportant things from your life.

Sibley

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2019, 07:20:10 AM »
This is extreme, but your therapist said extreme.

Leave. You are going to leave the house for a minimum of 2 days. Sans kids. Go visit family or friends, or just stay in a hotel in town. Doesn't matter. But leave normal life behind for a few days.

Kids will survive. You will survive. Husband will survive. House will survive. EVERYONE will survive. And if your therapist said you need extreme self care, then that tells me you're actually in pretty bad shape and you really, really need to make a dramatic change.

You CAN NOT be a good mom if you're falling apart.

MrsPB

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2019, 08:31:22 AM »
I Agree with pp, you are in a health crisis. You need to spend some money on your own care and health here and now or you wonít be working due to stress soon. Small self care can take the edge off but bigger changes may be needed in the short term. Can you reduce hours at work for a while? I know not all employers are open to this but itís worth investigating. Can you have one evening a week where you are out of the home doing something nurturing like a class? Your husband can take care of the kids for one night a week. Itís so hard to put yourself first as a mother, I have a hard time too. Try to let go of the thought that your health is not a worthy expense.

mm1970

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2019, 11:17:34 AM »
What is your schedule like?  I've had periods where I need extreme self care too.  Sometimes I neglected it so much that I got bronchitis and was taken down and out for an entire month.

Here's what I do (my kids are now 6 and 13, but I started this when the little one was 1)
- Go to bed at 8:30.  This means my husband puts them to bed, and I'm asleep first.  NotSorry.
- Read for 10 min before going to sleep.
- Wake up at 5 am.  Exercise a few times a week.  Running, swimming, lifting.  Whatever burns off stress.
- Lunch walks at work, at least 3x a week.  Reduces stress.
- 15-20 minutes after dinner crocheting, drinking tea, or reading.
- 20 min of yoga in the morning

Also kid things that can reduce my stress:
- snuggles and reading
- card games

General household things:
- Lots of healthy food, but some of it pre-prepared.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2019, 11:51:29 AM »
I had not really considered a trip/leaving for a couple days.  I travel for work and although not having to do baths/bedtimes/etc for a few nights is a nice a change of pace I usually spend too much time wishing that I was home to actually find it relaxing.

Schedule

5:00-5:30 Out of bed
6:00-6:30 Leave the house
7:00-7:30 Get to work
16:30 Leave work
17:30-18:00 Get Home (I need to reduce my commute)
19:30 Baths
20:00 Bedtime for 1 year old
21:00 Bedtime for 5 year old
22:00 Bedtime for me

I am also working on getting my Master's so that school work either happens at work (when things are slow) or after the kids are in bed.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2019, 12:03:01 PM »
Cutting hours and changing jobs (unless it has a similar compensation) are not the most feasible options at the moment but they are the biggest thing I am working towards.  The position I am hoping to get a 2nd interview for would cut my commute in half and change that work schedule to 7:00-15:30 (on most days). I would leave the house at a similar time but could be home by 16:00, or I could go to the gym for an hour and still get home earlier than I do currently.

Spoiler: show
The reason DH and I are not doing so hot right now is that I have recently discovered that he has a shopping/spending addiction that he has been very good a hiding for over a decade but it has finally bit him in the a**. I am the primary breadwinner/insurance provider so I need to maintain my income where is it to make sure that all our family needs are met while he works through therapy and cleaning up his mess

meerkat

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2019, 12:13:55 PM »
Looks like you have a long commute, what do you do on your commute? If you're driving, can you put on podcasts instead of listening to morning radio? I find that listening to funny podcasts helps my day start off better.

Can you meet up with a friend for lunch every other week? It doesn't have to be the same friend each time. I've tried to do that because I'm not good at being social otherwise.

Seconding taking a day off and staying at home while the kids leave the house. I try not to put too much on my to do list for when I do that, but inevitably some to do list items pop up and I try to make it stuff I can't get done with a kid underfoot or that would take five times longer. In your case, maybe try to make it a Monday instead of a Friday so you don't feel the need to have "weekend prep" to do list items. But - if you can, because you're in an extreme situation - do nothing. Get out of the house if you need to. Find some free event in your area, go to the library's quiet room to read and relax, something.

mm1970

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2019, 01:09:39 PM »
Yes your commute is basically killing you.

The Blunderbuss

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2019, 01:59:47 PM »
That sounds really tough, particularly as you have the added pressure of being the primary breadwinner for the family as you come out of a situation that is not of your own making, on top of kids and school.  But that makes it even more important that you take care of yourself first.

Self care doesn't have to cost money, but you do need to put aside some time for it.  I understand that you don't want it to come out of the time you have with your kids, but that means it needs to come from somewhere else.  It sounds like your therapist is suggesting this "extreme" self care as a one off exercise - so why not take a days vacation from work (or even call in sick as a mental health day) and do whatever.  I'm a homebody so would probably want a sleep in, a bubble bath and to sit on the couch reading a book with nobody talking to me.

Longer term could your 5 year old go to bed any earlier?  You know what is best for your family, but 9pm seems late.  Even if you can bring it forward by half an hour, that would give you some extra time to yourself in the evenings.  I have friends that send all their kids to bed at the same time but give the older kids half an hour reading time, the rule being they have to be in bed for it.  5 might be too young to read independently, but would they be happy to look at picture books in bed or even play with a couple of toys?


Slow&Steady

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2019, 02:21:44 PM »
Looks like you have a long commute, what do you do on your commute? If you're driving, can you put on podcasts instead of listening to morning radio? I find that listening to funny podcasts helps my day start off better.

I carpool for half of it and talk with friends or my mom the other half or sing along to the radio. 

Slow&Steady

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2019, 02:36:01 PM »
If you can find 15 minutes you can do one of these free guided meditations
Free guided meditations

I actually have that app on my phone!  We use it as a relaxing background noise for the 5 year old to go to sleep, I guess I should look at using it for myself

sideHustler

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2019, 02:46:48 PM »
OP, just try small transitions and you'll eventually find something that sticks and is easy to manage.

Also, I don't think you should feel bad that you spend ONLY 2-3 hours a night with your kids. I think that's pretty standard. Remember, it's all about quality, not quantity.

As for self-care, have you tried some form of strength training? It really helps to boost the endorphins, add a little more structure to your routine, and give you short goals that build your confidence.

I'm currently doing this https://noobgains.com/phat-workout/, and I split it up so I do 15 min ever day. I ended up building my own home gym in my basement so I don't have to commute to the gym anymore.

Margie

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 02:52:49 PM »
Definitely try and spend some time alone but I remember how hard that was when the kids were little.  One thing I loved and my daughter loved doing was brushing my hair...seriously it was heaven.  This was discovered when she didn't want me to brush her hair anymore so I said fine you can do your own if you do mine...thinking she would then say OK just brush mine.  Well, she ended up brushing mine for half an hour.  So nice!

I would read a book to her while she did it and then I would have ten minutes of "quiet" time while she kept brushing.  It was beyond soothing.  Only once did she get a brush caught in my hair (which was a bit painful) so keep that in mind!

Now, she is older and she gives me facials, does my nails, etc...I pay her (she is a teenager now) about a quarter of what I would do in a salon and it is so nice.  Peaceful and she tells me a lot of stuff so it is a really nice way to keep communication open without an interrogation! 

Hang in there!!


Cassie

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2019, 03:02:46 PM »
I think putting the kids to bed earlier would help. At that age mine didnít stay up that late. Between work, school and kids I donít think anyone could do all that and not be very stressed. I hope you get the new job with the shorter commute.   I would take some of the suggestions and be kind to yourself.

Parizade

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2019, 03:46:25 PM »
I am also working on getting my Master's so that school work either happens at work (when things are slow) or after the kids are in bed.

Can you put this on hold for awhile? Getting that off your plate would make a huge difference I think.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2019, 03:20:15 PM »
I am also working on getting my Master's so that school work either happens at work (when things are slow) or after the kids are in bed.

Can you put this on hold for awhile? Getting that off your plate would make a huge difference I think.

Not immediately, it doesn't follow a traditional schedule so I just started the next class before sh*t hit the fan.

Slow&Steady

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2019, 03:21:22 PM »
The job called to schedule an interview!! The hiring manager will be out next week, so it won't be until June.

mm1970

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Re: Self Care
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2019, 05:26:26 PM »
The job called to schedule an interview!! The hiring manager will be out next week, so it won't be until June.
This is positive news!