An Uncomplicated Life Blog: 5 Self Care Activities When Your Child Goes Back to School

Monday, August 1, 2016

5 Self Care Activities When Your Child Goes Back to School

Here are some ways to practice self-care once your children are back in school this fall

I just got my back to school packet and am unashamed to say I was thrilled to see that the preschool my son goes to moved up the start date by a week. I remember last year it seemed like we were the absolute last people to go back. Nay, it didn't seem like it - we were indeed the very last to go back! Otto will be joining Henry at the same school come January and that's when I finally get about 15 hours a week to myself *dances jig at the thought of it* I spend the bulk of my time blogging, but I also want to set some parameters around how much I work/run non-baby-friendly errands and how much I spend some time on my own-self care. Self care is SO important, especially for SAHM/WAHM because we get so little time to do anything other than care for children. If you're a WAHM, you spend every non-child moment working. There have been too many days where from 5:30am straight through 10:30pm, all I do is childcare or work. I don't even take the time to shower or get myself together because there isn't time! (There IS time, I'm just prioritizing children and work.) So this fall, I'm being intentional about my own self care.

Moms, it's so important to take care of yourself, too!

While I'm taking the angle of how to do this if/when you have kids, it applies to ALL women. Whether you have a career and are single or married with any aged children, self care saves your sanity! It's just especially challenging when you always have littles around demanding every moment of your time and who always get prioritized, while you scrape up whatever bare bones leftovers there is (or isn't) for you to take care of yourself. 

Although rare, I've found myself with a few spare moments and I'm so caught off guard (with happiness) that I don't know what to do with myself. Now I can just pull up this short list of ways to practice self care once the kiddos are back in school, and I have more free time. I tried to cover multiple price points and various lengths of this beloved "me time":

Read a magazine.
I specifically call out magazines because the handy thing about them is that you can read them article by article or cover to cover. There's no story line or plot to remember so if you finish an article and need to jump back into mommyhood, you can pick it up again at the next article, no probs. Also, I just don't have time for books. Books are time consuming, and one thing moms don't have a lot of is time - especially if you have really little kids like me. My magazine of choice is Southern Living, but I also like Good Housekeeping (the non-Southern Southern Living) and the NYT's mag. I've fallen out of love with fitness and fashion mags because all their articles are the same, month after month. But hey, read whatever suits your fancy - it's YOUR time!

Pick up an arts/crafts hobby.
I really enjoy home decor crafts. Before kids, I did one or two of these a month. Since kids, I think I've only competed two things... Most of my crafts involve painting because I enjoy it, but yours could be anything! Floral arrangements, creating table-scapes for dinner parties, painting china, building something like coffee tables, refinishing old furniture - follow your interest! If you don't know what you're interested in because it's been that long since you've had time to explore these things, try a few things out. I know my sister enjoys knitting, and she picked it up from reading a few instructional books and getting yarn and supplies. Head to a craft store and get some things to try out until you find something you enjoy!

Get a massage.
Massages aren't cheap, but they sure are nice! Most spa's I've been to have various levels of massages you can get, which can fit a limited budget or limited time. For example, my favorite spot in Dallas has a 50 min option or an 80 min option. I know it can be hard to spend that money on yourself, but do it once and watch how much more relaxed and happy you are! And when momma's happy, everyone is happy. That's not just a saying, that's fact.

Take a bubble bath.
I like to call this the "poor woman's massage" because you don't need to leave your house and bath bath salts are cheap! In cooler months, I take a good 4-5 baths a week. After the kids go down for the night, there's nothing better than getting into a deep hot bath with a glass of wine to unwind. Another plus is this "massage" is completely compatible with however much free time you have. Whether it's a quick 15 min soak or an hour, you can alter it for your schedule. Not into baths or have a crummy tub? Cool, take a steam shower! Hot water in whatever form is so relaxing.

Sit in silence. 
I know, it sounds strange. Like you're oddly wasting time if you decide to sit and just BE for a minute. Or two. Or twenty. One of the most rejuvenating things for your mind is to sit and enjoy some silence. Sometimes I go and sit by the lake that's near my son's preschool and just sit on a park bench and finish my coffee. In fact, that's my favorite thing to do after the weather cools down. I leave my phone in the car and just hang out with myself and my thoughts. And coffee, because hey - I'm a mom. You might actually find that because you're so used to people being around you and "being busy" that you struggle to just sit and be! That's when you know you need it most. Set a timer and allow yourself the peace and quiet - even for a few minutes - before you tackle that to-do list.

Self-care is important for all women, but especially those of us who take care of others nonstop. It's so easy to forget about yourself, or not prioritize yourself. If you've ever been coasting along with life, constantly playing triage to the demands life throws at you and suddenly wake up angry, depressed, stressed out or unhappy, odds are good you're in desperate need of some self-care! These activities are great for once your child goes back to school and (hopefully) you have a bit more time to dedicate to yourself during the day or after the munchkins have passed out from getting worn out at school.


  1. Oh my gosh yesssssssss 15 hours of freedom a week is in your near future, Paige!! I love your suggestions, especially sitting in silence. And massage. And magazine. Okay, I love them all. Even though you can get all the same information in magazines online, there's just something so different about holding and flipping through a magazine, isn't there? I just got a facial last week and decided every month I'll treat myself to something new.

  2. Bubble Bath and Sit in Silence so looking forward to these!!! =D

  3. Ah. A massage. Yes, please. I don't get that much time to myself, so I can only imagine what moms are dealing with! Sometimes I just want to be alone for a few minutes without worrying about anyone else. I know moms take this feeling to a completely new level.

    When I have "me time" I like to spend it at my makeup vanity. 🙈

  4. Yes, these are perfect! I have so many things scheduled for when they're back in school but you're right, it will be important to take some me time and relax!

  5. These are really great tips Paige. Actually, while I was reading I just stopped, closed my eyes and sat quietly for a few minutes. I don't do that often enough. And I love reading magazines. It takes me months to finish books these days, if I ever do.

  6. I have literally 3 vogues and 4 porters I need to read before fashion month. Can I come over and do that with you? I'll bring wine.

  7. Mental health time outs for sure! I talk all day long with patients, then go and teach barre with a ton of people in a small room with pumping music.....sometimes I just drive in silence on the way home and it's like a mental reset button.

  8. I came home from work about a week ago and no one was home. It was raining outside, so I just sat on the couch in silence. When my husband walked in the front door with the kids about 30 minutes later, he asked me what was wrong. NOTHING was wrong. I was just enjoying the silence! Happy that you will have some kid-free time in a few months!!!

  9. love this girl - self care really is so important. i mean, i don't have any kids, but it's vital to my sanity that's for sure.

  10. Girl, I am glad that I am not alone! I have horrible guilt sending Jack to preschool for a couple hours two days a week at 18 months but I need some time!! Self-care is so important! Your tips are fantastic!