Monday, January 14, 2013

January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Do something for you

Welcome to the January 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Recovering from the Holidays

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about how their families get back to normal after the holidays are over.

I wasn't sure I wanted to write what I actually did to recover from the holidays. See — the pre-holiday rush was tremendous. Not only did I have presents to prepare and wrap, Christmas activities to take the kids out to, and festivities to attend and plan, but I also had a long list of holiday-themed blog articles I wanted to race to get posted before the timeliness expired (and of course I missed out on half a dozen, and of course I do this to myself every year so should clearly start scheduling some posts now!).

When the holidays were over, what I most wanted to do — all I wanted to do — was play The Sims 3.

mama playing sims 2 computer game
An earlier time, with a very young Mikko and Sims 2
Yup, just hole myself away with my computer and ignore my real family for the sheer joy of raising a fake one. To his eternal credit, Sam let me.

I was thinking about how we as mothers (parents, but especially mothers) often think we don't deserve me-time. And not only me-time but wholly decadent, completely pointless, impossibly immature me-time.

So I'm here to tell you today: Find something you want to do, something that makes you happy, today, and if you have any space at all, do it.

Maybe it's retiring to your sewing nook and dusting off that old project you've been itching to get back to.

Maybe it's stealing the Xbox controller from the kids and racking up a few levels on your favorite game.

Maybe it's opening an actual book, with pages (or screens…), and reading in uninterrupted bliss. (Lock the bathroom door!)

Maybe it's taking a friend out for coffee and leaving the kids at home with a partner or sitter.

Maybe it's sitting quietly and writing a poem or another page in your uncompleted master-work novel.

Maybe it's taking off for a chilly winter bike ride or heading to a Zumba class to shake off your worries and stress.

And it might not be today, because maybe the world is falling apart around you today, and you're the one who shores up the pieces. But even if it's hard, try, over the next week, to find some place in your life where only you fit, whether it's during naptime or after the kids are in bed, or when you can trade childcare with a friend or hire a sitter.

Whatever it is, choose something that feels a little silly, a lot indulgent, and perfectly calibrated to bring you back into balance. To remind you that you are you and not just someone's mama. To make you smile as you embrace the parts of you you forgot were there.

The parts that rock at Sims 3.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting this March!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Pinterest Inspiration for Easier Winter Holidays Shannon, writing at Natural Parents Network, shares inspiration for having more relaxed winter holidays from their Handmade Holidays Pinterest board.
  • Seven Recipes for Beans - Post Holiday Cleaning — Destany at They Are All of Me shares her favorite bean recipes that she hopes will help her body recover from overindulging her sweet tooth during the holidays.
  • The Recovery in the Change — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen made changes in her life and attitude throughout 2012 and was pleasantly surprised at how those changes impacted her holiday recovery!
  • Could this question change your life for ever? — To get your new year off on the right footing, Mrs Green of Little Green Blog is challenging us all to love ourselves with commitment and discipline. She asks you to focus on a simple question which might just bring you back in balance...
  • Holiday Recovery — Meegs at A New Day talks about how the holidays can be overwhelming for a toddler, and how she's helping her 3 year old recover.
  • 5 Ways to Detox After the Holidays — Brittany at The Pistachio Project gives a few ways to help you detox and get back on track after the holiday season has passed.
  • 3 Simple Ways to Establishing Rhythm After the Holidays or Any Time — Sheila at A Living Family shares 3 simple ways to reestablish a rhythm of connection and calm in your family after holidays, visitors, travel or any time.
  • Gemstones For Holiday Hangoverss — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delves into the power of gemstones as an often overlooked means of dealing with the holiday letdown.
  • Getting back to Healthy — Bess at A Warrior Mom talks about the struggle of getting young ones back to eating healthy after several days to weeks of getting more candy and sweets than normal for the holidays and gives some suggestions on how to get them back to eating healthy in the new year.
  • Post Christmas Juice Feast — Sam at Love Parenting explains why she has created a new tradition of juice feasting, and how she includes her toddler when detoxing.
  • The Java Monkey On My Back — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs realizes it is time to kick her cup of Joe habit as a first step toward detoxing.
  • Minimalist Holidays — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn't find much need for recovery after her minimalist version of the holidays.
  • Do something for you — Lauren at Hobo Mama urges you to find a silly and indulgent reward of me-time — and she has hers.
  • do we recover? — Kenna at Million Tiny Things wonders what recovery really means in the context of the tragedies of this past holiday season.
  • 37 Easy Ways to Save Money — Shannon at GrowingSlower is sharing these money-saving tips to help get your budget back on track after the holidays.
  • A Two Year Old's ResolutionsThat Mama Gretchen is putting the holidays behind her with a spin on traditional resolutions — New Year's goals for her two-year-old! Sound crazy? Read on for an explanation!
  • How to Find Balance after the Holidays — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her favorite ways to start a new year with hope and calmness.
  • Fresh Awakening — For Luschka at Diary of a First Child, the new year has coincided with a return to restful nights. With sleep, she's found new directions in life, but while she can't make too many changes to her life right now, she's inspired and excited about the future.
  • Learning to slow down after a busy Festive Season Stoneageparent describes the joys and lows of this year's festive season, as well as her New Year's resolutions.
  • Detoxing' Your Toddler After the Holidays — Does your family suffer side effects from the holidays? Join Christine from African Babies Don't Cry to learn how she detoxed herself and her toddler off the treats and festivities of the season.
  • Scheduling is OK! — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep explores the possibilities of the — SCHEDULE!!
  • We're Saving their First Christmas for Next Time — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot takes it easy after moving with her husband and new babies to Scotland.
  • A Vacation from the World — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children retreats with her family at the end of every year in order to recuperate and enjoy one another.
  • On the Road to Recovery — Dionna at Code Name: Mama isn't just recovering from the holidays, she's recovering from a lifestyle.
  • We Never Left the GrindErika Gebhardt compares a typical day pre-holidays and post-holidays.
  • Remembering and Recovering from the Holidays (One day at a time) — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM is recovering from holidays slowly--taking one day at a time--while trying to remember all the sweet moments that passed too quickly.
  • 5 a Day — To get back on track Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy needed a simple system to help her family learn new values.
  • Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her secret for a gentle, whole-foods-based post-holiday detox: Bieler Broth!
  • I'm Mama Not Supermom — After a year filled with changes Angela at EarthMamas World has to remind herself that she does not have to be supermom while recovering from the holiday chaos.


Unknown said...

I love this post! Yes, every Friday night I think to myself, "blow drying your hair while you pump is not 'me time!'" It's been a struggle to find a balance. Enjoy your special indulgence time!

Meegs said...

LOL, I love this. This past year was when I really started to find a balance. Now I look forward to my random Mama days and my yoga.

Becky said...

I used to play The Sims all the time in high school! It's so addicting!! Yesterday I went to see Lincoln by myself. Not silly (although I did buy a kid's tray at concessions) but something that I really wanted to see (especially before the Oscars airs!)

Kenna Lee said...

Aaahhhh. Very excellent reminder. Mine is a bath long enough to read an entire New Yorker.

Laura said...

Solitaire. I could play for hours... and sometimes, I do. Which then leads to a tired mama the next day, but darn it! I enjoyed myself!

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

I have never played a Sims game. Can we still be friends? ;) Since November, I've been going to a knitting group on Monday nights. We didn't meet on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve, so the next Monday I was practically running out the door. It's been so nice to have that 2 hr chunk of time out of the house with friends and a project. I'm grateful that Ailia is an easy baby and will let me sneak out every week :)

Mandy said...

My change for the 30 Days of change is making some "me time," taking time to breathe, chill, and drink some tea.

Unknown said...

Fantastic! Sims is not my idea of fun, but staying in bed the whole day with a book is :D I got to do that recently when I was down with a stomach bug... does that still count as me-time? ;)

Shannon said...

I chose Civ V over the Sims. Plus some sewing. My goodness did I need a break since my hubby was unable to lift anything more than 15lbs for the whole week of Christmas.

Momma Jorje said...


I have to agree! It is all too easy to say _____ counts as "me time." Like baking. I enjoy baking, but it is also a service for my family.

As much as I was thinking I have a lack here, I realized that lately I've been staying up late watching Cake Boss. That couldn't be considered a service for anyone else. It is purely mindlessly for me. It totally seems like a huge waste of time... but perhaps it isn't really.

Bess said...

I always love posts that remind me to have me time. I often feel like I already take too much me time if I consider the computer me time but I almost always have children on me while at the comp and am up a lot getting drinks, changing diapers, breaking up fights, setting up games... ect.
I got some drawing supplies for Christmas that I am itching to break into but feel like I never have the quiet time to do it. Also, I'm waiting till I have a sitter to make it out to my archery lessons. Hopefully ill get to do some of these real soon!

Emily said...

Haha! I love this. It's so true. Going to the bathroom by myself doesn't count as me time...but it's the closest I get sometime. I definitely struggle with me time. This last week we've all been sick and I finally read the Hunger Games trilogy (while nursing two sick kids) and it was so nice to read something non-parenting related! Next time I'll read something for myself while I'm not nursing : )

Jaye Anne Healing said...

oman.. good call! I am glad you got your Sims time :-) That is one of the things I don't really understand about myself: what is my me time? Usually just brainlessly searching through the bowels of the internet, but I don't tend to feel energized much after that. Thanks for the post!

Deb Chitwood said...

Great thoughts, Lauren! Even though I don't have kids at home any longer, I still sometimes forget to take as much me-time as needed. Just tonight, I had to remind myself to take an herbal tea break. It's amazing how much of a difference something little like that makes! Deb @

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