How many moms do you know that aren’t super busy? How many do you know that say they have enough time to themselves to recharge for the work ahead of them? As women, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner and take care of everyone else first, but we all know that we need to take care of ourselves, too! We know that doing so makes us better moms, and I’d love to share with you some of my favorite things to do when I have a few minutes of my own.
What better escape to renew yourself than to escape into a good book? I used to only read non-fiction, but that was back when I had a few hours a night of predictable quiet. Now with little kids and unpredictable days, I tend to reach for fiction books. My latest favorite easy reading has been The Giver series by Louis Lowry. I love the feel and smell of a real book, but since I’ve been a nursing mama for quite some time now, I’ve invested in a Kindle Paperwhite. I can enjoy a book even in the middle of the night with a little baby without turning on bright lights. When there’s a will, there’s a way!
I never, ever thought of myself as a crafty person, and I thought knitting was for old people! Why take hours to make a scarf when you can buy one at the store for cheap? But after I had Aamina, my high-needs baby, and I spent countless hours nursing, I had to find something to fill those hours besides watching crazy amounts of Netflix. Reading on the Kindle was great, but I needed some variety, so I picked up a learn to knit kit from Knit Picks and fell in love with the hobby. Since then I’ve also learned how to crochet, and even taken a couple knitting classes to improve some skills that are hard to learn from books, like short rows. I normally have a simple project and a complex project going, to suit whatever mood I’m in when I have a few minutes and want to do something with my hands.
I suppose tatting could go along the hobby/crafting line of things, but tatting is so intricate, it’s a different mood in itself. My interest in tatting started when I saw another mom at a kids book club doing it, and then I saw Craftsy offering a tatting class so I jumped on it. It’s rare that you can make things that are necessary, like scarves or hats like you can with yarn hobbies, but the end product can be so magnificent, it’s like making art. Currently I’m working on a doily even though I don’t really like doilies that much, but I love the clicking of the shuttle in the middle of the night, or while I’m waiting for Kira at her fencing practice. There’s something so calming about working with tiny things.
I have a sweet tooth. Like, a major one. And after I quit some nasty habits because of my conversion to Islam, chocolate took its place. Chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies, s’mores on the fireplace, whatever I can get my hands on. I’m teaching myself to have some self control now that I’m not in my 20’s anymore and my body doesn’t just magically get rid of calories while I sit on the couch, but there’s something about baking that really brings me back to simpler days. When I can’t get a break from the kids, baking is a great time to spend together and recharge (given I give myself enough time to allow for them to “help” me). And with most of our family eating gluten-free, it’s a nice way to test out some bread recipes and find something more interesting than you find in the grocery store.
For the past couple years, this blog has been a great time of renewal for me in the evenings and weekends. I get to meet great people, talk about homeschooling far more than my friends and family would care for in our daily conversations, have an outlet to learn something new and feel slightly connected to my degree in Information Technology. Before the birth of Salihah less than two months ago, I would go to a local coffee shop every Saturday morning with my laptop, get a latte, and just write, update, network, whatever I wanted to do with the blog without any interruption. It was my favorite time of the week and I look forward to going back to that routine when Salihah is older, in sha Allah. The newest redesign and theme installation tested my coding skills and made me learn new things. It’s been great, and I’m so thankful my family supports the time I spend on it, and that people like you actually come by my humble corner of the Internet world and read what I have to say!
Don’t think I forgot renewing yourself in your deen (religion). In this season of my life it is mostly in the form of keeping the company of practicing Muslims. I try to watch a lecture and I’m interrupted 20 times in an hour. I try to take a class, and I can’t get the reading done or the assigned video watched within the week. Before I got married and I was a single mom, I spent a lot of time taking classes and reading about Islam for pleasure. This season of my life I’m working on becoming the best mother I can be to my kids, for the sake of pleasing Allah, and raising upright Muslims, in sha Allah. When I have some free moments to myself, I rarely pick up something that I can’t put down immediately. So, if you have a bit more predictable day than I do at the moment, make sure not to forget about nurturing your deen, in sha Allah!
So, I’ve share with you what I do to renew myself throughout the week, and I’d love if you stopped by some of the other iHomeschool Network bloggers to see how they use their Mom Time! I know they have great ideas to keep you feeling at the top of your game, so make sure to check them out!
I so agree, knitting has pulled me through some times. I can be creative and artistic but also can put it down at a moments notice…very important when you have kids! However i would add working out to the list, what could feel better than caring for your body while also getting an endorphin rush? Working out has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with post-pardom depression.
Great list, keep it up!
Shannen Espelien says
You’re right! Exercise is so important! I can’t say I’ve been very good about getting around to it lately, but in sha Allah as my littlest one gets into a predictable sleeping pattern, I can fit it in. 🙂
Great list, you have me very interested in tatting. I agree whatever I do had to be able to be ignored quickly. I can usually only listen to recorded lectures. I second working out, should do that more!
Shannen Espelien says
I think you’d love tatting! It’s quite inexpensive to get started, and even large projects are pretty inexpensive. For instance, I started a doily that might take me a year to finish, but it only cost me $35. A year-long knitting project is much closer to $100! Hubby and I have started listening to a recorded lecture after the kids go to bed once a week. In sha Allah it’ll continue. We still have to pause it probably 3 times an hour because of interruptions, but it’s better than nothing.