That place in motherhood where you are just drained. Empty. You're touched out, played out, burnt out. Your mommy tank is empty.
I thrive on the routine and stability the school year provides, and in the summer when things are a bit...freer...I tend to flounder. So, I'd like to share with you the Top 10 Ways I've found to Refill My Mommy Tank!(in no particular order)
1. Exercise - Ok, I know. You're exhausted. The last thing you want to do is exercise. But, honestly, the release that comes with a good physical workout is surprisingly refreshing! Sometimes it's a group class at the gym, a DVD at home, or a brisk walk/slow jog around the neighborhood. It clears my head, and gets fresh blood and oxygen flowing through my veins. I've adopted the motto, "Running is cheaper than therapy."
2. Take a Nap - I. Love. Sleep. And sometimes nothing reboots my mommy system like a good snooze in the afternoon. Of course, I have to be willing to deal with it if something interrupts it, but all in all, this is one of my favorite Mommy Tank Fillers!
3. Have coffee with a friend - Sometimes nothing beats a good cuppa and a nice chat with a friend. Sometimes we're alone; others our kids are running around us. Either way, the camaraderie and connections that come from sharing a table with a friend is highly refreshing - and reminds me I'm not alone in this!
4. Write (aka Feed Your Soul) - I have found a few things that truly feed my soul; that are necessary for my sanity. To withhold from said activities actually creates stress. We all have these things. For me, it's creative things: writing, dancing, singing. For you it might be reading, gardening, sewing. All in balance, but even just a few minutes of pouring my heart out onto a page is freeing and rejuvenating.
5. Have a playdate - Get your rowdy kids together with another mom and her rowdy kids. Take them to the park, or let them wreak havoc in their bedroom. Let them work on their social skills while you connect with another grown up. And, you might just be pleasantly surprised at the way your children interact with the other kids!
6. Go on a Date with Hubby - I have to be honest, we really struggle with this one. Being away from family, we always have to pay for a babysitter. But, sometimes, it's worth it to pay the sitter and get out. You're a wife first. Go for dinner. Or a walk. Or to an art show. Whatever. Just get alone, be together, talk, reconnect. If you're a single mom, try to get out once a month or so with some friends.
7. Family Movie Night - One of my favorite memories with my kids was the night we got in our jammies early, ate popcorn and apple slices for dinner all snuggled on one couch and watched a movie together. We laughed, and just snuggling together softened my tired mommy heart and refueled my compassion for them, and my passion for being their mom.
8. Call Mom - Sometimes you just need Mom. When I'm really down and just need reminders that I can do this, mom's voice is all I need. If your mom isn't around and/or you're unable to speak to her, is there another mom who is further down the mommy-road than you that you can confide in?
9. Window Shopping - Granted, this one is most refreshing when done alone or with a girlfriend or two (read: sans kiddos), but even with my kids along for the ride looking, strolling among the shops, using our imaginations about what we see in the windows goes a long way.
10. Time with God - I know. This is a required one, right?? I admit, I debated on whether or not I could even honestly include this one. Most of the time when I'm running on E, I spend most of the time that I'm trying to spend with God feeling guilty for how royally I've messed things up, or how it's been 2 weeks since I really paid Him any mind. But, I can truly say when I allow Him to get myself out of the way and truly speak to me, it refreshes and empowers me like nothing else.
What about you? What refills your Mommy Tank?