It’s Contest Time!
We’re within days of the Hearts at Home conference in Bloomington, IL where 5,000 moms will gather March 14-15 to take some time for themselves and attend mommy school! In celebration of this event that helps moms “take care of themselves,” my March contest will focus on self-care.
How do you take care of yourself? What do you do to keep your fuel tank closer to full than empty? Between March 8 and 18, just post a comment on this post to share your ideas, encourage other moms, and put your name in the hat to win one of two books:
Each day you’ll want to check back in to read the posts and gather fresh ideas for taking care of yourself in the midst of taking care of your family!
To launch our encouragement, one of the things I do is exercise everyday. I find when I feel better physically, I have more energy to give to my family.
What suggestions do you have?
Want regular encouragement?
Subscribe to get Jill's latest content by email.
You're in! Now you just have one thing left to do. You'll need go to your inbox and verify your email!
If you don't see the email immediately it should arrive within a few minutes of signing up. If you still don't see it, make sure you check your Junk/Spam/Promotions folder. If it's in there, you'll want to mark me as a "Safe sender" so it doesn't end up in that box again!
So glad to welcome you to my blog family!
Hi Jill! I am a third-time mom with a 6 week old baby and this time around I make sure to take care of myself by eating. I found with my first two children that I would be so busy that I would forget to EAT and then I would suddenly find myself ravenous and I would eat the quickest junk I could find. This time, even if the baby is crying, I make sure to eat before I sit down to nurse him. That is how I’m taking care of myself. 🙂
I started working out at a gym about 3 years ago and now I’m an instructor. Getting out to exercise and socialize with the other ladies there has been a great thing for me. With 3 little kiddos at home, I NEED the break!! 🙂
I also love getting out at night on occasion or during the day with other moms. There we can encourage each other and just laugh about our crazy lives!
This is my first time commenting, but I have been reading your blog since you came to speak at our MOPS group in Lafayette, IN. I am looking forward to my first Hearts at Home conference this week!
Anyway, going to the YMCA to work-out a few times/week helps me feel good about myself. I especially enjoy a moms night out with girlfriends once in a while or a relaxing night at Barnes and Noble perusing the books and drinking a coffee.
Hi Jill…I go to bed early. I lay in there snuggled under the covers and read books & magazines. My chance to rest and fuel my brain at the same time.
To refuel myself I hit the gym at least three times a week. I try to stay between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. My husband and I have activities during the summer that we do togethr that require that I be in good physical shape. It makes me feel sooo good!
I take a shower!!! Shave my legs, soak in the warm water, and listen to NOTHING but the sound of water running!!! It’s a great way to ready myself for a busy day. Also putting on regular clothes (not PJs) and makeup help me to feel less like a mom and more like a woman.
I love to watch christian television – like the 700 Club and Living the Life. They are uplifting and encouraging and make me smile. It reminds me of God’s goodness and helps me focus on Him during my busy day.
As a mother of 3 (ages 4,7 and 8) I take care of myself by:
*walking/running 3-4 mornings a week
*allowing myself a Starbucks once a week (okay 2 on that certain week of the month)
*remind myself that the days are long, but the years are short.
*consciously decide to give myself 30 minutes of down time in the afternoon
(which is hard for us mommies to do, and not feel guilty!)
Getting outside and being active is a must for me – the days I don’t, I find I drag not only myself down into the blues but others as well! In good weather – that means a walk every day that I can. In bad weather, it means pushing myself to get outside of the house to either go work out or just to “do” something. The change of scenery does so much for my mood and productivity!
Not to sound like a broken record, but I also take the time to exercise a few times a week. Although I will admit that at 39 weeks pregnant, I only made it to the gym once last week! But before that I made it a point to go 2-3 times a week. That gives me a little time to myself at the gym plus an excuse why I have to shower and have another 30 minutes to myself when we get home!
Just want to say that I have your book “My heart’s at home” & I loveit!!! I find it very encouraging in my busy household of 4 very young children!! Ever thought about coming out to Australia for a conference? I would love to hear you speak.
Anyway I find that I cannot function without my quiet time with God. I also refuel by reading, listening to worship music & I enjoy my “secret icecream drink” as my daughter & I call it!! (We have it when the eldest is at school & the twins are sleeping). I live on a farm, so exercise is just part of the day, but I agree it makes me feel better about myself also!!!
I once received the advice – during naptime do something you can’t do when your kids are up. So, during naptime at our house I refuel. For me this usually takes the form of blogging (one way I love to connect with other moms) or sitting down and reading a good book!
Hi, Jill! I find that my need to be in God’s Word and my need for fellowship with other women are met by attending a weekly women’s Bible study called Bible Study Fellowship. I come home each week reenergized in my faith and encouraged by my friendships with the women in my small group!
As a single mom with an 8 yr old & 6 yr old – I find it very hard at times to get any alone time. So what I found works best for me is to block off an hour one night a week after my children have gone to bed. I turn off the cell phone, lock all the doors, turn off the tv, and just relax in a nice hot bath. I turn on some music (usually a Christian CD), light some candles, turn out the lights and just relax. I found this to be a great time to spend w/ God. The more relaxed I am the easier it is for me to just talk to Him. I found this to be a great way to relax and regroup to get through the rest of the week.
What I try to do to take time for myself if get my kids to nap at the same time! I can typically get 1-2 hour stretches for “free” time. I will check my email, read a book, eat lunch, or just veg out. I also recently went to the Dr for a complete physical. What I found was not the pretty picture I had hoped for. Instead it was the wake up call I needed to get back on the excercise and dieting track. Also, the mommies in our playgroup now meet once a month for a dinner or movie out w/o the kids. I have also done babysitting swapping with another mom so 2 times a month we can both get out and do whatever we want to w/o the kids.
I have two under age 3:I try to make time for myself by
~ checking a few encouarging blogs.
~ make time for a hobby (scrapbooking, sewing, photography)
~ and I absolutely love going to Barnes & Nobles, grab a frapaccino from Starbucks, and curl up with some decorating magazines or books!
I get up at 5:10 a.m. 3x a during the week and meet 7 other girl friends at 5:30 for a morning run. I am not a morning person. I don’t even really enjoy running that much. But talking to my friends is a great way to start the day. And the running just helps me feel good for the rest of the day. Not to mention how good it is for me! Everything goes smoother at my house for everyone when I exercise first thing!
I take care of myself by doing one thing(thats really all I have time for!) – RETREATS. I make it priority to take time once or twice a year to get away for the weekend for renewal. It is what keeps me sane (okay halfway). I am looking forward to attending the Hearts At Home this weekend!
I am a mom of 3 busy boys…whom I home school. Makes it a little bit difficult to find time for myself, but I try to carve out a little here and there. I find when I commit my day to the Lord, everything just runs smoother.
I try very hard to communicate my needs to my husband and he does a wonderful job of helping me find time for me. He is amazing!
Being connected to other moms is very important to me – either by phone, in person, by e-mail or by blog. And I agree that getting away for personal retreats is a real blessing.
I will be praying for all of you at the Hearts at Home conference this weekend. Eat some chocolate for me…I’ll be celebrating a birthday with my son!
I am a mom to 2 boys. I homeschool, too. I find very little time to myself as they go everywhere and do everything with me/us. I find that exercise is very important to me. I can exercise WITH my children or without….even with them it recharges me, because it is new scenery.
Fellowship with other Christians is very important to me. Being able to get together individually with friends with common interest as well as older women who are mentors and just talk about our lives, and sharing how we can pray for each other. It is very wonderful to SHARE my journy with others.
Most important thing that refuels me is my time with God. I FINALLY was able to go back to Bible study fellowship this year after being out of it for 3 years. I LOVE my time with the ladies in my group as well as the motivation to study God’s word on my own! When I do not get that time I really feel a LOSS throughout my day, and every little thing gets to me. I go to bed early and do my study. It is a hard balance, but I have finally, after 10 years of being a mommy, found a little MORE balance.
Jill – I am a mother of two and I find time by starting my day before my kids. I am not a morning person, but I force myself to climb out of bed and have a shower and spend my time in God’s word before my children join me to begin our day together. Another thing I try to find time for is scrapbooking, which is a great creative outlet for me. Thanks for all that you do, I am enjoying your blog. Aimee
How fun to read all of these great comments! For me, I recharge in a few different ways:
– By taking some creative time to stamp or scrapbook. I just get a kick out of making something fun and new.
– I also love to play the piano and sing – very loudly, if I can. 🙂
– And in the summer when our local pool is open, I try to swim laps as often as I can – usually at lunch time when my husband is home for lunch and can watch the kids for me.
Each of these things is such a release for me – and a great way to refuel and recharge my mind and body.
I try to go the YMCA at least 2 days a week to workout. I also helped organize a Girls Night Out Organization that meets every third Saturday of the month where we get together and eat, work on projects and just hang out for a couple of hours…husband and kid free!!! It really helps!
Hello Jill! I am a mom of 3 boys and fine what helps me is that I workout 3 times a week at my YMCA, which is a blessing to me and my family. I fine that I am a better mom and wife when I workout. I also have my quiet time with w/ God. I get together with my ladies each month for dinner and a movie, which I really enjoy. I am also encourage by my small group of women from my church and we study the word of God together and prayer for each other.
As a mom of 4 YOUNG children, I don’t refuel like I would like to, but one thing that I guard with my life is Monday night bible study. Unfortunately it is only for 2 months in the fall and 2 months in the spring, but I don’t let anything else happen during that time.
I also blog and read encouraging blogs.
Hi all you wonderful Mom’s!!! I live in a house of men!! My husband and two young boys make “girly stuff” a bit of a challenge. I take care of myself by working hard to stay a healthy (and pleasing) weight, and splurging now and then to buy something cute to wear with it! I also make an effort to sneak a lunch with a gal pal once every couple of weeks. Can’t wait till Hearts at Home this weekend!!!!
I typically work out 3-4 days per week. I find that it helps to bring down my stess level when I exercise. It is such an important part of my week. I watch what I eat to reduce my weight.
I also make meals and enjoy inviting friends over. I love being a host and cooking also helps relax me. I also enjoy going to the spa every once in a while. I feel pampering myself here and there are important when These are a few ways I try to keep myself healthy.
Taking time for myself…..I take late night grocery shopping trips alone and spend ours just looking at what ever i want 🙂 along with my yearly 5 day trip to MOPS convention and then of course attending our MOPS group at church 2 times a month. That time is a refresher with other moms and 2 hours with no kids !
I try to get together with my best friend at least one every two-three months to just talk about anything, laugh, watch movies, share verses, etc. I always need to take time for me very early in the morning to read my emails, read and study the Bible and have breakfast by myself. That give me the necessary focus for the day.
I love to call my dear friend and spiritual mentor. She’s always got an encouraging word,idea or something from her life to share with me and she prays with me any time I ask. She always reminds me that God is Large and in Charge!
I run 3-4 times a week. It makes me feel energized and healthy. I also stay connected with my friends (near and far) by calling, emailing or having a “girl’s night out” with them. It’s a great stress reliever!
It’s also important to me to have some time to myself to read and pray to God how Blessed my life is!
For years I have attended a Bible study, which keeps me in the Word and also gives me straight Biblical teaching to help me stay on track. Also, for a hobby, I enjoy working outdoors with my garden pond and flowers (and dreaming over gardening catalogs in the winter months). Even just watching the birds that come to my feeders gives me a “perk-me-up”. With 2 teenagers at home all day, (we home school) little things like this go a long way.
For years I have attended a Bible study which keeps me in the Word regularly and also gives me straight Bible teaching each week. For a hobby I enjoy working with my garden pond and growing flowers (and drooling over garden catalogs during the cold months). Even just watching the birds that come to the feeders each day gives me a quick perk-me-up. With 2 teenagers home all day (we home school), little things like this can go a long way!
Wednesdays are currently my favourite and most refreshing day of the week because I attend a women’s “Coffeebreak” group at a local church. They provide childcare on site while we do Bible studies and have fellowship. It is a double blessing because I am putting time into studying scripture and also spending time with other women (most of whom are moms). We share frustrations, trade stories, and offer encouragement to one another. I always leave feeling energized and encouraged.
I’m the mom of three girls and we all love the same activity – reading! It’s so nice to be able to hang out together, each reading our own book. It fuels me up and there’s no guilt!
I like to do a few exercises after my shower in the morning. My preschool daughter does them with me, so we both get some exercise and quality time together. When she’s in school, I like to do some light reading before doing chores. This helps me both physically and mentally!
I do several things… I try and exercise at least three times/week and my friend and I trade kids every Monday so I get a catch up day every second week. Also, I do try and get away twice a year to a retreat or this weekend I’m going skiing with a bunch of other Moms. I used to go to a mid-week Bible study during the day where there was child care and I really miss that since we’ve moved.
One of the best things I have done to make time for myself is to join a book club that several of my friends are in. Not only does this guarantee me 1 night a month that I get to leave the house by myself and eat out at a restaurant. I get to have adult conversation that is focused on something other than the kids. Also, in order to enjoy that night even more, you have to read the book, thus everyday I take time to read. Even if it is only for a couple of minutes.
Hi Jill! So enjoyed getting to chat with you just a tad at the vocal solo/ensemble contest recently (Yes, I was the crazy judge who was so excited to see you there!)…You have really inspired and influenced me!
Anyway, I was going to say one of the ways I take care of myself is by just sitting down at my piano and playing and singing my heart out to Jesus for the sheer love of music and worshiping Him! With my kids being little (They’re now 3,5,and 7.), I had gotten away from making/taking the time to just play/sing other than what I needed to practice for church or other commitments. Then, several months ago, I just started sitting down for that daily worship time at the piano again, and it has been so amazing the way God has blessed that for me! It is hard to make/get the uninterrupted quiet-ish time with the kids around, but if I ask them to just give me a few minutes, they will usually either be quiet and listen, or sing and dance along, which blesses my heart even more!
Can’t wait for the conference Friday! 🙂
I try to get up earlier than everyone else and spend time w/God. I have to say that I’m not as disciplined in this as I’d like to be, but when I am I can sure see the difference in my day. Also, a couple days a week I have the house to myself for a few hours. I usually play on the computer, read or catch up with long-distance friends via the telephone.
I love talking to other moms. It helps to know I am not the only one who gets worn out and frustated by my children. It also helps to get new and fresh ideas. I also have found that taking a night to go shopping by myself (without the kids 🙂 ) or a massage is a refreshing break. I also try to spend time with God to get refueled and to keep perspective on the role of motherhood.
I just joined a volleyball team. I hadn’t played in over a decade and was a little hesitant about my skills, but it is SO fun! We have a great time, win or lose and it’s a great stress reliever. We play one night a week.
Before we moved to where we live now, I belonged to a Dinner Club with 5 other ladies. We tried a new restaurant one Monday a month. I think I need to get one of those going here, now, too!
PS: I’m mommy to two toddlers.
I am a young mom of three kiddos. I take the time each week to get a 60 minute massage. Not only is this an escape away for me, but it also helps with my migraine headaches.
I also attend a womens Bible Study each week as well. I look forward to that morning out of all the mornings in the week.
As strange as it sounds, one thing that really fills me up is playing board games or cards with my husband. Often when the kids go to bed we’ll pull out some game and play for an hour or so. I think it fills me up because as a mom I’m always thinking a million things at once and if I’m by myself, my brain doesn’t shut off! Playing a game with my husband makes me sit down, focus on one thing for an hour, allows me time with my love and gives me joy (especially if I win!)
Jill, what a great idea to reflect on what recharges us.
For me I enjoy going scrapbooking with some close girlfriends and having that night out of the house chatting and working on family memories.
Also, going to the gym has helped me and this past fall I joined a weekly Bible study and it has been a huge blessing and encouragement to me.
Finally, peeking in and seeing my little men in the making slumber at night melts my heart and makes me realize that the days are fleeting.
Wow, Jill, Wonderful HAH weekend. Little rest, but the spiritual and education energy I received was WONDERFUL!!
What I do to take care of myself, I drink an energy drink at lunchtime. It is nosugar, no carbs, no caffeine. It gets its energy from the B Vitamins in it.
I also took a membership at a local fitness center, and when I am done working out, I tan, which is a “thank-you” to myself.
I also, (with a 10 yr old boy, 8 yr old boy, 6 yr old girl), I give myself guilt-free permission to take a nap when I feel I need it. Sometimes a 10 minute power nap is all I need to get me through the rest of the day.
Do something you really enjoy by yourself once a week. I’ve been taking cake decorating classes. 2 hours each week in the evening but it gives me something to look forward to all week long! Helps me feel better when dealing with the regular day to day grind issues.
“Self Contracts” help me keep up with the promises to take care of myself. Such as, “I will work out Wed. at 11:00a.m. for 15 minutes” or “I will put one tablespoon of flax oil on my salad for the next five days”. I find I have a sense of accomplishment and I have put something in my life with intent, rather than with discontent.
Once a month, our Moms with Tots group meets at Caribou Coffee for a book study (our first study was “Professionalizing Motherhood”!). It’s a wonderful opportunity to get out of the house, fellowship with other moms, and learn from each other and from the book; I look forward to it all month long!
I also love to recharge by practicing my clarinet after my kids have gone to bed. It helps me feel a little more connected to my grown-up self and, more importantly, to my God as I strive to bring Him glory through my music.
I was so blessed by the conference last weekend–thank you for all your hard work!!!
I am a mom of a little baby. I really love to spend maximum time with her but i don't have enough time usually due to my workload. Even sometime, I can take much care of myself. Your post really inspires me and i will surely try to follow you. I wish i can read these books. Thank you!