Good morning and welcome to Mommy Tell All Monday! Sara (of Simply Sara) is giving us tips on how to create a place for a bit of “mom time” to catch a breather. Where is your sanctuary?
Let me just start by saying, I am a big fan of HGTV. I don’t watch it as often as I used to because it turned into more of a “Pinterest” feeling for me rather than the enjoyment of watching good TV. You know that feeling right? You see a renovation or design idea that sparks a thought for your own home, but then you realize you can never get around to it or there are too many projects that its overwhelming to start and you just become a little sad. Maybe you are struck with envy as you watch home after home, all of which seem to be better than your own. It’s an entertaining yet viscous cycle.
One thing that I always thought was interesting about some home buyers and renovators was the list of wants in their master bedrooms. For some wives the bathrooms that just had the stand up shower were unacceptable, they needed a tub to soak in! Some parents wanted a split bedroom floor plan so they weren’t that close to their children’s rooms or the size needed to be large enough for some furniture other than the bed. Often times the words retreat or sanctuary would be used, which I always thought was a little silly until just recently.
Being a foster and adoptive mom has meant that my family continues to grow in size even when we don’t totally plan on it. My husband’s heart moves before his head sometimes and we push a somewhat routine home life aside to make room for kids who need a home, and finding a new routine and rhythm starts all over again. Not an easy feat, but totally worth it. When it comes to boundaries in our house I’ve never used baby gates other than for dogs; my kids have always been able to roam where they wanted and I really haven’t ever thought about keeping them out of any particular rooms. Our house is licensed for care so everything is baby proofed to the state’s approval and we’ve only lived in one-story homes with our kids so stairs aren’t an issue. But recently when our house of 6 turned into a house of 8, I found myself looking for a space to retreat from kids.
So I went into my master bedroom and shut my doors.
Why did I not think of this before? I didn’t need any gates, I have some lovely doors that shut and lock, so I used them. It was a beautiful thing. I pulled an Elsa and shut everyone out. I didn’t need to leave my house to take a breath and retreat from the chaos; I could simply make my room off limits to anyone other than my husband and myself. I simply shut my doors.
Now I’m going all “HGTV” on my bedroom and am working on turning it into a sanctuary. (Oh that’s why people use that word on the shows!) The bedrooms in my house are always the last to be decorated, since no one sees them other than the family mostly. But I need a sweet space in my room to refresh myself from time to time, possibly even daily. I also need to create a space for my husband to do his devotions in the morning because you guys . . . my house is SO loud. Seriously.
I’ll use this post to hold myself accountable to spending some time creating a space for us, my spouse and I. As parents we so naturally put our children first, which is wonderful, however- when I don’t put my husband first the downfall of that will ultimately affect my children. Moms & Dads are a team, and teams always need a dugout, bench or locker room to regroup. Where is there space in your house to collect your thoughts? Do you have time to connect with your husband on your back patio each day over coffee? Maybe your house is quieter than mine and you can just sit in the comfy chair in your front room. Find your own sanctuary and relax Momma, you deserve it!
Here are some tips I have for making your room kid-free & relaxing:
• Keep toys out. When I’m hanging my head down in prayer I don’t want a doll staring back at me.
• Make your bed in the morning. It simply makes the room prettier.
• Stack your laundry or toss the piles somewhere other than in your room. Mine was always folded at the end of my bed and it would always remind me I have more to do!
• Use the lock and listen rule. I usually make sure my most destructive babies are in the high chair locked in, but for the rest of the kids I just listen for screams. If your house is baby proof you’ll be fine to retreat for 10 minutes or so.
• Tell your kids you are taking Mom time. Start teaching them now at an early age that Mom needs some space; they also won’t start screaming your name all over the house looking for you.
• Light candles.
• Open your blinds for some natural light. That sun is a natural mood booster!
Sara of Simply Sara