6 Ways to Sneak a Break (When You Can’t Actually Take a Break) as a Mom

Life as a mom can be hard. It often comes with few opportunities to get a break during the day. As a stay-at-home mom this can be challenging. There have been many times when I know that I need a break before I break. Last March hit, and I’m sure every one of us had times like this. My husband works during the day and often travels for work so I’ve had to get creative on how I can get a break or fill my cup without being able to physically get time away from our kids.

Here are the things that I do when I am feeling depleted:

Add water.

If it’s nice outside, I turn on the hose for the kids and let them go wild. If it’s not warm enough for that, then I fill some small buckets with water and give them foam brushes to “paint” the fence/house/sidewalk with. They love it! If it’s too cold out for either of those then I fill the bath tub with bubbles and all of their toys and let them play. They turn it into a tractor wash when they get to take those toys in. They get to splash and have fun while I sit near the bathtub and enjoy my coffee in peace (kind of).

Plug in.

I’m not a TV hater. We don’t use a lot of electronics, but my kids love when they get to watch a show or a movie. After I put the baby down for a nap, I’ll snuggle on the couch with my 4-year-old and 7-year-old and we enjoy an afternoon movie. This usually comes with a few fun snacks as well. Again, they enjoy this while I can relax with them.

Tune out.

Put headphones in (even if it’s just one earbud so you can hear what the kids are doing) and listen to what you want to. No “Baby Shark” (or in our case Michael Jackson and the Frozen 2 soundtrack). I like to listen to my music or a podcast to recharge. A few podcasts that I enjoy include Make it Simple with Andrea Allen, 4 Things with Amy Brown, The Office Ladies, Lives of Courage with Jessica Stong, and the Mind Your Body podcast. I learn and I laugh!

Book it.

Have a reading party. Sometimes when it’s a rough day and everyone seems to be crazy and not listening, we can (usually) calm it all down if I grab a pile of books and read to them. This may not be an actual break but it can bring everyone back to a level that isn’t so overwhelming.

Get messy.

As Ms. Frizzle says, “Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy!” The kids love when I tell them that they can bring all of their blankets and pillows out into the living room to make a fort or crash pad. It’s even better when they get to keep it out all day. Play-Doh, water beads, Legos, kinetic sand and Magnatiles are life-saver as well. Sure, they make a mess, but it keeps them engaged for a long time.  (Pro tip: get giant cookie sheets for them to keep the magnetic sand on. It’s less to vacuum up at the end!)

Get outside!

Go on a walk or do bubbles or chalk. Anything outside does the mind and body good. Sunshine and fresh air make such a difference in everyone’s mood and attitude.

Water beads and check out that crash pad in the background!

These things fill my cup and reset my day when I desperately need a break, but can’t be away from my children. Some of these things are easier said than done, but I’ve learned that when I am intentional about doing these things, they help!

Born and raised in Wichita, Chelsi married her high school sweetheart Britt in 2012 and they now call northwest Wichita home. Brody (b. 2013), Brexley (b. 2016), Beckett (b. 2019) and two dogs (Paisley and Mater) keep Chelsi busy as a SAHM. When the family is not playing with tractors and having dance parties in the living room, you can usually find them at their family farm in Clearwater or having a family movie night at home. Chelsi is a coffee and ice cream cake loving, Christmas obsessed list maker that has a passion for writing and designing custom invitations on her Etsy shop. She is always ready for an adventure with her kids and husband especially if it involves ice cream!