Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by McDonalds but the content and opinions expressed are my own.
I won’t lie. The past several months have been really hard personally. And I feel like a jerk saying this because I am so incredibly fortunate! I have two amazing and healthy children, and one on the way. We live in a beautiful house and we have our health. But, between being so sick in my first trimester, and dealing with some seasonal affective disorder (depression compiled with feeling horrible and throwing up everything for three months, and then experiencing pregnancy migraines for two weeks) I was a mess!
I lost the ability to take pleasure in things I normally loved–blogging, decorating, running, connecting with my friends, and even playing with my kids. The everyday chores overwhelmed me. The prospect of entertaining my kids for the afternoon–insurmountable. And don’t even think about trying to get dinner on the table–just the thought of food made me nauseous!
Well, at 19 weeks right now, I am proud to say I am finally getting back to feeling like myself. The nausea and migraines are gone, the hormones have stabilized, and my head is clear again, and I find myself reaching out to friends, DIYing once again, and having more energy. I feel almost back to normal.
You may have noticed that the blog has been a little quiet since December. I had to prioritize and focus on what was important–keeping these little (all three) humans alive and well! And the reprioritization made me recognize that for a long time, I haven’t been making any time for myself--things just for me– not for work, not for the kids, not for the preschool–just things that made me happy and fulfilled.
So I started looking into ways that I could make a little more time for “me time,” and bring back some much needed joy into my life. After I had my firstborn, B, I quickly realized that it was necessary to take time for myself, and I threw myself into doing yoga 4-5 times a week. I was in the best shape of my life, and it helped me cope with some family stressors that were happening at the time. I was a better mom for taking time for myself.
But once we moved up here to Wisconsin, I lost my built-in babysitter (my mother-in-law who lived a block away) and my favorite yoga studio. I got pregnant again with Jack (I was unknowingly pregnant when we moved!) and dealt with the same issues as this time around (nausea and depression). But, after he came out I threw myself back into creating some “me time.”
For me, “me time” involves doing things that bring me joy and clear-headedness, and usually involves exercising. In the spring and summer months, I absolutely love running along the lake with the little ones in the stroller; but, in the dead of winter, there is no way I am going to drag two kids out in sub-freezing weather for an hour! Their little bums would just freeze sitting still that long!
So while I don’t have a clear cut answer for how to create some “me time” and bring back running or yoga right now into my daily life, I do have several options I have been exploring–joining our local gym, which has free childcare, or purchasing a used treadmill. In the past, I have loved using at home exercise videos and I need to start utilizing them again. But recognizing that things need to change has been pivotal in my return to normal.
In the meantime, I have tried to integrate things that are a “treat” for me–little things that bring me joy. These are little things I can do to make me feel pampered–they are tiny indulgences. I have started re-reading my favorite wizarding series books (I will admit, I tend to reread it whenever I am down, this round will be my eighth time reading the entire collection!) I have gone back to re-watching my favorite mom and daughter TV show. And I recently gave myself a pedicure (the last time I painted them was in August!) and took a nice long relaxing bath. For Valentine’s Day, I indulged in some fresh flowers that made me feel special. And now that the Shamrock Shake is out at McDonald’s, I treated myself to a shake one afternoon after dropping the kids at preschool. It was just as good as I remembered it!
When I was there I was amazed to find out that McDonald’s is now offering a few different flavors of McCafe Shamrock Chocolate Madness beverages–guaranteeing that I will be back to try out some more! They now have the Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe, Chocolate Shamrock Shake, Shamrock Hot Chocolate, and Shamrock Mocha! McCafe Shamrock Shakes are available February 7th through March 21st. And if you go during the week of March 11th- 17th, McDonald’s will donate 25 cents of every Shamrock Chocolate Madness beverage to help Ronald McDonald House Charities® to keep families together! Just one more reason to enjoy the #ShamrockSeason! And if you want to try them all, you can download the McDonald’s app and when you buy five, you will get one free!
So fellow mamas, I implore you to do something for YOU today–whether it is indulging in a Shamrock Shake after dropping the kids at preschool, reading a book, getting a pedicure, or enjoying a rejuvenating yoga class! You will be a better mom for it–I know I am!
Free McCafe beverage offer Valid until 12/31/2017 at participating U.S. McDonald’s. McD App download and registration required. Shamrock Chocolate Madness drinks available for a limited time at participating McDonald’s.