Two minutes with … Michelle Hammons, mama to Jay, aged 7 years and McKenna, aged 11 months

Two minutes with … Michelle Hammons, mama to Jay, aged 7 years and McKenna, aged 11 months

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time? 

I try to have a little bit of “me time” every single day so I can be recharged and refueled in order to be the best version of myself for my children and for my family. Every morning I wake up early and pray, listen to motivational podcast and worship music to kick start my day. That way, I have a positive mindset for my children. Also, after my kiddos go to bed, I am able to work on my business, but I always put on a podcast or motivational YouTube videos while I work. Since I am a Certified Life Coach, I know how essential it is that we renew our minds on a daily basis, sometimes moment to moment depending on the stress of the day.

However, I did take a couple hours, a few days ago to finally get my nails done and it was so nice to relax, get a massage and get my nails done all while not having to worry about the well-being of my children.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

As I said previously, I absolutely love renewing my mind on a daily basis with motivational videos, podcast, prayer, and worship music. I also love to work out, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I drink detox teas regularly, while eating a ton of fruit and veggies. When I eat better, I always feel better so I like to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But beauties, let’s be real, I also love to snack on chocolate, so I definitely have moments when I eat chocolate…. a few times a week as well!

Also I take strategic steps to create balance in my life, I love to Journal and to plan and prepare for future events. I also schedule to spend quality time with my sweet husband, friends and family.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

I would just want to remind EVERY amazing momma who reads this, that they are worthy of “me time” and that if they want to be the best they can be for their families, their friends, their children, then it is essential to schedule a little bit of “me time” every single day. If that means you have to sacrifice 30 minutes of sleep then it is worth your well-being and your mindset to be positively charged and renewed.

If you take strategic steps to plan a little bit of me time on a daily basis, then it will improve your life Drastically! Your family will thank you for taking time, to take care of yourself.

You are amazing, strong, and courageous! You are loved, cherished and more than enough and I just want to encourage you to take time to remind yourself of this truth…EVERYDAY!

Two minutes with … Ashley Glass, mama to Pierson, aged 5 years and Reese, aged 4 years

Two minutes with … Ashley Glass, mama to Pierson, aged 5 years and Reese, aged 4 years

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

Oh goodness, this is always hard to think back on and remember specific times. I have been very blessed with an amazing and supportive husband. I think most recently I was having a rough day and night and he suggested that I go to Target and walk around, do some retail therapy if I thought it would help. I threw on a winter hat, stayed in my sweats, poured a travel mug of coffee and browsed the aisles ever so slowly, at the exact pace that I wanted to browse. No kids asking about looking at toys and nothing else on my agenda. That was GREAT, but my most FAVORITE me-time is spent with a horse down the road from us, her name is Addie. As early as yesterday, my husband offered to take the kids to the grocery store and to drop me off with Addie. It’s on the way to our local Kroger and just 1.5 miles from our house. OF COURSE, I agreed. I grabbed some carrots out of the fridge and spent a whole hour with her; brushing and hugging her and playing chase with the white lab Butter who lives there. I’ve been incredibly blessed by Addie’s owners. I am a horse girl through and through and we are praying about me getting my very own horse [a dream of mine since I was TINY] to board with Addie. This is the very best me-time that I can have. I leave Addie feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and like a happier wife and mama, EVERY time.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

Well, as mentioned above, my self-care is often being with our neighbor horse, Addie. But when I can’t make that happen, I always make sure that if I’m feeling in need of downtime, that I put Spotify on and journal. Writing to me is very therapeutic and it almost always helps me process and navigates my thoughts and emotions.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

I think it’s so important that mamas recognize when they are craving me-time. I know so many women who are busy around the clock and take constant care of their children. I encourage them to at least step away long enough to take the scalding hot shower and be alone for ten minutes. Put Netflix on for the kids or some Baby Einstein and trust that they will BE okay. Getting burned out is a very real thing and a very real issue in our society. The other thing that I encourage is after that hot shower, put the cell phone on the charger and take a step away from social media. Instagram and Facebook are awesome and I love them, but at the same time, they can be very unhealthy in some aspects. Comparison, doubts, insecurities are all very real issues that can stem from looking at other women’s so-called perfect lives, and when moms are in need of rejuvenation, scrolling through feeds is probably not the wisest choice.

Two minutes with … Cara Olsen, mama to Hazel, aged almost 1 year

Two minutes with … Cara Olsen, mama to Hazel, aged almost 1 year

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

I have “me time” every single day. Because I’m a firm believer that every single Mama MUST have something “other” in her life – be that yoga, coffee with friends, art – SOMETHING separate into which she can fully submerge herself and receive nourishment, “me time” is built into my routine and something I rarely, if ever, sacrifice. Obviously life does not always go as planned; sometimes that me time lasts no longer than 20 minutes, if, say, my little one won’t nap. But there’s always time before bed, and I usually will read for at least 30 minutes before going to sleep. I also paint nearly every single day. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get any traction, but even if I can make space to tend to my soul for even a few minutes, it’s better than nothing, better than letting that frustration and resentment build up and affect time with my daughter.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

Reading is absolutely one of my most beloved hobbies. I have trouble sleeping at night, having an overactive brain that likes to swirl in endless loops, so reading helps to quiet my thoughts and help me drift off. Also, anything creative really, especially painting and writing and collecting falling treasures on the ground – leaves are my favorite.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

I somewhat answered this question in my lengthy first answer – I tend to get very passionate about subjects in which I believe! – but additionally, I would remind and encourage Mamas that me time is NOT selfish! It is, in fact, the OPPOSITE of selfishness. No human is any good to another human, be it a little one or a grown one, if they are completely empty and thin and exhausted and depleted of nourishment. The cup must be full if it is to be poured out. Without a flicker of doubt I know I am the best version of myself when I have taken measures to get enough sleep, feed my body (even if it means I stand over the sink eating it), and fight for slivers in the days to tend to my heart and soul. Like any routine, it must be established with intention and met with consitency, which is hard as a Mama and all the predictability that comes with motherhood, but it is WORTH IT.

Two minutes with … Rebecca Razzall, mama to George, aged 2 years

Two minutes with … Rebecca Razzall, mama to George, aged 2 years

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

There is that famous kōan…  “the trouble is, you think you have time…” and before I became a mom, I’d meditate on it, really getting to the core of the enlightenment there… after I became a mom, it just made me giggle, deliriously…  “Do not worry, universe, I definitely do not think I have any time.  At all…”

So… upon becoming a mom, I realized the vital importance of “me-time” – consciously carving out the space to be nurtured… In the beginning, this consisted of naps, getting acupuncture, or taking time to read something outside the box of parenting self-help – comics, for example – ha.  I also organized several group tea ceremony sits at my home for women and moms in my community, poured by the lovely Baelyn Elspeth of Global Tea Hut… those were always well attended, and the moms especially enjoyed the space to just sit, sip tea, and be still and present, together.

Now that my son is older, “me-time” has evolved – for the past year, I have a daily practice of transcendental meditation, twenty minutes in the morning and again in the evening… and then I have a separate practice of sitting with (loose leaf organic) tea.  My daily tea practice is often a simple set-up…  either tea leaves in a bowl, or in a gaiwan …  but sometimes, I’ll carve out space to serve gong fu style…  Both of my practices are incredibly grounding, soothing, and nurturing.

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

Well… I had a health scare a year ago, which brought me into an oncologists office, a few times too many… and it really made me look at motherhood through a very different lens, as you can imagine.  In the end, it was just a “freak” thing – no cancer – but the lesson was learned, fast.  So, my self care practice means nurturing myself inside and out, in good health.  I do so in my meditation practice…  as well as in drinking my organic green, white, oolong and puerh teas…  and I adore taking my custom herbal tincture made by sweet Kelsey Barrett of Heavy Nettle Gathering (turmeric, ginger, cleavers, skullcaps, astragalus, pomegranate).  And then… I like to take five to ten minutes at the end of each day, no matter what, for a little mini facial before bed – cleanser, toner, serum, jade roller, etc – I’m a big fan of 5Yina skincare products…  Ervina, one of the co-founders, is a cancer survivor and has her doctorate in Traditional Chinese Medicine – she really knows what she’s doing – I love putting all of her products on my skin…

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

My advice to any mamas struggling to create “me-time” is to be focused, and diligent.  There will never be enough time for “everything” – yes, the to-do list really doesn’t end!  That’s a hard one to face, if you’re at all “Type A”…  But…  take time to focus on that list, and have a reality check.  What really needs to be addressed today.  And how can you squeeze in a couple pockets of “reward”, for yourself.  It’s difficult to create a new routine.  But that’s just what you do – you create it.  Create that space for rewarding “me-time” space…  If you commit to that, you will do it.  And your mind, heart, and your family – will thank you for doing so.

Rebecca Razzall is an LA-based tea sommelier, entrepreneur

Two minutes with … Laura Wills, mama to Mila, aged 18 months and Anoushka, aged 5 weeks

Two minutes with … Laura Wills, mama to Mila, aged 18 months and Anoushka, aged 5 weeks

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

My husband and I had a date night last week – we went out for dinner which is one of my favourite ways to relax. I love getting dressed up and it’s so important to have some adult time where you have conversations that aren’t baby related every once in a while!

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

I love to take an exercise class or get my hair done! Both are simple ways to have a moment to yourself and feel good afterwards.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

It’s hard I’m not going to lie but the best way is to plan it in way in advance! I just booked a facial today for mid-February which is ages away but then it’s easier to plan around it. And I always try to make sure my husband and I go on a date night at least once a month – again we plan it in way in advance.