Guest Post by Marlee from ‘Dishes By Hand’

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It is my pleasure to publish Marlee on Life It Or Not.

Marlee is a funny, witty and genuine mum blogger who has two of her own little Squidge’s and somehow also finds the time to work full time as a nurse (all while still washing her dishes by hand!) Marlee offers creative solutions for renovations, parenting, and successfully managing a busy household by being thrifty and innovative. Read on to find out how to get the daily dose of “me time” that we all desperately want and need…but rarely ever get!


Without a doubt, being a Mom has got to be the most hectic, fast-paced job out there. Whether you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, you most likely spend your days either planning, doing, or cleaning up something for someone else.

Does it sometimes feel like you are being pulled in a million directions, and you just don’t know how you could possibly give any more? You are not alone.


Although your chaotic schedule probably will not change anytime soon, it is important to take care of yourself. You can’t fully care for your family without first taking care of yourself.

It all starts with one seemingly simple step (although it seems impossible at first). You need to schedule some “me time” into each and every day. I know, I know, I can hear you muttering how crazy I am. Hear me out. I promise that you can even do it with minimal to no extra time and without even needing a babysitter (really, I’m not crazy)!


Start By Setting A Time and Some Boundaries

First things first, you know your schedule the best, so try to decide on a scheduled time of day for your “me time”.

It can be in the morning with your daily coffee or in the evening after dinner while the kids are watching television.

You only need a minimum of ten minutes for successful, effective “me-time”, but I try for thirty minutes as often as possible. Pick a time you feel you can be successful and set those boundaries.

Let everyone know that you are off limits and available for emergencies only! Still a little befuddled?


Here’s How I get My Daily “Me Time”

My kids know that I’m not sane until I’ve had my “me time”. Nearly every morning I direct them into their playroom so I can have my morning tea. They are asked to “find something (anything) to play” and if a disagreement occurs to “work it out”. When they need something I tell them, “After I finish my tea, I’m having some mommy time first”. This is my ten minutes entirely for me and I use it to collect my thoughts or shut off my mind.

Guess what? They survive. They usually make independent decisions regarding activities and games they would like to play, they use their words to show their feelings, and they figure out how to take turns.

Other times, they cry. They cry loudly (and absolutely melt down), but we don’t cave. My husband and I are a united front defending all parents who need their “me time.” We remind them that I am having “me time” and that they have to work it out. That tea cup is my signal that Mama is off-limits.

“Me time” is interrupted for safety concerns or disciplinary action only. These interruptions include poor decisions like hitting/kicking or when they decide that the best activity is to jump on the couches. Boy, do they know they are in big trouble if these interruptions happen! They are expected to respect my “me time”.


Here’s Three Easy “Me Time” Idea’s For You!

Here are some great ways to get some much deserved “me time” as a busy mom, even when your family is home.


Take A Bubble Bath

You have two times that you should schedule this for. The first option is when your significant other can take the kiddos and you can shut (and lock) that bathroom door. For those whose husband isn’t available for this (or is raising kids alone), this might have to happen after bedtime.

Honestly, you have to get clean to be presentable to the world, so you are actually killing two birds with one stone.

Most importantly, set the mood. Light some candles and put a bath bomb in that tub (sometimes I’ll even pour myself a nice cold glass of chardonnay). Break out the loofah. Bring a book or magazine in there with you.

Do whatever it takes to leave the regular daily hustle behind and bring the spa to your personal bathroom.


Commit To Reading A Book or Watching A Show

Okay, again, I’m not crazy! There really is time for you to do this! Just remember, it doesn’t have to be all at once.

If you choose to read a book, simply pick up that book and commit to reading one chapter at a time. If the chapters are too long commit to reading five pages. Just do it. It will let your mind travel to many places, away from all the stress and commitments of your Google Calendar.

If you choose to commit to watching a show, it’s easiest to pick one that is airing live. That way you can’t make excuses to bake those cookies for the bake sale instead of sitting on your bum watching mindless television. You need to take care of yourself, and sometimes that means doing something to make you happy and relaxed. Watch the trials and tribulations of strangers and forget about your own.

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Have A Cup Of Tea

This is my favorite, and it’s super easy to initiate and make a ritual. Fire up the tea kettle, send those babes (and your significant other) into the other room, and sit in peace to collect your thoughts.

Sometimes what a mama really needs is silence. Sure, we care who was the daily helper, what Joey brought for show and tell, and the dynamics of the hubby’s office, but sometimes it’s important to just sit and shut off your brain. Just be. I’m telling you, it is refreshing to hear nothing and think nothing.

I am a DavidsTea addict myself, and I have probably spent a small fortune on the stuff. They have tea for any and all emotions you are feeling. My favorites are Mothers Little Helper, Le Digestif, and Serenity Now. (I’m not an affiliate of DavidsTea, I just can’t get enough of the stuff) I’m a fiend, however, it gives me comfort and peace on days I really need it. Check it out if you need something to help you calm down naturally.


You are Worth It, Take Care of Yourself, Too!

It’s true, you are also an important part of your family. You deserve time to care for yourself. Take those ten to thirty minutes of me-time without feeling guilty. Your family will survive for the short amount of time you take for yourself. They will also reap the benefits of a much more relaxed, patient, and understanding version of yourself. You can be the best mom you can be for the other 23 hours and 30 minutes.

And don’t worry, those dishes will wait for you. You’ve got this Mama!

About The Author

Marlee from ‘Dishes by Hand’

Life is crazy working as a full-time nurse and raising two beautiful little humans. Throw managing the chaotic schedule of renovating a fixer-upper home on a small budget and I begin to wonder how I manage to tie my own shoelaces every morning.

I enjoy what advances in technology have enabled our generation to accomplish. However, I maintain a more traditional lifestyle as a do-it-yourself homemaker with a more vintage style. I own a dishwasher because it’s 2018, however, I still wash my dishes by hand. I do this because I feel it works better and provides great bonding time and teaching moments with my kiddos.

I hope to offer creative solutions for renovations, parenting, and successfully (for the most part) managing a busy household by being thrifty and innovative. 

I hope you enjoy sharing my journey with me!


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