Wondering how to shake that feeling of angst that comes with endless laundry, dirty dishes, and the cares of house and home? Feeling like you need a boost of energy? Looking for something to do with the kids that doesn’t totally wipe you out?
You and me both, Sister.
Motherhood is a challenging job, no doubt. Surely it was a mother who coined the term 24/7. Yet, despite the challenges, we know that it is one of the most rewarding. If we only have eyes to see.
One way to find more joy as a mom is simply to get outside.
Sometimes the cares of hearth and home can drag us down. And staying inside only contributes to that wear and tear on our hearts. When our vision is limited to what’s inside our own four walls, it’s hard to see all the abundance that we have. We need to take a long look around us and look far into the distance.
Consider these simple ways to get outside and see far:
Just step outside your door.
Perhaps you can take a hike in the woods, a walk along the beach or simply a loop around the block. But, get out and take that step to changing your scenery and your perspective. If the kids are cared for, take off on your own (or take your spouse with you), and stroll along the sand sans children. Moments away from the family yet still enjoying nature can be doubly refreshing.
Make it a family outing.
Taking your children with you can be a wonderful change of pace for all of you. Consider trips to the park, skipping rocks in the river, and walking along the cliffs at the beach. The kids get exercise — and run off excess energy — and everyone returns home full of fresh air and tired out — in a good way.
Yes, there’s work involved when you all head out to the Great Outdoors. But, generally speaking, I’ve never found an outdoors outing to be a true failure. Now, a grocery shopping trip? That’s another story.
Plant a garden.
Even if your backyard is the size of a postage stamp, you can plant and grow flowers, fruits, or vegetables. Consider a small planter of tomatoes or fresh herbs or a full vegetable patch if you have the space. Include your children in the project. Then stand together in the sunshine while you tend your garden, get wet, and talk.
Check the weather.
Weather trends may be against you during certain seasons, but there’s almost always a way to enjoy being outside if you’re tooled up appropriately. What child – or adult, for that matter, doesn’t enjoy stomping in puddles, especially when properly attired. You may need to bookmark weather.com and reference it often. But the rewards to being outside on a regular basis are huge.
Find the place that soothes you.
Different locations appeal to different people. Does the beach relax you? Head there if you can. Are you the mountain climbing type? Head to the hills! Prefer a hike in the woods? Then escape to the forest. Whatever scenery is your style, find a way to make it more of a habit in your life.
I love the afternoon breeze and to relax on a blanket or in a hammock. But, I realized that the park is not the place to do this. I need to be counting heads or spotting climbers at all times. But, my backyard is a safe bet for letting the kids play while I relax in our shady nook.
Enjoying the great outdoors is a great way to find perspective, catch your breath, and renew your energy in the life as mom.
Jessica Fisher is a busy mom to six children, making her home in San Diego. She writes about life, laughter and the pursuit of a clean house at LifeasMom.com and shares delicious ways to act your wage at GoodCheapEats.com. Her first cookbook will be released in September 2012 by the Harvard Common Press.