Habitot Children's Museum

until September 30!

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Habitot Children's Museum

Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111

Parenting Q&A

Parenting Question of the Month What's the best thing you can do for mom on Mother's Day?


Parenting Q&AMoms, whether they are stay-at-home or working moms, need “me time,” say numerous studies on the health and well being of mothers. Time away from the household workload of cleaning, scheduling, shopping, cooking, pet care and, of course, all of the play and caring for children, benefits the whole family. “Me time” for mom sparks creativity, provides mothers with a chance to relax, gives them time to regain perspective, and restores emotional balance. It also improves a woman’s sense of fulfillment. Because moms do so much so well, it’s easy to forget that there’s a person attempting to balance it all.

This month, in recognition of Mother’s Day, husbands and partners should take the lead in scheduling and facilitating some regular personal time for mom—not just for Mother’s Day, but year-round. Mother’s Day is a reminder that a happy mother makes for a happy family.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • Start small. 5 minutes away from family, chores and distractions to relax can restore sanity. Then, build up. If you need to, set a time limit so the time doesn’t get cut short. And if you exceed the time limit, congratulations, mom must have needed it!

  • Schedule it. Put it on the calendar and get what’s needed in place (babysitters, etc.) so moms get the time they need. Everyone needs to agree—pre-arranged “mom time” is not negotiable, even if your child is having a bad day—make that especially if he's having a bad day!

  • Ask for help. Many people have a hard time asking for help, but once you get in practice you’ll realize that people really DO love helping. A friend or neighbor who knows little about children can help by watching a sleeping baby so mom can take a long shower or a short walk outdoors.

  • Simplify your life. Focus on what is most important and cut back on unnecessary activities. Learn to say, “no” when asked to volunteer for one more thing.

  • Be realistic. Moms don’t have to do it all. Partners and spouses can do more. Moms need to learn to let go—trying to do too much doesn't leave enough time for what's really important. Let some chores go if they provide more quality time with family and a calm, relaxed mother.

  • Use naptime wisely. If a mother isn’t sleeping while baby sleeps, then use naptime for “mom time.” Avoid the temptation to clean the house or catch up on laundry. Write in a journal, exercise or stretch, or work on a hobby such as writing or art. When naptime ends mothers should feel more like themselves than when naptime started.

  • Keep It Simple. Mothers don’t have to train for a marathon or join a book club to have mom time. Enjoying a few sips of coffee in peace works wonders.

  • Use nature, especially if you can’t escape without your children. Even with kids in tow, being in the outdoors, on a hike or a stroll through the woods, can be rejuvenating. Invest in a backpack or choose trails where strollers can be used. If you start walking in nature when children are young, they will become savvy trail walkers and can be trusted to walk on their own. Listen to the wind, and the birds in the trees, watch for shafts of sunlight that filter through, pay attention to leaves and flowers and the change of seasons. Allow nature to refresh your spirit.

  • Parenting Resources

    Parenting Guide. Make Time for Mom! 2012. Web Site: http://www.parentingguide.org/make-time-for-mom/

    Przeworski, Amy Ph.D. Taking a Me-Day: The importance of self-care. Psychology Today, April 2012. Web Site: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-worry-mom/201204/taking-me-day

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Taking Care of Mom: Nurturing Self As Well As Baby. February 2009. Article: http://mchb.hrsa.gov/pdfs/tcm.pdf

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