I like to cook and make crafts, as well. So why my son is sleeping at nap time, or bed time. I cook or craft make soap and lotions or watch a good movie or do my nails things like that.
Put them to bed by 8pm the latest and then take a hot candle lit bubble bath with a glass of wine. I'm 30 with 3 boys ages 7,4 and 1 and that's what i do to keep sane. 8pm is my favorite time of the day! Hang in there :)
When my kids & grand ones were that age I would sew,make them some clothes,let them stay in the room with you with tinker toys & etc so you can keep an eye on them,they really did enjoy wearing something new,most of the time I would make something very easy & simple,for the girls just a top to cover them almost like a swim suit top & a pair of short for the boys,as you know you can get patterns from a fabric store. We always took a nap at noon,that saves the day, good luck.
When my daughter was younger, reading and naptime were special quiet times for us. We'd pick out a few books, get comfy and cozy, and read. Then we'd snuggle together, and after a while she'd go to sleep. If I was worn down, heck, I'd nap, too! I didn't nap with her every time, but I did frequently.
If you find yourself particularly frazzled one day, don't be afraid to ask your husband for help. Have him sit and color or play Legos or read with the kids to give you just 10-15 minutes to step away and breathe. You could take a shower to freshen up or lie down in a quiet room. Just that short break can make a difference.
And, to this day, my husband puts her to bed on Friday and Saturday nights. It's nice for me not to have to do it every night, and she considers it a special treat to have Daddy read to her. That would be an excellent time for you to have a soak in the tub.
If Daddy is willing to watch the kids for a couple hours, once in a while you could go meet up with a girlfriend for some coffee or lunch. That's nice, too. It's a change of scenery, no kids, and grown-up conversation. It needn't be expensive. I used to do this maybe once a month with my best friend. It's nice to feel like you have an identity other than Mom/Mommy.
I hope you find something that works well for you. Best of luck!
Many years ago, when my kids(now in their 40s) were small, I used nap time to do whatever I wanted to do, whether it was take a nap myself, read, embroidery, sew or what ever. I didn't do any actual house work, that was my time. Also my kids were in bed by 8PM, so I could have quiet time in the evening.
If it is in your budget, get nature cds. the sounds of waves crashing on shores is very relaxing, as is listening to birds softly chirping. if you can't afford the cds, youtube has several tracks of nature sounds available, you can make a playlist if you have an account and save it, so you don't have to keep running back to the computer every 5-10 mins. An added bonus is that children love the tracks too, it helps them to be calm if you are trying to get them to take naps, and it might spark an interest in finding out which bird makes which sound, or what kinds of animals live in the ocean.
Since you have small children, I wouldn't suggest candles, unless you have somewhere up high to put them and sturdy containers, but incense can add refreshing scents as long as there aren't any allergies to the ingredients or smoke. or you can get a candle warmer, kinda like a hot plate, and that will work to release the scent.
Colors make a difference too. You might not have the budget for a total room make-over, but there are plenty of fabrics to choose from to make slipcovers or pillow shams, and finger paint artwork is a great way to let the kids help, and are easy to make at home. I'm pretty sure i saw a recipe in the archives.
Go for the cooler tones when choosing colors, greens,creams, and blues, and try to stay away from bright colors, especially in the bedrooms. hgtv.com and other websites have wonderful tools to help you pick out coordinating colors, or just look at a color wheel in an art store.
Another thing to remember, to help your overall budget, if you paint a room that you eat in, stay away from reds/oranges/yellows, as these colors stimulate aggression and appetite. Ever wonder why fast food places use those colors in their dinning areas?
Also, if you take showers more often, try to take a bath a couple times a week. I know there are a hundred reasons not too, such as saving water, not having time, etc, etc, but it really does help our mood, especially before bed. soak til the water gets cold, daydream, use organic bath oil/bubbles, or, if you're like me and love to read, use the time to get caught upon your favorite series. just keep a couple extra towels on hand. Our bodies are made up of over 70% water, which is why we need to drink so much of it, and it is the element that most people profess to love.
Finding time to relax can be hard, but when you incorporate a relaxing atmosphere into your daily life, your day becomes less stressful overall, and you won't "have" to take time out for it.
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