This is my first post with the Madison Mom Blog and I’m honored to write here! By way of introduction, I wanted to share what seems most relevant to my life these days – my “Five Minute Freebies.”
Prior to motherhood I came to expect small moments as the norm, not a luxury. Something like reading was a hobby, it didn’t require forethought or planning. I absolutely love the time I share with my children; they are such a joy and each one a treasured gift. However, as a stay at home mother to 4 kids 4 and under (the youngest two being 4 months and 4 weeks old as we were blessed by adoption) you can imagine, there is not ample opportunity for extended free time.
Enter the “Five Minute Freebie:” Instantly refreshing the spirit by changing my expectations, choosing a different perspective, and creating moments of enjoyment.
The main concept of these “freebies” to be consciously aware of my time and choose to take advantage of any opportunity to renew my mind. To appreciate each moment for what it is and breathe in the beauty; to cherish the performance of daily responsibilities and be thankful for all the stolen moments in between.
For a long time into this motherhood venture, I felt as if I never truly had time to refresh unless there was the chance to hunker down for a couple hours…alone. While that is still my refreshment preference, it is not usually an option and I’d imagine that is the case for most of you. However, slowly but surely (and especially in this season) I’m learning to maximize any brief chances – say, five minutes, give or take – to refresh, lighten up, and enjoy!
Stopping for a few minutes to sip my coffee by the window, while reading something inspiring and jotting down notes on the topic provides a sacred moment of peace in the midst of constant demand.
Choosing a Different Perspective
Last week, my sister-in-law came over. My older boys were playing outside and she was entertaining the babies. In that rare moment of no child in my arms (I’m nursing as I type this) all I desperately needed to do was clean the bathrooms. I never thought I’d see the day I’d consider that “a break.” It is easy to think, “I finally have a second alone and here I am scrubbing the toilet,” but at the time, I was genuinely thankful for the chance to do something different and complete a task.
Creating Moments of Enjoyment
A while back, I brainstormed pages of ideas of things I can do at home (quickly and for free) that bring me joy and leave me feeling uplifted, motivated, and refreshed. That way, as opportunities arise, instead of flitting them away, I have an arsenal of ideas at my fingertips with a lot of bang for their proverbial buck.
The possibilities are endless and should be thought out down to the smallest pleasure (opening a new pen, cleaning your wedding ring, etc.) What refreshes me might not refresh you – I love baths, my sister hates them – but writing a list often helps us identify patterns. I found what is most refreshing to me often centers on fostering or appreciating beauty – not the perfectly styled home, but rather a flower on the table, piles of books, music playing, capturing a thought process, etc. The same is true in reverse, I find the absence of these things to be draining.
Taking the time to light a candle or draw back the curtains, stretch or sing, savor a treat or use your finest lotion, send a note card or read a chapter, tidy a cluttered space or take candid photos of your kids is all choosing to relish the Five Minute Freebies!
Do you choose moments of refreshment each day? What are your Five Minute Freebies? Share in the comments!