The Stay-At-Home Mom's Guide to Self-Care and Sacred Spaces
How I recharge and relax throughout the day by creating designated "sacred spaces" in my home
A lifelong homebody, there is no place I’d rather be than at home—and right now, that’s where I am most of the time as a full-time parent. Because I spend so much of my life at home, creating an environment I enjoy being in is essential to my overall wellbeing. I have a better attitude and perspective when I put forth the effort to keep my home somewhat put together; it eases some of my anxieties and gives me the clarity I need to focus on other tasks and interests. I have realized that at times, my life is not as chaotic as I think it is, my environment is just out of order. A tidy, comfortable home frees my mind to do other tasks and think about other things, including sitting down now to write this!
I have realized that at times, my life is not as chaotic as I think it is, my environment is just out of order.
I do carve out the time every day to tidy, clean, and maintain my home. It’s my personal form of self-care. But it’s never perfect. There are days that I do not have the energy or time to ensure my home is tidy and clean. I sometimes get overwhelmed and just go on a walk rather than deal with the mountains of laundry.
Note: I did recently start following this schedule and it has made a huge impact on my productivity and removed a lot of the negative feelings I sometimes have toward household tasks.
I don’t have a spotless, pretty house all of the time despite my best efforts. I am a mom to a toddler. So, there are many areas of my home that I have to allow to be covered in toys and snack crumbs most of the time. This has been a huge lesson for me in letting go of the small stuff, but that doesn’t mean I like it.
That’s why it’s important to me to have those places that are toy-free, mess-free, and have the appearance of belonging to an adult.
These are my sacred spaces.
The first is my bathroom. It is the only place in my home that I don't have to share.
As a mom, this is the most "alone time" I usually get: the thirty minutes to an hour that I shower (which I don’t do daily, more like three times a week or less—judge me if you want but that’s just how it is, okay!).
I recently hung this $2.99 eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s on the shower heads of our baths/showers. It doesn’t have the same effect as dropping a drop of Eucalyptus essential oil on the shower floor, but it looks really nice anyway and brings me joy!
It’s a shower, nothing out of the ordinary—but I have made it a space that is reserved for just myself: to relax, to find refreshment in the quiet and aloneness. While doing the mundane task of washing, I allow my mind to be mostly blank for maybe the first time in days. I observe the sanctity of that space by not rushing, by not making mental lists, or thinking about what I need to do next on my schedule.
Motherhood has opened my eyes to the sanctity of time in many ways. I have definitely become more efficient with my time since having to balance the care of myself and another person. I have learned how to recharge with the minutes rather than hours. I have also learned the importance of slowing down when it is needed, though that is not as easy. That brings me to my second sacred space: this chair.
This is where I have rocked my baby to sleep and held her there for hours afterward during the past year and a half. In this chair, I have done most of my writing and reading. This is my crying chair, my prayer chair, my thinking-it-through chair.
I don’t always enjoy slowing down, if I’m being honest. It can be frustrating, at times, that hours of my day I could be accomplishing other things I am spending holding my daughter who will not sleep without being held. In the way that parenthood often is, it’s beautiful and frustrating at the same time. But I have learned to love these hours rather than feel anxious about them by doing one of two things: embracing it as a moment of connection or using this time to read or write, something I enjoy and find fulfillment in. It’s usually a mix of both things.
I love reading and have been a reader all my life. I thought that I would be reading less when I became a mom, but I have actually read more because of our nap time routines! It doesn’t look the way it used to: sitting in a coffee shop for hours on end, finishing a book in one day, then spending the rest of it reeling in the emotions of the story. Now, I read from this chair pretty exclusively and it brings the same refreshment to my life, it’s just different.
In this area, I have a basket where I keep books for myself and books to read to my daughter. I try not to bring my phone with me when I come to this space. It encourages me to be more present with my daughter and to pick up a book instead of my phone.
Here are a few tips I have on creating similar spaces in your home that help you to reflect, relax, or just inspire joy when you use them!
1. Keep that area tidy. Even if everything else is a mess.
2. Keep essential oils or candles nearby to help create a peaceful and inviting atmosphere.
3. If you read or journal, keep those things here.
4. Make it a phone/computer-free zone. Although scrolling through your phone feels like leisure, it is not relaxing your mind and may actually be causing more tension.
5. Make it pretty. Buy yourself some flowers! Paint the wall that inspires you! Whatever "sparks joy" for you!