Our Five Ring Circus: 10 Ways Busy Moms Can Sneak In Self Care

Friday, July 21, 2017

10 Ways Busy Moms Can Sneak In Self Care


DISCLOSURE: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, and I receive service and promotional items in exchange for monthly posts.

Motherhood is a strange and beautiful thing. I have never been this exhausted, stressed and busy before, yet this is the happiest I've ever been! I'm a busy mom and I love it. I love my four kids beyond measure, and I wouldn't trade my time with them for anything


(No, you're not getting the posed "motherhood is beautiful" shot. You're getting the real life "I'm trying to embarrass my almost-teenager by looking cool and posting it on Instagram" shot.)

But speaking of time, there is NO time for myself these days. I sacrifice sleep to get things done and give up some of the things I love to spend more time with my family. In some ways, I lost a little bit of myself, but the truth is, I gained so much more!

I love mom life, but the most difficult thing about having four kids is juggling four different schedules plus my own. My kids, my husband, and my work come first, and often, there is no time left over for anything other than meeting my basic needs.  There simply aren't enough hours in the day, and even if I skipped sleep entirely, I couldn't cross off everything on my to do list!

One thing I recently realized (it only took me 12 1/2 years) is that I HAVE to take care of myself, too. And I mean more than just meeting my basic needs! With four kids (one of whom is rocking an extra chromosome), I have to do the Mom Sneak in order to fit in much needed self care!

If you're a mom, you know exactly what the Mom Sneak is! It's hiding in a closet for five minutes, devouring a chocolate bar, so you don't have to share with your kids. It's sitting in a hot bath for 25 minutes because you have a "headache." Or taking just a bit longer while running errands alone.(Alone...what's that?) It's staring at a wall, in a silent room, for 10 minutes because you have sensory overload. And it's sneaking out to your car to watch an episode on Netflix while your husband thinks you are doing housework. (Not that I would know.)

There are so many ways busy moms can indulge in self care, and I'm going to share my favorite ways with you. I encourage you to choose one item off my list and do it for yourself TODAY. Every mom deserves a little break! And at the end of this list you just might find a giveaway for one of my favorite #MomSneak methods!

10 Ways Busy Moms Can Sneak In Self Care

1. Wake up a half hour before the kids. 

It's tough to drag yourself out of bed before you have to wake up, but those few quiet minutes alone are completely worth it! Climb out of bed, drink your coffee (or hot tea) in peace, and focus on only yourself for 30 minutes before the chaos begins! 


2. Reward yourself.

Once a week, buy yourself something little to enjoy! It doesn't have to be anything big.  It could be your favorite candy to hide and eat alone when you need a treat, a lipstick that makes you feel pretty, or a coffee while you are running errands. You deserve at least a few dollars a week to spend on just yourself!

3. Make time to read each day. 

Books are a great escape from the reality of everyday life! I used to be able to read one book a day, thanks to my speed reading skills. Now I'm lucky if I can make it through one book a month, and I miss it! Although most days I can only sneak in 10-15 minutes of reading, it's important that I do so. I love to get lost in a good book, and I look forward to my reading time each day!

Although my house is rarely silent, I take advantage of those quiet moments when my kids are eating lunch or enjoying their iPad/TV time. It's the only time I can sit down all day, so I can relax for a few minutes to lose myself in a few chapters!

Self Care

4. Do something that reminds you of your pre-mom days.

There are so many things that get bumped down or even off the to do list once you become a mom. Manicures and pedicures, a facial mask or hair treatment, writing in a journal, scrapbooking, music, art, etc. I'm sure there's something little that you wish you still had time to do.

It really is this simple: MAKE time for it. Schedule it into your week, and stick with it. Instead of racing around trying to do all the things while your kids nap, make time for yourself, too.

Give yourself that manicure or pedicure. Kick up your feet for ten minutes while using a facial mask or hair treatment. Pour your heart out in that journal. Rediscover your creativity through scrapbooking or painting. Belt out a show tune or play an instrument. The end result will be a mom who feels a bit more like their old self!

5. Get some exercise.

It's difficult to find time to exercise unless you are REALLY committed to a fitness routine. My family, my kids' activities and my blog always comes first, and I don't have time to exercise nearly as much as I used to. The problem is, when I don't exercise regularly, I notice a huge shift in my mood and energy. I have to plan my workouts around 6 different schedules, which is incredibly challenging, so sometimes I just skip it, and then I regret it!

Although it is ideal to exercise without kids, it doesn't happen often, and I'm sure many moms can relate. So stop the excuses, lace up those running shoes, strap the kids into a stroller and go for a walk. You'll be glad you did! Not only will your mood improve, but it's good for your health, too. A healthy mom is a happy mom!

Self Care

6. Get out of the house ALONE!

Schedule a Moms Night Out, a date night, dinner with a friend or just a day to go shopping alone once a month! And if you can do it more often, kudos to you. (That doesn't happen in my home!) Every mom deserves a little bit of time away from everyday life with kids, so make it a priority. If your significant other happens to complain, gently remind them that everybody deserves a little break now and then! Having time away from kids (sleeping doesn't count) is vital to a mom's well being!

7. Take a hot bath.

To me, there is nothing more relaxing than soaking in a steaming hot bath, in a dim and silent bathroom! It can easily reset my mood. Obviously, this can only happen when my husband is home, so I try to do this once a week when I am feeling really stressed! (If you have to claim you have a headache in order to get in there, just do it!)

But don't just sit in the tub. Make that rare time alone special! Lock the bathroom door, light a favorite candle, dim the lights, turn on the fan to block out the noise, put a cooling gel mask on your eyes, toss in a bath bomb or use some special bubble bath, then sit back and relax. (If you're a person who thinks sitting in dirty bath water is gross, just quickly rinse off in the shower before and after. That's what I do! Psst...F Bomb anyone?)

Self Care

8.  Try a quick yoga or pilates session. 

As moms, we are programmed to be highly energetic to keep up with our kids, and we have the ability to tune things out. But living with tiny humans can be stressful AND exhausting! A short pilates or yoga session can work wonders on frazzled moms.

There are times when all moms feel like they are reaching their breaking point. When that feeling hits, naptime, quiet time or electronics time is a MUST. On the days (which will be most days) when you can't escape alone for a run or barely have energy to stand up, a few minutes of yoga or pilates can work wonders. All that stretching and breathing instantly calms you down, and makes you feel so much better. It works like a charm every time!

Self Care

9. Go for a drive without the kids.

When you reach your breaking point, it's so important to escape for just a few minutes to refresh and recharge! Have a secret code worked out with your significant other that you both can use when you absolutely need a break. Sometimes you just need to leave for a few minutes to calm down or decompress.

There's just something so therapeutic about driving in the car without kids. I often turn off the radio and just get into the driving zone. Other moms may prefer to sing along with the music. For me, silence always does the trick! After a few minutes, I'm ready to return and start fresh!

10. Do the #MomSneak to binge watch Netflix!

I'm not going to lie. I love to sneak away to watch Netflix! Most of the time I spend watching Netflix is with my entire family for weekly Family Movie Night or with my husband 4 nights a week for our Netflix Date Nights. But sometimes I just want to escape and watch what *I* want to watch, with no interruptions.

I love getting lost in the world of NCIS, re-watching episodes of the Gilmore Girls or House of Cards, or enjoying my guilty pleasure, Switched at Birth! I usually grab my iPad and binge watch episodes while I do dishes or laundry. Those chores can sometimes take a lot longer than usual if you catch my drift! I'm not ashamed to admit that I download episodes on Netflix so I can watch them while I'm waiting at kids' activities. (Two hour dance classes anyone?) And sometimes I sneak out to the car just to be alone...

Netflix Stream Team

I'm definitely not alone with the #MomSneak! In a recent poll, "(71%) of moms admit to sneaking in TV “me-time” while juggling a busy schedule, with some even hiding from their kids for just a moment of peace."

Netflix Mom Sneak Graphic

And I'm obviously not the only mom who hides in the car to watch Netflix!

Netflix Mom Sneak Neighborhood Graphic

It took me nearly 13 years of parenthood before I began to make self care a priority again! It took some work and tweaking to find a good balance between family life and time to myself. To be completely honest, I still give my all to my husband and kids, and sacrifice a little bit of myself in return, but I'm happy in this stage of my life. It's exactly where I want to be, and it's 100% true: Mom life IS the best life!

10 Ways Bus Moms Can Sneak In Self Care - + Netflix 6 month subscription giveaway

What are your favorite self-care tips?


CLOSED - Winner is arress!

Who wants to win some Netflix?!? I have ONE 6 month Netflix subscription up for grabs for one of my readers!


Share how you sneak in your Netflix shows by sharing a quick story or a selfie in action on social media, using the hashtag #MomSneak.  Share the link to your social media post (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) in the comments of this blog post.

*US participants only. Giveaway will end on July 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be chosen randomly, entry will be verified, and winner will be notified the following day. (Do NOT delete your social media post. It needs to be verified!)


While you wait, get in some #MomSneak time by printing out this activity sheet to keep your kid(s) busy! (Click HERE to print!)

Mom Sneak Activity Page


It's the third Friday of the month which means it's time for the monthly A Year of Color linkup! Justine from Little Dove and I are still co-hosting the linkup, but this month we have two new co-hosts. Welcome, Thrifty Wife, Happy Life and Sunshine and Munchkins!

A Year of Color link up

The color for this month is:

A year of color link up

I had something else planned for this month's post, but life got in the way, and an item I needed for the post hasn't been delivered yet! This left me scrambling for a post idea at the last minute! And, well, other than that big red target, nothing thrills me like seeing these red letters:


It really is the little things in life...

So read those self care tips, enter that awesome giveaway, and share your #MomSneak methods in the comments below. And don't forget to link up your RED posts all month long!

Join us next month for:

A Year of Color link up

Plan ahead:

July 21- red
August 18- neon
September 15- blue
October 20- black
November 17- orange
December 15- metallic


  1. I love this!! I've started doing a lot of those things because if I don't take care of myself I can't take care of my family properly. Great advice!

  2. Girl I was sneaking left and right when I was in the middle of GG! I haven't been sneaking for the tv as much lately, for me it has turned to books. Love your list of ideas SO many of those I am doing now. I need to get out of the house alone more often though.

  3. https://twitter.com/dereklauren/status/888177080159977473

  4. I love these. I used to sneak off when I was binge watching Scandal - I once had my friend watching my baby so I could watch it! lol!

  5. I'm always mopping the floor while watching Netflix...or listening. :)

  6. tweet--https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/888364208793976832

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  7. I shared on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PrettyHotPink6/status/888489916472201216

    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. tweet


  10. I tweeted https://mobile.twitter.com/arress83/status/888550814008176640

  11. Tweeted https://twitter.com/SeymaShabbir/status/888635559685574656
    @SeymaShabbir Twitter
    seyma_bennett AT hotmail DOT com

  12. https://twitter.com/usnamom2014/status/888921291457167360

  13. I absolutely LOVE this post!! Sharing it on my FB, and Twitter now!

  14. tweeted https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/888923846002135040

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

  15. Tweeted! https://twitter.com/sbots/status/888960499400007680

  16. I love this post and this giveaway so much! Netflix is the perfect bright red binge for moms, I love getting some much-needed "me" time while I watch my favorite Netflix shows!

  17. Taking a bath and binge-watching my favorite shows are my favorite way to unwind! xo

  18. Tweet

  19. shared here--https://www.facebook.com/mariemaddox123/posts/1552685784790238

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  20. https://twitter.com/lorinmario/status/889236147553140736

    Lori Jackson

  21. https://twitter.com/pinkghosta/status/889242471607132161 28amandahoffman@gmail.com

  22. Awesome giveaway!!
    Here's my social media post; https://instagram.com/p/BW7kRm9DJlC/

    Kjustice47@ gmail.com

  23. Social media post :)

  24. https://twitter.com/gaynycdad/status/889665220175683585

  25. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/889688630318571520

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  26. tweet: https://twitter.com/mommyof2emblife/status/888776417642774528

  27. https://twitter.com/kt3us/status/889831560538718211 kt3us@yahoo.com

  28. My Tweet :) https://twitter.com/Shippydoll/status/890005812629954560

    I love all your ideas. Some days I truly struggle with alone time. :) Also curious on how that new book is by Paula Hawkins!

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Tweeted - https://twitter.com/amyorvin/status/890351257973555200

    Amy Orvin

  31. Tweeted-https://twitter.com/birdiebee52/status/890385658925129728

  32. Tweeted my entry - https://twitter.com/neiddy_ruiz/status/890436994597257217
    Thank you for the chance to win!
    Neiddy Ruiz
    neiddyruiz (at) gmail (dot) com

  33. https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EdyeNicole/posts/DbBxcyrptxa


  34. I tweeted my story!


    Lori Jackson

  35. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/891072226270863361

    s2s2 at cox dot net

  36. I tweeted! https://twitter.com/debbieg510/status/891201085754322945

  37. Hey there! Such an awesome post and giveaway! I need to take advantage of doing more for myself. I do sneak away with friends when the budget permits! Shared my #Momsneak on Instagram... https://www.instagram.com/p/BW8_64rlDaX/?taken-by=sunshine.and.elephants

  38. I tweeted!

  39. https://twitter.com/lizardbrooks99/status/889483092968210433


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