One mom says: "Take a few minutes to take some deep breaths, enjoy looking out the window or at a peaceful photo, and focus on something positive at the beginning of the day. I am a mother of six children, and I can tell this works because when I forget to do it, I find myself stopping more often during the day to refocus and get back on a positive track."
Another mom, who swears by taking "five minutes of peace" a day, notes: "By the way, new moms, babies are safe in their cribs. If you need time to 'chill out,' putting your baby in her crib crying for five minutes is much safer than losing your temper with her."
One mom says: "You don't have to join a gym or feel like it's another chore. All you have to do is to take a walk. Look at the sky, feel the sun on your face, and smell the grass. It may be tough getting yourself started, but once you do, you won't want to give it up."
One working mother says: "Working moms have a tendency to feel guilty because they either have to or want to work outside of the home. They feel guilty spending time away from their children and therefore have a more difficult time taking time for themselves during nights and weekends. This is where the lunch-hour of beauty comes in: Get yourself down to your favorite salon during lunchtime for whatever treatments you can fit in and afford from time to time."
One mom says: "When was the last time you had lunch with your best friend? Or better yet, did some serious shopping together? Life is busy for moms, but it's important for you and your girlfriends (both with and without kids) to still make time for girl talk."
One mom says: "Sometimes it's just plain OK to put the kids in daycare or have the sitter come so you can spend the day in the bookstore or shopping. It certainly won't harm the kids. It really helps you be a better parent when you get some alone time. You don't feel resentful. DON'T FEEL GUILTY!!!"
One single mom says: "I take a Friday night when my kids aren't home (they're having an overnight with a friend, they're at their dad's house, or they're just out for the evening) and make myself a really nice dinner (or get really good takeout). I set the table, use a cloth napkin, light candles, and enjoy a quiet dinner with a glass of wine by myself. Then I take my glass of wine and a rented movie, change into a fresh pair of my favorite pajamas, and settle myself comfortably in my bed. Ahhhhh..."
One single mother says: "Attention single moms! It's no good for you or your children to sit at home and feel sorry for yourself that you're stuck doing this parenting thing alone. Get out there and find yourself a good support group. Your insurance company may offer a variety of self-improvement programs at no cost to you. Your local library, church, or community message board may also help you find a group that would be the right fit. Getting out there is half the battle."
Another mom says: "In our small community, the recreation center offers a two-hour open gym time for babies, toddlers, and their parents twice a week. It's a good break from the house, and the kids can run, climb, jump and be 'wild' in a safe place. The kids have a chance to play with other children. I visit with other moms and we share our struggles, ideas, and joys. It's good for the kids and good for me!"
One single mom says: "Take at least one weekend a month to read a book of your choice. Rent movies for your kids and make plenty of popcorn so you can fit in your reading time. Reading, for me, allows the stress to flow away."
One work-at-home parent says: "When you're a work-at-home mom, your home is your office, your castle, your playground. A night out with the girls offers relief from the daily routine. I think the key here is to make it a regularly scheduled night out."
One mom says: "A bath is great when you can keep the kids at bay. Play some quiet music. Add a few drops of essential oil, such as jasmine or rose, which you can find for a few dollars at a health food store. It's very relaxing!"