6 Mommy Brain Breaks (That Your Kids Won’t Even Know You’re Taking)

Mom life is hard. There is multitasking, tantrums, planning, negotiating, cleaning, cooking, managing, delegating, and teaching. All of these things sometimes occur before sunrise. When any given day can feel like an eternity, and feeling like you have a moment to breathe can be nonexistent, try some of these Mommy Brain Breaks to decompress. These Mommy Brain Breaks are designed so that moms can take impromptu breaks as needed with minimal equipment, low fuss, and no prep. The best part? Kids won’t even know their mother has gone mentally MIA. 

MOMMY BRAIN: A FACT OF LIFE



We’ve all heard about the infamous “mommy brain.” The forgetfulness, the unexplained memory loss. The fact that sometimes one accidentally puts milk in the pantry instead of the fridge because, well, mom brain. When discussed with friends, it turns into a haphazardly explained phenomenon that leaves you feeling as though you are losing your ever-loving mind. As it turns out, the science behind this question highlights that there are truths to “mom’s brain”. Interrupted sleep patterns and heightened cortisol levels due to stress can impact cognitive function. Hence, MOMMY BRAIN. For a short rest on a weary day, try these quick, easy-to-hide Mommy Brain Breaks that your kids won’t even know you’re taking.

EAR BUDS IN



There is always something to be done around the house. Whether you are a stay-at-home-momma, a working mom, or somewhere between, there is habitually a dish to wash or a shirt to fold. For tasks that require less than 100% focus to get the job done, try sneaking an audio book or playlist into your ears for the assist. No one will notice the trace cord creeping out of your ear lobe. After all, when the nightly company you keep doesn’t notice they are stepping on legos or that they spilled half of their sippy cup on the floor, how could they possibly notice a small circular object hidden deep inside your ear? Let that beautiful hidden acoustic piece of plastic be an escape from reality. Your mind can go away from the laundry folding and into the scenes of an audio book. Shhhhh. No one has to know.

Neurological studies have shown that humans are programmed to react emotionally to music. Music activates various parts of the brain, kicking your visual cortex into gear to create a picture in your mind. It also triggers neurons in the motor cortex, which leads to foot tapping and shoulder shaking. One might even develop an entirely different level of appreciation for laundry.

NEVER SAY NO TO A MAKEOVER



Manis and pedis come in all shapes and sizes. Sure, the pre-scheduled, go with a friend, sip a bubbly while there pedicure is the cream of the crop. Did you know they can also be done right in the comfort of your home? Free. Painless. Relaxing. Well, almost. Let your child put stripes on your toenails, polka dots on your fingernails, and a dab of lip gloss on your smoocher. Depending on how many layers of polish you’re comfortable with, you could be on a mommy brain break for several minutes. When weather allows, head outside in the sun to get your mani/ pedi, and make cleaning up a breeze!

JUST BREATHE



It is normal to feel exasperated as a mom. It is typical to feel exhausted, both mentally and physically. There will be moments of frustration, irritation and unbelievable angst in how to handle situations. There is constantly second guessing and forever mom guilt. One sure way to always allow for a quick brain break is to simply BREATHE. Take mindful and intentional breaths as needed. In addition to the self-care it provides, it also allows for modeling to occur for your children in their own moments of frustration.

Fact about breathing according to the National Lung Institute:

-70% of waste is eliminated through your lungs just by breathing

-During sleep, we naturally change sides approximately every 30 minutes due to our bodies balancing the breaths through each nostril

SCREEN TIMES FOR MOMS



Screen time can be a much-welcomed brain break and is okay in short doses. It could be on the walk to the end of the driveway to retrieve mail, or while carrying groceries in. Perhaps it is while sitting behind the wheel of a mini van waiting for everyone to buckle up. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s okay for a mom to be so bold as to lay her head on the couch and spend a few moments giving her brain a break. While her kids are (dare it be said aloud?) playing independently (SHRIEK!). From Instagram pictures to Twitter hashtags, videos of puppies to checking email, if a screen time brain break allows for a reset, it is worth it. No judgment, self-deprecating thoughts or guilt allowed. Steal minutes from the day whenever it works, and know there is nothing wrong with hiding from the kids in your closet or pantry.

A SIP A DAY TAKES THE STRESS AWAY



This sip could be a hot cup a joe, an iced coffee, a hot tea, a fruit smoothie, a glass of vino, or a Diet Coke. There are no set rules to what can bring one to their happy place, but there is always the rule that one must try. If you can keep your sanity by enjoying a beverage of your choice, then you deserve it, mama! Don’t let your sips be rushed, either. Take the time to prepare for that ultimate drink. Sit. Put your feet up. ENJOY. Afterall, remember that it is the journey that is important, not the destination. 

Fact box: According to TheDailyMeal.com, there are 5 drinks that help reduce stress: Suggestions include drinking water, warm milk, fruit juices that are high in vitamin C, and tea.

DANCE PARTY



What cuts calories and gets you out of a funk almost instantaneously? A good dance party. Ok, this one won’t be a secret for long, but no one will mind. Dancing is good for the mind, body, and soul. Additionally, cutting loose and showing a carefree side can go along way with your offspring.

It was already discussed that music wakes up your brain and triggers bodily responses. Don’t fight the urge – let your freak flag fly and shake that booty. In addition to the kinesthetic workout one can get from an impromptu dance party, imaging scans have revealed that music produces an emotional response in our brain. In the words of Pharrell Williams, “Clap along if that’s what you wanna do” (Because I’m happy).” Consider it your daily dare to have a dance party with your children. And consider yourself double dog dared to NOT enjoy it.

For more ideas on taking care of YOU, check out these articles: Handling Your Emotions: Easy Ways To De-Stress and 5 Unique Ways to De-Stress as a SAHM

This post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician, doctor or health care professional. Please read our terms of use for more information.

Photo credits: April Walker, Elena Ollick, Kristen Douglas

Sources: Is there a link between music and happiness?, The Lung Institute: What You Never Knew About Breathing, The Daily Meal: 5 Drinks That Reduce Stress, Baby Brain: What Does Having a Child Do To Your Brain?

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April Walker

April is a proud Iowan, who now lives in Minnesota with her hubby and their three cherubs. After nearly a decade teaching, she is on a break from the classroom and enjoying life as a work-from-home Mom. You can find her writing on Scary Mommy, and her blog, Mojitos and Munchkins, that she uses as a creative outlet to escape the craziness that comes with life. She loves movies, cocktails, the color purple, homemade spaghetti sauce, day dates and sunny afternoons. She thinks the world would be a better place without temper tantrums, soup, the color navy, temperatures that dip below 20 degrees, and the distance between people she loves. Her insomnia allows her to pin things that she may (or may not ever) try. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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