Rural mommin’ ain’t easy.
Self-care for the rural momma ain’t any easier. I get that. No, I mean I totally get that!
I am a stay at home mom in the middle of nowhere. My nearest neighbor is almost a ½ mile away. Town is a 25-minute drive. Heck! The nearest gas station is 12.77 miles away (not that I’ve clocked the distance or anything…).
I’m also a transplant. I moved here to the Bootheel of Missouri from the frozen tundra of Minnesota not that long ago. That means I’m not surrounded by 532 relatives and lifelong school friends.
This means a few things:
1- I can’t just put my daughter in a stroller and take a leisurely walk to the corner coffee shop for a little human interaction and a latte.
2- Babysitters are NOT plentiful or easy to come by.
3- I’ve got to make sure I take extra measures to practice self-care because the calves aren’t going to be checking in to make sure I am.
So many of the mom blogs out there focus on self-care tips and tricks for the urban or suburban moms. They talk about splurging on a fancy bottle of wine, spa days, manicures, coffee/lunch dates with other mommas, etc., etc.
That doesn’t help you out much when your local options for obtaining a bottle of wine are either the limited selection at your small town Walmart or a place that also sells live bait and has a beagle that greets everyone out front.
But, fear not, Rural Momma!
I’ve got you covered with 21 self-care ideas
…that I’ve gleaned from fellow RM’s who are scattered across the country, as well as a couple tips of my own!
1- Dress to Impress… Yourself!
I get it. I used to live in the city. Little black dresses still hang hauntingly in my closet as ghosts of cities past. Slipping into one of those to go out on the town always made my day better.
Obviously that’s not practical out here.
However, I have been known to put on the perfect red lip just to go milk the goats.
Only one of the ingrates ever notices, but it makes me feel 100x better. Find that “thing” that makes your inner light shine and puts a bounce in your step.
Is it a pair of jeans that make your butt look good? Running a straightener through your hair instead of throwing it back in a ponytail? A t-shirt that fits just right?
Find it. Own it. Use it.
2- Sit Out and Enjoy the Stars!
We have the unique advantage over our urban sisters of being able to see the stars glitter like diamonds in the night sky.
Get the kids to sleep or let your significant other take bedtime duties for a night. Grab a cup or glass and find your favorite spot for a little stargazing. Porch, deck, blanket on the lawn, tailgate, hay bale- we’ve got options!
3- Go for a Walk.
Take a stroll. Enjoy nature. Listen to the breeze rustle the leaves. Admire the colors in fall. Smell the damp air in the spring. Just be present.
4- Craft Your Happy.
I have a friend who finds her happy place by keeping her favorite colors of spray paint on hand. She’s always ready to touch up her favorite things or transform a new find into a piece of art.
5- Borrow Some Happy From Your Dog…
…or cat, or llama, or horse, or…? Most of us Rural Mommas have at least one or 28 four-legged creatures around.
One of my absolute favorite happy time guarantees is heading out to the goat pen- especially when we’ve got babies.
They’re just ridiculously happy and silly creatures. Their antics are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
6- Master a New Skill in the Kitchen.
As I said before, I live in the middle of nowhere. The grocery store is a 25-minute drive away.
If I want a “fancy” dinner for date night, it’s at least an hour. Babysitters are also a rare find. So, why not learn how to make your favorite fancy meal?
Or master handmade pasta?
Or become the next great cake decorator?
YouTube and the internet in general are so full of tutorials on just about anything. Practice makes perfect- but it also makes for plenty of good memories along the way.
7- Bubble Time!
Bubble bath. Locked door. Enough said.
8- Put On a Happy Face.
Find a facial care regimen that makes you glow inside and out. Stick to it.
9- Sometimes a Girl’s Gotta Splurge…or Pretend.
Go ahead, splurge on that eyeliner or moisturizer or fancy coffee from Sumatra.
Or buy the knock-off.
Or fall in love with a $2 red lipstick at the drugstore. Whatever it takes.
10- Do Your… ahem… Research.
I like wine.
Having gone to culinary school and worked in fine dining, I have a penchant for, shall we say, “finer” bottles of wine (or, as my husband would say, “How much is that bottle?!?”).
That being said, I have done what I will call “research” and found an inexpensive (Seriously. I’m talking $4.98) bottle at the local Walmart that I can not only tolerate, but I actually enjoy.
Find that alternative brand- whether it be chocolate or cheese (cuz #cheeseislife) or wine- and keep it on hand.
11- Take Up Jogging.
Count me out on this one. If I’m running it’s because someone yelled one of the three magic words (coffee, wine, or cheese).
Or because the goats are out… again…
But I know a lot of women who absolutely fill their cups via this activity.
12- E.T. Phone Home!
Seriously. Call your momma. Call your sister. Call your BFF from grade school.
Whoever makes you feel refreshed and recharged and helps put things back into perspective for you, call them.
13- Get Your Hands Dirty.
Plant a garden. Whatever size you feel like growing. Feed an army or grow a couple of potted herbs on your kitchen window ledge.
There is just something healing about working with the dirt and watching your hard work grow…literally.
This might be my favorite. Yup. Pretty sure it is.
15- Plan a Girl’s Night/Afternoon/Weekend.
Sometimes we just need adult interaction. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
You can just invite some of your girlfriends over (with or without children), mix up a pitcher of sangrias or sweet tea, and just visit or play cards or do some fun crafty type thing.
16- When in Doubt- Write it Out!
Start a blog. Keep a journal. Write a letter. Just get it out of your head and onto the page.
(You can even write for us here!)
17- Make Something Pretty.
Paint. Sketch. Sculpt. Sew.
It doesn’t have to look good, it just has to make you feel good.
18- Plan a Romantic Date Night- at Home!
Put that new kitchen skill to work and set the table. Light some candles. Turn off the electronics. Really connect with your partner.
Plopping the kids in front of the TV with a pizza so you can be alone is totally acceptable!
19- Make a Bucket List.
It can be for anything! Dream vacations, summer activities, trails to hike, yoga moves to master.
It doesn’t have to be big or monumental. Just something to dream about and plan for.
20- Give Yourself Permission to Say “No.”
We so often lose ourselves trying to take care of everything for everyone else.
Sometimes the best form of self-care is just giving yourself the permission to say “no” without feeling guilty. There doesn’t need to be a monumental reason or justification.
21- Read A book. A blog. A comic strip.
It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it helps melt away some of the stress.
Obviously there are hundreds of other things you can do as a Rural Momma to take care of yourself. These are just a few ideas my friends and I have found that we love.
Right now I’m going to practice a little self-care and take a nap with my puppers while my daughter is still asleep. <3
Before you leave, do this…