When I became a mom of 4 little kids, I finally realized why my parents had brown carpet growing up. I mean, I really got it.
I found myself asking out loud things like “How did this partially eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich even get behind the toilet!?!” and “so you purposely scooped the sand from the playground into your pants?”
And of course the classic–to anyone still listening to me as I charge through the house threatening to throw away everything–“am I the only one who cleans up around here?”
It’s no secret that life with kids is messy. Like really messy. Like toys covering every surface and what-the-heck-is-that-gross-brown-stuff-on-the-floor kind of messy.
A kind of messy that can’t always be handled by bedtime.
A kind of messy that makes it hard to be a relaxed and calm mom–especially after a long day of being a cook/maid/human jungle gym.
But when it’s time for bed and you are exhausted, messy home can make it hard to truly relax and unwind.
Come to think of it, a lot of things make it hard for moms to be calm and relaxed at the end of the day. Or any part of the day, for that matter.
We worry about our kids’ safety and development. And bills. And the laundry that never manages to get done.
HOW TO BE A RELAXED MOM
So how can a mom get some true peace and relaxation without staying up all night cleaning, going to a spa, or checking into a hotel? How can you relax before bed so you can easily fall asleep?
One of the best ways I’ve found to be a calmer and more relaxed mom is to make my bedroom a sanctuary from the crazy. To make it an oasis from the stress and chaos of the rest of my day.
Basically, I’ve made my bedroom the one room in my house where stress easily melts away and I can relax. Where I can take a 10 minute refuge in the middle of the day while my kids are occupied. Where it’s easy to relax before bed and I can fall asleep easily.
It’s not only improved my sleep, but it even has made me calmer during the day when I’m in full-blown mama mode.
By taking some simple steps, you can transform your bedroom into a place of refuge from stress and an oasis of peace in your home.
HOW TO CREATE A CALM & RELAXING BEDROOM SANCTUARY
1. Ban toys from your bedroom.
Keeping all toys out of your bedroom (or well out of sight) goes a long way to creating a relaxing space. If your house is anything like mine, it can feel like toys are everywhere. It’s like my kids have gone around marking their territory with princess figurines and legos.
Which is why keeping my bedroom toy free marks the space as mine. This one rule helps to dedicate my space to relaxing and not to other activities.
But I didn’t always have this rule. In fact, my girls used to love to play in our bedroom so I’d let them, just thrilled to have them playing quietly. But after stepping one too many small toys while getting up for a midnight pee took me over the edge.
So I told them that no toys were allowed in my room and when they inevitably tested my resolve, their toys ended up in toy jail (a plastic bin in my closet)*. And like magic, the toy messes stopped.
And my bedroom started to feel much more relaxing.
* which they earned back after doing extra chores
2. Limit screens and artificial light sources.
Another key to creating a calming environment and relaxing before bed is being conscious of the kind of light you have in your bedroom. Specifically, the light coming from screens and other artificial light sources like alarm clocks, phones, and even certain light bulbs.
These lights mess with your circadian rhythms, make it hard to fall asleep, and negatively impact your sleep quality.
Take a look at your room and watch out for all the light sources coming from your various electronics.
Here’s what I did:
- I moved my alarm clock across the room to avoid the light coming from the numbers. This has the added benefit of making the snooze button a thing of the past.
- I stopped using the TV in our bedroom. And honestly, I’d get rid of it if my husband wouldn’t fall into a deep depression over it. (kidding. kind of)
- I made sure to unplug anything that emits lights (chargers etc) or moved to another area of the house.
- I bought a fan with lights that shut off. Since I need the white noise of a fan to sleep, this fan has been amazing. Once you set it, the lights shut off after a few seconds. Plus it has a white noise setting.
- No smartphone in the hour before bedtime. I set this rule and try not to even look at the phone even for the time.
3. Avoid clutter like the plague.
Perhaps you can’t keep your entire house decluttered at all time (I sure can’t with 4 little whirlwinds). But no matter how stress and overwhelmed you are, you can manage one room.
Keeping your bedroom clean and decluttered will go a very long way to creating a relaxing and peaceful oasis for you. Discarded clothes, shoes, and other items can usually all be put away in a few minutes if you are doing it regularly.
I personally live by the 1-minute rule, which is if it can be put away in 1 minute, you do it right away. I’ve found that this keeps any clutter from building in my bedroom.
As for my husband keeping his stuff clean, I find gentle hints and bribes (ex. hey honey, if you clean your side of the bed I’ll give you a massage) work great!
(If you need extra help figuring out your cleaning and tidying routine, check out this cleaning schedule for busy moms.)
4. Create relaxing rituals.
Relaxing rituals–especially at bedtime–go a long way to creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere where you can shed the stresses of your busy day as a mom.
Here’s some ideas:
- Read a book for pleasure (even if it’s just for a few minutes)
- Unwind with your partner
- Take a bath
- Stretch or do gentle yoga
If any of those things feel too luxurious, then you really need to do them. I used to feel like I could treat myself to relaxation unless I really earned it. Like if I ran a marathon or cleaned every square inch of my house.
Truth is, we don’t need to “earn” self care. It’s something we should do along with our other essential tasks like cleaning our house, and keeping our kids fed and alive.
You deserve it every single day.
5. Make your bed every day.
Making your bed is one of those keystone habits that tend to change behavior in other areas of life (like exercising, sleeping well, and having a good morning routine).
While it’s often touted as an important habit for productivity, I find it’s also incredibly important to stay calm and relaxed as a busy mom. And it only takes a minute.
I admit that I used to find making my bed entirely pointless. But oh boy, has that changed. I get an instant boost and sense of accomplishment making my bed first thing.
Then, every time I see it during the day, I get small little jolts of happiness. And plus, sliding into a crisply make bed at the end of the day feels oh-so luxurious.
Still not convinced? Just try it for a week and see what happens.
6. Find what relaxes you
The final touch to creating your relaxing haven is to add thing to your room that calm you. Or if you’re a Mari Kondo fan (which I am–the girl changed my life), you add the things that “spark joy” for you.
What can you add to your bedroom that will create your own little oasis? New throw pillows for the bed? A scented candle? A new paint color? Some new bedding?
What will make your room more relaxing?
For me, this meant a new paint job, white bedding (I know. Kids. But crisp white bedding makes me so happy), and creating a reading nook in my room. Which was basically just a comfy chair where I’ll sit and read after getting out of the bath. I love my reading space.
Instead of just taking away annoyances in my bedroom, it actually adds something that brings me a lot of joy and fulfillment.
What could you add to your bedroom that would make it more relaxing? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
YOU CAN BE A CALMER MOM
Everyone’s idea of a relaxing sanctuary is going to be a bit different. But these principles can guide you to create your own little oasis in your home, free from mess and clutter. No need to spend hours cleaning your home to finally be able to relax.
You’ve got this.
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