• The Current You

Quarantine Resolutions: How One Mother, Writer, Podcast Host Finds Time for Herself

By Zibby Owens

As a homeschooling mom of four who is also running a business, self-care, as a concept, seems like a joke. Ha! All I do seems to be taking care of others, which I love. I derive immense satisfaction from helping authors by featuring them daily on my podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,” and on my accompanying Instagram Live show. I love helping readers and other moms by connecting them to books, authors or essays they might not have discovered in my online magazine, “We Found Time.” And of course, I take great pride in running/cleaning my own home now, plus taking care of and helping my kids with school alongside my husband.

But sometimes I think, “Wait, what about me?”

It might be something small, like a hangnail I haven’t taken the time to cut because I can’t find the nail clipper. It might be something bigger like taking time to connect with friends and loved ones, something that would fuel me and make me happier. It might be health-related, like taking time to sleep. Or drink water. I brush my own needs under the rug until they overtake me.

Last week, I ran myself into the ground. One day I simply couldn’t get out of bed. I was worried I’d gotten the coronavirus but in actuality, I was just beyond exhausted. I dragged myself onto the couch by the kitchen so I could still oversee all the commotion, half-asleep.

“Where’s Mom? I need breakfast,” my almost 13-year-old son said.

“Where’s Mom? I need her to sign my homework,” his twin sister asked.

Under a blanket, I meekly mumbled, “I’m here!”

So, yeah. I haven’t been taking great care of myself and when that happens, I can no longer take care of everyone else. Which I absolutely need to do. I resolved that day, after declaring it a day off from endless loads of laundry, that I had to take better care of myself. Here’s what I decided. Let’s call them my Quarantine Resolutions.

  1. I’m going to set an alarm on my phone to drink a huge glass of water every two hours. Otherwise I forget.

  2. I have to get to sleep by 10:30 pm. No phones. No Instagram. No chit-chatting or canoodling with my husband. No TV after that. I’m always up around 5:30 am with one kid or another. All I can control is when I get to sleep, not when I wake up.

  3. I’m going to eat protein at every meal to help sustain my energy and stop eating Fruit Loops, just because that’s what the kids are having. (I think string cheese counts, no?)

  4. I’m making a schedule to get the laundry, dishes, and mopping done. Sheets changed every other week. And I’m recruiting more help from the kids.

  5. I vow to shave my legs every Monday.

  6. I’m going to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, even if that means hopping on the trampoline with the kids. I need to move my body.

  7. I’m designating time once a week to make longer calls/Zooms with close friends.

  8. I’ll stop taking on so many new things. I’m at capacity. It’s okay to say no. I must. Otherwise, my body will say it for me.

  9. Nothing has to be perfect.

Armed with my self-care resolutions, I’m hoping to get through the rest of this quarantine helping everyone I need to be helping with just a little self-care for me. Now I just need to find that nail-clipper.

Zibby Owens is a writer and mother of four in New York City. She is a literary advocate and the creator and host of award-winning literary podcast, "Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books.” She runs a literary salon with author events, a virtual book club, and a daily “Z-IGTV” live author interview series.

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