Being a parent is hard work. You give so much of yourself to everything and everyone else that at the end of the day, you have nothing left to give yourself. Yes, there is the occasional soak in the bath tub with no knocks on the door by tiny hands asking how much longer you're going to be. And the RARE drive to the grocery store and back sans children. But when is the last time you truly made time for yourself? I'm not talking a quiet car ride, or a bath, but actually planned to treat yourself?
When I found out I was pregnant with our oldest daughter, I was 20 and a fresh graduate of beauty school. Naturally, patience isn't a trait that I posses. I never have been one to wait or go at a slow pace. It's always been now or never. How was I going to have the patience to give to a child? I learned very quickly that it comes very easily, which is a good thing because I soon found out that I was pregnant with number two. They are 15 months apart, two under 2. How I managed to get through the first few years without burning out I will never know. I worked full time as a salon manager, and my husband worked a crazy schedule as a restaurant manager. We literally never saw each other.
I soon began to loose myself. Robotics is the best way to describe it. Schedules and routine are good, don't get me wrong, but this was more. Friendships dissolved, self confidence became non existent, I became lost. So lost, everything and everyone around me suffered. Digging myself out of that low of a low is not something that I ever want to have to do again. After having to confront my problems, they all came down to one thing. Myself. If I wasn't happy and content, everyone around me was as well. Because as a parent, we lead. As a leader, you need to be strong, self confident. Our children are watching us, weather we see it or not, and they learn from how we do things. Let go of the guilt you feel for taking that 10 minute evening walk by yourself, or going out to meet up with friends. Go on that much needed date with your significant other. Whatever it is that you need to do to feel centered and on point, do it. I promise you, your family would much rather have you happy out having fun, than unshowered cooking spaghetti again for the third time this week.
I can't thank my family enough for seeing my derailment and helped me get back on track. My kids, my husband, my animals all deserve the best of me. Without them, there is no way I would be half the woman I am today. Stop the guilt, embrace the self love.
It's certainly a lot harder to fill your family's emotional needs if your own emotional bank account is on empty.
So here are 7 ideas on how you can find that important time for yourself too in and around Hagerstown:
1. Spend time outdoors
Nothing is better for the soul than getting outside and taking time to think. I recently really started to take advantage of the outdoors and it's ability to calm. This past summer was the best my yard and gardens have ever looked. My youngest daughter and I actually had flowers grow from seeds!!! We started feeding the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks in the woods behind our house. And I have taken up refinishing vintage and antique finds. My daughters even started joining me on walks around the railroad tracks. So why not head out on your own or with a friend to a great hiking spot for an hour or two away? Pack a lunch and make a day of it.
- Antietam Battlefield- It is such a beautiful place to wander, considering it's dark past. Especially this time of year!
Address: 302 E Main St, Sharpsburg, MD 21782
- C&O Canal- Another place to spend the whole day. You can bike the many paths, or simply walk and enjoy nature. It is so quiet and peaceful there, all of your stress will melt away.
Address: 40 W Potomac St, Brunswick, MD 21716
- Crystal Grottoes Caverns- This would be a fun thing even to do by yourself. CG has the most formations per sqft of any other cave in the US. Take the time to yourself, and go enjoy the natural beauty of nature.
Address: 19821 Shepherdstown Pike. Boonsboro, MD 21713
Winter weather putting a damper on your outdoor activities? A short drive from Hagerstown, you can go to Ski Liberty for the day, or Wisp. Ski Liberty is just 30 minutes north of Hagerstown in Fairfield, PA. Wisp is a little further, about 2 hours west in Deep Creek, MD. Both are beautiful, and offer plenty to do for all ages. Ski, snowboard, snow tube, or just relax by a fire in the lodge and take in the beautiful views.
2. Plan a romantic date night in
If you are like me, "going out clothes" are a rare find in your wardrobe. Working from home, or helping my husband with his business equals leggings, or old stained up jeans and tie-dyeshirts...oh yea, don't forget hoodies! My husband and I used to have date nights where we would order a pizza and sit in bed with the box open between us and catch up on our DVR. Literally, the best date night ever. Our first Valentines Day we had pizza for lunch in bed, and then Chinese for dinner in bed. I've always been a low-key person, so date nights in are a favorite of mine. And we had a stack of takeout menus to be jealous of! Here are some of our favorites in and around Hagerstown.
- Pretzel and Pizza Creations- You seriously cannot go wrong here. Everything is AMAZING. Their food is warm, and fresh. Delivery is speedy! Check out their website for a full menu and phone number.
- Dolce Eastern European Restaurant and Pizzeria- They offers traditional Romainian dishes, as well as Italian and American Cuisene. You are going to need to have your taste buds ready. This food will not dissapoint. Their website has a full delivery menu and phone number to place orders.
- Hummus Mediteranian Grill- Literally, you will not be able to get enough of the food here. Everything is so fresh and flavorful, you will want to try everything on the menu. They offer the best chicken/lamb shawarma's, wraps and desserts. Visit here to find a full menu, and a phone number to place a delivery order.
3. Find your "people"
Join a Hagerstown, MD parenting group on Facebook or find a local club or organization that matches your interests. I personally am a member of a Thurmont Mom's group on Facebook, and then also Everything Frederick. Both groups are really supportive, no nonsense and no negativity.
- Through a quick search, I came upon Hagerstown, Maryland Happenings. It is a newer group recently formed that is trying to mold itself to mirror what Everything Frederick does for it's community. You will be able to find things to do, ask advice, even find walking buddies, and other moms to maybe meet up for a playdate with the kids at the park and just be able to talk mom talk with. If you are interested, here is the link, swing by and join if you feel so inclined.
- Visit the website MeetUP. There you can find groups for moms, and be able to meet others that share the same interests as you. They offer online and in person group meetups. Visit their website if it sounds like something for you to try! We all have to start somewhere right?
- Check out your local library list of events. Most will be listed on my MacKID events page, but some may be freshly added, or I just haven't added to my list. They offer groups for knitting and crocheting, to jewelry making, even Anime. Visit the main website for Washington County Free Library and find groups you may be interested in trying.
4. Schedule a spa day
Relax, lie back, and feel your everyday concerns wash away with a spa day. Being a former employee in the beauty industry, this is right up my ally. There are so many great spas to choose from in Hagerstown. Whichever one you choose, your newly energized self will thank you. Here are three Hagerstown spas to plan a pamper day at:
- Beaver Creek Inn & Spa- This place is a great place to get away when you can't get away. They offer 3 guest rooms with private bathrooms for overnight guests surrounded by 3 acres of beauty with the best mountain views. But you don' need to be an overnight guest to take advantage of their full service spa. Offering massages, wraps, facials, lashes and more, you are able to make a full day of nothing but pampering yourself. It truly is a gem of a find. You can find all of the information you need to schedule your day here. All spa services are by appointment only.
20432 Beaver Creek Road, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
- Five Senses Therapeutic Massage- A place to go get back in touch with yourself. They offer seasonal and holiday packages, like a pumpkin spice latte spa service in the fall, mmmmmmmm. You will be able to find massage, facials, brow tinting, cupping, waxing and more. To schedule online, or to simply check things out, simply go to their website. All services are by appointment only.
1329 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21742
- Bella Salon and Spa- Here you can find the full package. You can have nail, hair, waxing and spa services. So literally you can refresh yourself from head to toe. Be sure to check out the packages they offer to take full advantage of your day. To see all the services they offer, or schedule online, click here.
1691 Langley Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740
5. Try something new
It's easy to get bogged down with all of life's "busyness." Take a little time away and explore an activity or hobby you've always wanted to try. From individual hobbies like photography or quilting to group activities like paint nights, running, or cycling groups, there's something for everyone. Some great places in Hagerstown to find classes?
- YMCA Hagerstown- A membership here is one that the whole family will enjoy. They have a 6 lane heated pool, and offer many classes. You can take a cycling class, play pickle ball, or even start up your own class. Membership is good at any nationwide YMCA. And, those with kids not in school yet? Childcare is offered for most class times. Check out their website for a full list of activities they offer.
- Washington County Free Librairy- Once again, your local library branch offers not only groups for your kids, but for adults as well. For a list of all the libraries in the county and groups they offer, go to https://www.washcolibrary.org/.
- Washington County Musem of Fine Arts- They offer plenty of art classes. Get in touch with your inner creativity and let your soul shine through art. For a full list of classes and events, click here.
6. Savor a few minutes of solitude
Spending time alone is good for the soul. Let your partner know you need some alone time and head off to relax -- read a book, take a bath or even just take a walk around the neighborhood. Don't feel like you always have to be doing something "productive." One of my favorite things to do is honestly, dishes. Our house was built in the 1830's and the layout isn't the best. Our kitchen is super small, so no room for a dish washer. Nobody likes or wants to do them, so trust me, the kitchen will be a ghost town. I turn on my Amazon Music playlist, get my voice box warmed up, and scrub away. There is something about a clean kitchen that completes me. Call me weird... idk.
7. Check the Macaroni Kid Hagerstown website!
Check our Macaroni Kid Hagerstown page for the latest ideas on family fun in Hagerstown. You'll find ideas there on how to find your family fun, and even de-stressors for you. It will make you feel better, and be a better mom at the end of the day!