By Serena Norr As a mom, having time alone or time focusing on something other than the kids, the home, my husband or work is very difficult. I often feel pulled in various directions that the idea of “stopping” to relax or read a book is challenging. In some instances it requires babysitters or not working to check in with myself and enjoy activities that I did before having children as well as to nurture new hobbies since having kids. It takes a lot of work and motivation, but I do believe a happy mommy makes for a happy home. Here is how to balance the scales between motherhood and your precious personal time. Join a Group. After I had my first daughter all I wanted to do (besides sleep) was to connect with other mothers. I really didn’t know of anyone that was going through what I was going through and I had so many questions about sleep to food to baby wearing. I finally located a group in my community that allowed me to get out of the house and connect with other parents. From there I learned of a local book group and outings with other moms – both with and without our kids. Read. A great way to relax and turn off your day is to read. If you can’t join a book group, commit to reading at least once a day. Enjoy a cup of tea and relax in your favorite PJs – we promise, this is far better than watching mindless TV. Take a Bath. This may sound pretty basic (and it is) but when was the last time you took a bath. This is an amazing way to relax and indulge in the comfort of your home. You can also create a mini-spa experience with candles, your favorite bath scrub, some music and a book. Really think make it a home spa experience where you can unwind and relax – not to mention exfoliate and moisturize – the cares of the day away. Make sure to do this at nighttime when the kids are sleeping or even in the afternoon (if your baby is a good sleeper.) Sign Up for a Class. With all of the challenges in a mom’s day, it can be hard to actually commit to alone time (despite how much you may need it). I find that committing to a class or program-especially when money is involved – is a good motivator to stick with a plan. Consider taking a class like art or music – or try something new, learn and have fun all at the same time. Get Fit. This will also require some planning, but starting an exercise regime is a great way to stay focused on you and your health. This can be something as simple as a 20-minute walk before your partner leaves for work or a 30-minute walk when your baby is sleeping (again, your husband would be home). If you can’t figure out the schedule, consider an exercise video when you child naps or some yoga at home. A little really does go a long way. Make a Date With Your Girlfriends. Make a plan – maybe once a month – to meet your girlfriends for a manicure, some wine or a movie. Whatever it is, commit to it and have fun. Try not to stress about every little thing and enjoy the moment! Indulge (a little). Any occasional manicure or pedicure is a fantastic and relevantly inexpensive way to unwind. You might also want to consider a massage or a back rub for an indulgent afternoon away. For others, enjoying their favorite chocolate cake or drinking a fancy glass of wine might to the trick. Whatever it is, enjoy the moment and focus on enjoying what you love. About the Author: A Brooklyn-based writer and mom of two, Serena Norr created her original blog Seriously Soupy as a way to learn more about soups and to experiment with new ingredients. She also writes about healthy living, parenting and lifestyle topics on her blog Mama Goes Natural.