My cup runneth over, until the five hundredth time I hear my name in ten seconds. I’m a patient mom, most of the time. I’m a calm mom, most of the time. I’m even a creative and crafty mom, most of the time. Sometimes though, I’m cranky and tired and not even a little bit patient. On those days, when I have reached bottom and begun to dig, my husband hands me the car keys, pries the vacuum out of my hands and says those three words I need to hear: I’ve got this.

He doesn’t mean that I get to run to Vegas and spend our savings, or even be gone for a week to the beach. He means that he can handle feeding our son something resembling food (processed or microwaved food counts) and contain the mess from spilling out the front door while I take an afternoon and recharge. I’m not the only mom who forgets to take care of herself sometimes. With the holidays upon us, I polled a few moms about how they dealt with the stress and managed to keep themselves sane.

Dara Park has found the best way to keep herself recharged and ready to tackle anything that comes her way is to get up extra early and sweat. She recommends taking that extra time in the morning before the craziness of the day starts and getting active.

“Taking a yoga class once or twice a month, running the Swamp Rabbit or anything to get moving helps me get out of my own head and feel like I can deal with anything,” Park said.

Nadine Jacobs Gammon knows that being a mom isn’t easy. She admits that taking care of children, managing the house and working, along with the responsibilities to family, friends and the community, can literally leave a mom in knots. Though she herself is usually the one giving the massages and writing her blog at she admits to needing her own time away.

“Getting a regular massage gives me a sense of well-being,” she said. “When I’m in pain, it is harder for me to function in any of my roles as mom, friend, therapist.”

Another Upstate mom was a bit more straightforward. She recommends hiring a sitter. Which is good advice, even if it is just for a quick run to the grocery store and back.

Recharging your batteries looks different for every mom. And it looks different for every stage of child rearing. When my son was tiny, it meant I got to take a shower by myself. When he became mobile, it meant I could walk the dog while he and his dad went to the park. Now that he is older, it sometimes means I can take the time to get a pedicure and do the grocery shopping. I admit that I forgot what it was like to listen to my music in the car and not anything related to the Wheels on the Bus.

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