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Find Time for What You Love

Enjoy some 2-in-1 fun

See if there are ways to combine a gotta-do with something you love. Meredith Penhollow of Plantation, Florida, mixes two of her passions  -- exercise and gabfests  -- with 7-month-old Grace along for the ride. Most weekday mornings, the two head off with a group of other moms and tots for a walk in a local park or mall.
Terra Atkinson, mom of Kealey, 3, and Karissa, 18 months, in Bolingbrook, Illinois, schedules cooking days with friends. "We make and freeze a month's worth of meals for our families," she says. And they get to catch up in the process.

Be ready for anything
Sounds strange, but the secret to spontaneous fun is preparation. Pack a bag of nonperishable snacks and toys and leave it in your trunk; you'll be all set to spend an hour at the beach or the park when the mood strikes. Think of your day as short takes, and prepare accordingly: Arrange your scrapbooking project so that it's out of the way of little hands but still available for quick visits. And leave a book in the bathroom!

Remember to breathe
From time to time, look around you and find something to appreciate in that instant, like the new buds on the trees or your child's toothless grin. At the very least, you'll be more relaxed!