The great elusive “me time”. Every mom’s dream. Just a moment that we get to sit back, sigh and do absolutely nothing. While we love our kids and would do anything for them (which we do, 24/7 365), we can start to feel a little bit crazy if we don’t take a step back and do something for ourselves. No, it is not being selfish!
As mothers, we are conditioned to believe that everything we do and every moment of our lives should revolve around our kids. We accept this when we become moms, but it really isn’t sustainable. Remember that person you were before you became a mom, the one with the long flowy hair, or the one who used to go for a midnight drive listening to her favorite music – where is she? Please, don’t lose her.
Keeping in touch with your old self and finding some time to spend with you is so important. Your new role might be “mom”, but you still need your old self-backing you up. Spending every waking moment (and pretty much every night while you’re trying to sleep) worrying about the kids can become overwhelming. You need to make sure that for yourself, and for your kids, you are in a healthy, happy place. You can only achieve this by making sure that you give yourself a break once in a while to enjoy doing something you love – which could even be sitting back and doing nothing at all.
The words ‘spontaneous’ and ‘mom’ are rarely found in the same sentence. We don’t really have the luxury of spur of the moment plans and usually have to plan ahead for some me time. This can be a bit of a bother for some moms, but don’t let it put you off! Planning ahead is a sure-fire way of ensuring that you do get your me time, and by planning everything properly, the chances of something going wrong or your me time being interrupted is slim. Book a nail appointment in advance or make a night out with the girls in a weeks’ time. Getting all the logistics smoothed out beforehand will make the whole process a lot less stressful, and a lot more enjoyable.
Make use of your support system. If you are lucky enough to have a very involved partner, co-parent, family or friends – use them! Don’t feel ashamed to ask for a break, it is completely healthy for moms to take a little time off. You will be surprised at how understanding people will be, and how openly they will accept the chance to spend time with your little ones! Get dad involved – he can cook dinner and put the kids to bed. If he watches you do it every night, he should be able to do it on his own. If phoning him every half-hour while you out help, then do it. Support systems are there for a reason – utilize, delegate and have some fun. Your kids will love the change of scenery, and it will help them learn to be around others more.
If you search really hard – you can find those sweet little moments in each day where you can just flop onto the couch, staring blankly at the TV and just breathe. Yes – they really are there among the crazy lunch frenzies and soaking wet bath time. If your kids are old enough to bath alone, then let them. If they lay down for a nap, give yourself the chance to do so as well. Create some stimulating game for them to play while you sit on the couch and vegetate for 5 minutes. These tiny little breaks are really important for your sanity.
Give yourself a break mom. The dishes can wait tonight and the floor can stay a bit dirty for a while. You won’t be able to give your family the best of you if you aren’t okay and feel overwhelmed. Take some time for yourself and realize that yes, you are a real person outside of motherhood and you do need to spend time on yourself. If for nothing else, you deserve it. You give your family your everything, you need to give yourself something as well.
Be kind to yourself. You deserve it and you are doing a great job.