Do you give yourself enough time for YOU? As a mom of teens, I get it. I have been there. Oh boy, have I been there. I can remember the sleepless nights, greasy hair and PJ pant-filled days with a crying baby in my arms. Some days, I never made it past the driveway. Others, I’d wash my hair and slap on a dry cleaned suit jacket, only to be splashed with baby spit up. Right before a client meeting.
The physical demands of mothering little ones can be downright overwhelming. And the emotional demands of parenting teens? I don’t even want to go there.
No matter what stage you’re in as a mother, me-time matters.
Me time simply means doing something without your kids. I believe me time is 100 percent necessary. In fact, I believe it helps you be a better parent.
When I look back, I admit that I did not give myself enough me time. If I did, it made me feel kind of guilty. Good old mom guilt. And you know what? That’s not healthy for anyone. Especially your family. I think of me time like the oxygen mask on a plane. You need to put it on first. Period.
Some tips to help you find more ME TIME:
- Take a drive-thru break. If it’s impossible to get away from your child, do the next best thing. Put the baby in the car seat and go through a drive-thru Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. And while you’re in the car, call a good friend. Even if you only get a few minutes away, I promise it will be worth it.
- Go out. It doesn’t have to be a Sex and the City night out on the town with a limo filled with your closest friends. I’m talking brunch, early dinner, even a 60-minute mom date with a friend. I have a dear friend who has met me for a 45-minute break at a local restaurant. It’s hilarious and hurried, but also awesome because we both know we needed some girl time giggles. Plus it did wonders for my patience level when I got home.
- Walk it off. If you have a new baby, hand her over to your husband (or a close friend or relative) and go for a walk BY YOURSELF. Being around nature does wonders for your mood, regardless of how little sleep you’ve had since you brought home your bundle of joy. If you can escape for half an hour, sit and relax in the park, at the beach or somewhere with a hint of nature. You’ll be shocked at how therapeutic it can be.
- Don’t be afraid to say yes to free babysitting offers. As long as you trust the person, it’s wonderful.
- If you can’t find a sitter, start searching. You’re probably not the only mom on the block who needs some me-time and can’t find a sitter. Join a mommy’s group. Ask a close friend to help. Ask people you trust for referrals.
- Take a moment to reflect. If possible, whether early in the morning or late at night (in between feedings), take a moment to meditate. Lock yourself in the bathroom if you have to. Just escape for a few minutes so you can collect your thoughts and re-charge.
- Know that it’s okay to say NO. Re-schedule social commitments if you’re too exhausted. Be honest with yourself. Give yourself time to get balanced. Enjoy some time alone. They’ll understand.
- Do nothing but laugh. Turn on a sit-com on Netflix and laugh a little.
- Take a bath. Calgon, take me away. When your spouse is home, hand the baby over, set out some candles and take a warm bath.
- Read when you can. When and if you can find time to yourself, take a book or magazine with you. Even reading a Redbook issue from 1997 in the doctor’s office helped me in the past. Believe me. (And my first child was born in 2001.)