You know when people say “motherhood is a 24/7 job” and you're like “yeah, duh, obviously”? Well, now I actually get it. It's TWENTYFOUR SEVEN. I've finally wrapped my mind around it because looking back on what I used to think 24/7 meant makes me laugh out loud. Me time for moms is so much harder than I ever expected it to be.
When I was younger, I baby-sat kids of all ages, all of the time. I loved it! I was seriously good at it so I thought that I would be SO GOOD at mom-ing because this is obviously a breeze.
Literally, I baby-sat from morning to-night some days. I was experiencing meals, naps, bath time, potty training, learning how to walk and talk, etc. It sure did seem like “I've GOT this”. What are all these moms talking about? It's really not that hard. I must just be a natural, ya know?
But, gosh, the huge difference that I was over-looking was the “me time” that I was guaranteed at the end of every day. Mom's feel frazzled and overwhelmed not because day-to-day motherhood is hard but because never. getting. a. break. is hard.
- Related Read: How To Make Life With A Baby E.A.S.Y
I used to think I was busy, though, you know? I thought that every moment of my day was occupied by studying or planning, or working out, or something else that I cannot even remember at this point because looking back, does anyone even remember what their days were occupied with before kids? Because, I don't.
The point is, me time for moms needs to be top priority. Guaranteed me time! Me time that you don't have to plan ahead for or feel guilty about.
Moms Don't Get “Me Time”
When was the last time you really had time to yourself? Ok, I mean time to yourself where you weren't sleeping or crying. I'm talking– the quiet time where you were just doing whatever you want. Weird to think about, I know. I bet it's been a long time.
When I had my son, I threw “me time” out the window. It no longer existed. It was impossible. Every waking moment was sucked up by this baby who ran my world. There wasn't one second that I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do.
Moms are always doing what they need to do. Breastfeeding, diaper changing, rocking, singing, getting my baby to sleep, cleaning up the spit up, doing the laundry, tummy time. The list can go on forever and I wish I had the time for that kind of rant, but you already know all of the things, because you do them too.
It doesn't matter if you are a working mom, a stay at home mom, a first time mom or a mom of five, you're doing it all, all of the time and sometimes you feel overwhelmed, over-tired, overworked, and stretched a little too thin.
What ends up happening is the only “me time” we think we are allowed is the 10 minutes in the car when our children fall asleep and we get to listen to whatever music we want. However wonderful those moments are, it's just not enough.
Moms Need “Me Time” More Now Than Ever
Most of us feel like we don't have time to care for ourselves because our family's needs are priority and we would do anything for them. I know the feeling. But in order to be what our family needs us to be, our minds need to stop running a mile a minute for like, one second, ok?
For a period of time in my son's first year, I felt like I lost my self. I was afraid to go out and have any kind of good time or do something for myself because I had mom guilt. That guilt controlled me and didn't allow any “me time” at all. Because of that, I forgot what it felt like to just be me.
When I became a mom, I realized that our minds are always on go, go, go mode. From one thing to another we swing from mom responsibilities, to wife responsibilities, to home maker duties, and not to mention working outside the home. We are quick to give up “me time” because we simply don't have the time.
Just because you have decided that you don't have time for it, doesn't mean you don't desperately need time alone. Don't let putting your family first be a death sentence for your pre-mom identity.
What Is “Me Time For Moms”, Really?
Me time doesn't have to be elaborate, expensive, or even long-lasting. All it has to be is relaxing.
If baking, painting your toes, or walking the dog helps you turn it all off and brings you back to who you are outside of the caregiver of tiny humans, then do it. If all you want is a massage and the only way that you are going to get me time is if you pay for it, fine, do it.
Me time for moms can be literally anything you want it to be as long as you can think about what you want, do what you want, and feel re-energized afterwards.
My husband thinks I'm a total nut because sometimes what I want to do is clean the kitchen in peace or organize my desk without tiny hands pulling everything out of my drawers. Yeah, those sound like things that need to get done and not something that qualifies for “me time”. But if I can do it alone, and clear my head while I do it, then I consider it my “me time”.
Do whatever makes you happy as long as you will feel like you got time today to focus on yourself.
We Have The Wrong Idea About Me Time For Moms
I've talked to moms before about me time, and I've learned something. We are all the same when it comes to me time! Moms think that they are getting me time as long as they are literally alone for a period of time during the day.
Do yourself a favor and soak this in. Me time isn't the hurried shower that you get while your husband rocks the crying baby or the time you get to blow dry your hair because we have to be somewhere in 20 minutes.
The 10 minutes you used to put your makeup on that one time last week because you wanted your husband to come home to someone who slightly resembled the woman he married, is not the “me time” that I'm talking about.
Instead, real me time is something different. It's relaxing, it's not something that is required of you. It's something that makes you feel good about yourself and it's something that helps you forget the stress of mom life for a few minutes.
Staring at the monitor for 20 minutes wondering if your baby is actually going to sleep is not really alone time just because you're alone doing it.
Taking “Me Time” Is not Selfish
Another thing that mom's get tripped up on when it comes to getting some quality “met time” is thinking that they are being selfish asking for it.
Learning to carve out time for yourself every day is not selfish.
Now, I'm not saying to forget your kids, but I'm kind of saying to forget your kids. Just for a moment! Right? I mean, even when we aren't with them and they are safe and taken care of, we are thinking about them, worrying about them, wondering if they are getting what they need.
It's ok. That is what makes you a good mom.
All I'm saying is that you can turn it off sometimes. Trust me, the switch turns back on the second you hear them call for you, but in the meantime, think about nothing, and then come back and let me know how good it felt.
When you feel refreshed and rejuvenated you can give your family the best of you without feeling like your always giving more than you can spare. “Me time” is meant to recharge your true self so that you can be the best version of yourself when you're with your family.
Also, you guys, time away from you, believe it or not, might be just as good for your kids as it is for you! Read about it in this post. Shelly makes an important point that if your child has someone to love and care for them, you have nothing to feel guilty about! But instead, you should feel like you are doing both of you a solid by getting the ever important “me time” that I'm talking about.
Make “Mommy Me Time” A Priority
What you need mama, is to take a real break from the craziness and flip the switch to “me mode” instead of “mommy mode” for a little while every day (or at least a few times a week!)
Sometimes, the truth is, you are being pulled in every direction and you seriously can't get the time in because at every opportunity, you're eyes just literally close. I get it. I've been there. But when it's actually about priorities, then it can be changed. You can have the time.
Why do mommies tend to prioritize the dishes that no one is going to see as a higher priority over your own mental health? I did it too, but I don't understand it. It's obvious which is more important. You just have to believe it is.
Believe that your time is more important than that last load of laundry. It can wait until tomorrow. You can ask for help. It's not going to kill anyone if the counters are dirty over night tonight. Get your “me time” so that your children can have a happy mommy and your husband can have a happy wifey in the morning.
Me Time For Moms Is Life-Changing
As if you aren't already convinced, let me tell you, it's amazing what getting “me time” can really do for a busy mom.
Sometimes all you need is a few minutes of real, free, completely irresponsible me time to do whatever you want to make yourself actually feel semi pulled together.
Giving myself the time to write down my to-do lists, my shopping lists, clean out my purse, read a magazine, plan my day out, go shopping (and take my sweet time), are things of my dreams.
When all you have is one nap time to get a little bit of “me time”, then I encourage you to set the monitor next to you if you have to but then don't worry about when your baby will wake up, what he will eat when he wakes up, or what you need to mark off your list. Pick up or put down WHATEVER YOU WANT and “shut down” to help yourself recover from the weight of motherhood.
It sounds so easy.
Well, when that nap time comes, I know that you're going to have a million things to do, toys everywhere, laundry to be folded, mail to be opened and emails to be answered. You're going to make every excuse in the world to not sit down and take time for yourself. Don't do that to yourself!
When you get your me time, you're going to find that when you have the time to yourself to re-center and get back to you, you'll be much more likely to be willing to get everything else done …and it will feel like pure magic.
It's Important To Make It Consistent
When I finally started to get consistent “me time” every day, I felt like a new mom. I felt like I can do this. Even though I wasn't getting any more sleep, I felt more rested. Even when my body wasn't getting the rest I needed, my mind was resting during my “me time”. So when it came time to go back to the grind and run around all day with my son, I was ready and willing–not groggy and tired wondering when I'll feel like me again.
When I get my “me time”, my whole attitude is different. My happiness with my family is more intense and enjoyable. Even my perspective on the day-to-day hustle and bustle is just different when I know I have a moment to my self to look forward to.
For the sake of your mind, body, and soul, you know, the one you used to have, get your “me time” in today.
Remember That You're A Good Mom
Feeling tired and run down does not make you a bad mom or one that's not cut out for the job. It means that you're on the verge of burn out. Join the club! We all feel that way sometimes and we need a recharge.
Five minutes or five hours, whatever it takes and whatever you can get, you need to take it every once in a while so you can come back to your babies feeling like the mom you know you can be.
Me Time For Moms – What can I do?
I hear you girlfriend. Here are the things that I do what I absolutely just need to turn my brain off for a bit in order to save my sanity. There are a million ways to reset, but these are just a handful.
If I Have A Few Minutes Alone
- Paint your nails
- Spend Time With God
- Browse Pinterest aimlessly
- Whiten my teeth
- Sit and do nothing!
If I Have Half An Hour
- Take a bath
- Watch junk TV
- Talk on the phone in peace
If I Have 1-3 Hours
- Date Night
- Girls Night
- Shop Target alone (or wander around Kirklands or Hobby Lobby)
- Give myself a face mask
- Get a pedicure
When I Have All Freakin' Day
- Do all of the things previously listed
- …and then also blow dry my hair (woah)
- Bake or cook just for myself
- Clean without feeling like I'm chasing my tail
- Organize something
- Write out lists (it's an addiction, I swear)
- Make a Shutterfly book