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Sunday, January 14, 2018

ME time as a mother

Having ME time, solo, aka away from all responsibilities of being a mother, is DIFFICULT as a mom. We barely have enough time to spend with our kids and clean up after them, of course we have zero time to connect with friends and get out on our own. Or if we do find the time, we're too darn tired to go anywhere but our couch, right?

But having me time is SO important. Having space to breathe and time to think about what you want to think about is really key for being a healthier, happier, more patient mother. It's so important that I think every mom needs time DAILY to herself. I won't pretend I know how much time we need - hours pleeeeease- because I know we're lucky to get 10 minutes a day of uninterrupted time. But I do know for sure it makes me a much better mom when I get some time every single day to myself - to blog, read, write, Facebook, scroll Instagram, take pictures, take a long hot shower, listen to my music on the radio, ETC. If I can have some time every day to watch Netflix or just talk to my husband without being On Duty Mom, I'm happier and calmer.

A few years ago I made up the #MomMEChallenge encouraging moms to MAKE time for themselves, even little moments. I hope you start tagging me on Instagram @themommystories to show me what you're doing this month to put some time back into YOU each day.

But how do we do this? How do we make ME time?

It's reframing in your mind what you have time for. You have time for what you make time for I believe. You have to MAKE yourself a priority. SO hard, I know. But if you need, you can schedule it in the calendar. For example, hit up the gym or a workout class with a friend every week and make it an appointment you can't miss, or make a monthly girls' night out and put that on the calendar a month in advance so it's there.

A few ideas of fun me time to add to your day:

  • Text a friend. 
  • Leave a voicemail- even if you know they aren't available to talk, make the effort to connect to your friends.
  • Email someone just for fun, skip the work stuff you need to reply to and just email someone you like as a friend to make her day.
  • Get a coffee, iced chai (my fave) or hot chocolate when you are going grocery shopping. I swear by this, for years I've done this even before I was a mom. Shopping is tough, tiring, busy. I treat myself every time with a small treat or drink to just say to myself, "nice work, you got that done, you deserve this." 
  • Take a longer shower.
  • Join a fun Facebook group that makes you feel better about life, scroll as needed even for five minutes.
  • Actually eat lunch. Sit down, too. Wow!
  • Read - or get books on CD or Podcasts- so fun! If you have even 20 minutes in the car solo it's a fun thing to listen to something non-child like.
  • Get special lotion and make sure you take time when you get out of the shower to pamper yourself. Buy nice soaps and hair products so at least you feel like you're doing something for yourself.
  • Start a hobby- taking pictures, reading, writing, blogging, etc. and stick with it, set a goal of 30 minutes a week that you learn about that new thing you want to do.
  • Sign up for a class - it could be from the local adult ed program in town. Make it something you can't miss.
HOW do you find the me time though?
  • Get up before the kids get up and go for a walk. Get it in early before you feel guilty that you're missing something.
  • Ask your partner in advance for help. 
  • Schedule it- put it on the calendars. Make it a real appointment you wouldn't miss. You find time for the birthday parties, practices, and work meetings... why can't you have a "meeting" with yourself?
  • Prep ahead of time. If you're going grocery shopping and want extra time at Target but worried about what the kids will have for lunch when you're gone, make the meal ahead or leave a list for partner. If you are planning to workout in the morning before kids get up, don't delay in the morning finding your shorts and t-shirt, but instead set it all out ahead of time so it's ready.
  • Get rid of time wasters in your life. Things that you could be doing differently... to add in more time in your day. Every weekend I spend two hours meal prepping, cooking, and cutting up snacks for the week. That way I don't have to do this 20-60 minutes a day, so I have more time with my kids at night and more time for myself in the mornings before work. Find more time by eliminating what you waste time doing.
  • Tell yourself you deserve some time. It's OK to not have to be the one person doing everything in your family. 
  • Lower your expectations. Tell yourself you will take 10 minutes to yourself this WEEK. Then add to it next week by saying three times that week you'll take 10 minutes. Make it small so you can accomplish it.
  • Write a list of what you LOVE to do, or what you used to do before kids. Put it on your phone. When you find you have a few moments- while waiting to pick up a kid or sitting at dance studio, you can do one of those small things.
I understand it's hard, but we are better mothers when we take care of ourselves first. Do something this week that makes you happy, calmer, happier. #MomMEChallenge Tag me!

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