There’s this rare and elusive thing I’ve heard about, but I can’t quite seem to find much of it: me time. Apparently it’s a block of time where you can do what you want, and it’s not interrupted by children, chores, or anything else. Sounds strange, right?
We all need a little me time here and there. The problem with it is that as soon as I get some, I feel guilty. I feel like I can’t leave my children because my daughters scream when I walk out of the room (and I don’t want Hubs to have to deal with that). I feel like I should spend that time with my husband because he’s the love of my life and he works so hard to support us. It can be hard to find quality time for just the two of us. And we all know about the never-ending to-do list with the mountains of laundry and the house that needs to be cleaned.
However, me time is essential for every parent, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it. Here’s why:
You need rejuvenation.
I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” Guess what – it’s true. How are you supposed to take care of your family if you’re not taking care of yourself? Believe it or not, a little alone time is part of that. Every momma needs a little time to have some quiet and gather her thoughts. She needs a little bit of time where there’s not someone constantly using her as a jungle gym or crying in her ear.
Being a SAHM is really a dream job, especially with a creative outlet like blogging. I know my children are in great hands. I get to watch them grow and see their milestones every day. However, even people with dream jobs need a break sometimes. You don’t want to end up with burn-out.
Squeeze in a little me-time to “fill your cup.” Do what you need to do to feel refreshed. Take a long shower or a bubble bath. (You might want an awesome Coffee Brown Sugar Scrub for that!) Read a book. Get out and go have coffee with a friend. Do something crafty or creative. Then you can come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the world! In the long run, taking a break will help you be a better momma with more patience and energy.
Who are you?
The other day my husband was talking about what he would want to do if we ever won the lottery. He’s full of dreams and plans, and I was really enjoying the conversation until he asked me, “What would you want to do for yourself if we won?” Uuuummmmmmmm…. I have no idea. All of my immediate thoughts were for paying off credit cards, moving closer to our families (and building our dream home), and saving for our kids’ college funds. But what would I actually like to do? It was a very sobering question.
Here’s why that happened: ever since I became a SAHM, every minute of their every waking hour (slight exaggeration) has been devoted to the kids. Some days I feel like I’m stretching myself so thin between all three of them plus my husband, that there’s nothing left for myself (there’s that empty cup again!). They get my full focus, and I forget that I’m a person, too. I am more “Momma” than Samantha.
A little me time is crucial so that you can stay in touch with yourself. Remember your passions, find new ones. Take up a new hobby (I highly recommend blogging and planning!). Whatever you do, just remember that you are your own person as well as an awesome momma.
You can reciprocate without resentment.
Have you ever sent your husband out for a day with the guys, only to feel really grouchy about it halfway through because you’re stuck at home (like always) with the temper tantrums and stinky diapers? No? Just me? Don’t be shy, I know I’m not alone in this!
The truth is that as much as you’re craving that me time, your spouse probably is, too. Everything I have said above applies to him as well. He needs a break, he needs his own hobbies, and he is more than just Daddy. You might realize this, and you might give him that time. That’s great! But do you feel resentful because you’re not getting the time for yourself, as well?
To take on a few cliches here, me time is a two-way street, and it’s a tango. It takes teamwork. You and your spouse need to communicate to make sure that you’re both getting some time for yourselves. No one wants or needs both parents burned out and frazzled. Take a little me time for yourself, and it will be much easier to let your spouse have some, too. Then you’ll both have a full cup and be much happier. (And in the end that means happier children, too!)