woman drinking coffeeThere are things that happen to some women when we become mothers. Sometimes we cut our hair real short or we no longer wear heels everywhere we go. Maybe we start preferring yoga pants over jeans and we stop wearing makeup. These things don't really mean anything. You're still beautiful with no makeup and short hair in yoga pants with flip flops. But the one thing that does concern me is that too many mothers become martyrs for their kids

Far too many moms skip "me time." Maybe we feel we don't deserve it or we can't find time. Some feel too guilty to take it, like we shouldn't ever be away from our kids. Little by little, day by day, we lose ourselves.

Since I've become a stay-at-home mom, it's become harder for me to have me time. When I do have time without the kids (naps or after they go to bed at night), I'm often working doing freelance writing. But there are times when I need that time to myself -- no work, no kids -- more. It's not easy -- I don't have family nearby and sitters cost a lot of money so my husband and I use them sparingly. But I do find the time. Sometimes it's on a weekend when the kids can have some daddy-only time and I head out to windowshop or just sit in the park with an ice cream I don't have to share. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing ice cream with my kids. But I also love to be able to pile on the extremely sugary toppings and indulge in every last bite. Sometimes, I admit, I even love food shopping by myself. It's so much easier and zen to do without twin toddlers.

But I get it. I get why so many moms don't or can't find the time. Working moms, stay-at-home moms, doesn't matter. We all face this issue. We feel guilty about everything and then we thrive in it. We think we aren't doing enough for our kids, so then we think we need to do more, and then we end up doing nothing for ourselves. Or we simply have no one who can watch the kids so we can have a little alone time.

We need to ask for it. Ask our husbands, family, the neighbor we trust for a hand. Or the mom friend we have at the park who has a kid the same age. Maybe we save a little cash to pay a sitter for a little while if you can. Better yet, work out an arrangement with your best mom friend. You watch her child for an hour or so while she goes to do whatever it is that makes her happy one day, and another day she will do the same for you.

Mom needs to be happy. We should be happy. And a little time to ourselves could also make us healthier, have a clearer head, feel refreshed, and even be a better mom.

It's easy to forget what it's like to have a few hours -- even an hour -- of solitude. Reading the paper alone in the park. A pedicure. A relaxing couple of hours in a knitting circle. A dinner with friends and a glass of wine. Wearing makeup and heels and not worrying that the skirt is too short to wear to the park with the kids. But we deserve it. And need it. It doesn't mean you don't love your kids because you need to spend time away from them every now and then. But being a martyr mother could mean you love yourself less. No one wants that.

Do you find it hard to find your own "me time"? How do you make it work?

 

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