Moms Need More 'Me Time,' Less Guilt

Mom Moment 10

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?


Image via faith goble/Flickr

a mom's life, time for mom


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dreamsky dreamsky

It will never happen. The moment you find out your pregnant you will always put your wants last. From eating foods you totally hate to giving up foods or things you love doing because it can harm baby. Then when ever you do find me time all you worry about is are they ok are they being treated right are they crying.. ect.. Your whole life as a mother you will always worry and question yourself. Did I do enough or too much or too little? There will be goods and bads all you can do is force yourself to re-lax!! And don't forget to breathe.

MsRkg MsRkg

I don't find it hard to have "me time" at all. I can find the time whenever I want, because my husband is completely awesome and has no problem leaving work or stopping whatever he's doing to watch our son while I skip out for drinks with the girls for an after-work happy hour or go shopping or whatever, even if its last minute notice. Its been like this ever since my son was an infant. I never felt the need to be with my son 24/7 everyday because if I did I know I would feel overwhelmed and be unhappy if I didn't get a chance to unwind every now and then and I communicated this with my husband and he agreed. Its all about talking it out with your partner and finding out what works for the two of you. Maybe every other saturday mom has the morning and afternoon off to go to the spa, or window shop , or whatever makes her happy.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Support. Support. Is your husband supportive? That is where I try to find me time. I would never ask my husband to leave work but after working long hours, I would have supper ready and help get the kids ready for bed or whatever, I say help because we both do it, then I would go out if I wanted to. Most of me time is during naps or bedtime unfortunately. My hubby needs more me time than me. I work 12hr shifts 3X a week and I am on an every other weekend rotation as of now, so those weeks where he has put in 50-60 hrs AND then has to entertain our 3 kids while I work 36hrs on a weekend can be rough. I really want him to leave fathers day weekend to enjoy his time.

the4m... the4mutts

I have a hard time. But I make it work. My SO isn't great with kids. He's a DECENT father, and DECENT step parent, but not great. It scares him to be alone with even his own kid.

But I would be doing not only myself, but HIM and our son a disservice if I allowed this to be their lot in life. To always have mom mediate, take control durring extra hard times, how would they learn trust one another and themselves?

So I force my SO to keep all 4 kids once a week. I do not abuse the time, but I also don't give a curfew to myself. I leave, do whatever, and come home when I'm bored, or feel refreshed enough to take over again.

nonmember avatar Michelle

A supportive spouse, friends, and family is EVERYTHING when it comes to "me time". But with my husband and I it is VERY much "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours". If I get free time, I will turn around and return the favor. Both of us work hard to support our family, but with a pilot's schedule we don't always get weekends the way the rest of American's with 9-5 jobs do. He deserves to go out with his buddies or do whatever just as much as I do! Ladies, just remember that the next time you don't think you get enough alone time :)

nonmember avatar Shannon

I try to get about an hour to myself every weekend, and my husband gets the same. I take a long, hot shower, wash my hair, and give myself a pedicure. I feel so refreshed when I do this. I also stopped doing chores during nap time. I eat lunch and watch 30-60 minutes of TV. Relaxing like that helps me keep my sanity in the afternoons.

Mindi Brizendine

I try to get some me time. My husband works 3rd shift. When he gets home from work I go back to sleep sometimes if I'm tired. He stays up with our son for an hour or so before I take care of him for the rest of the day. On his days off, I take our son to the park so he can have time to himself too. I used to feel really guilty trying to have me time, but my husband has been supportive of it. I don't feel so guilty now. I spend 99% of my time with my son.

Jamee Tenzer

The great news about "me" time is that it actually provides us with more of the energy and patience to be the kind of parent we want to be. Nothing can change your perspective faster than a little dose of self care.


nonmember avatar Martha

I am a believer of me time, but don't treat myself to it. Partly, husband says its an Americanized mentality. That moms who state "I need me time" are selfish. Yes, I know it sounds jerky but he isn't a jerk- he spoils me in a lot of ways but he is one of those all in love, completely smothering fun daddy that misses his kids all day at work. He thinks being home is a piece of cake. He doesn't realize it's an endless job, no 8-5 like him who gets to come home and relaxation and fun quality bonding time with kids. I don't care what he thinks if my Amercanized thinking, I'm Mexican and I need me time!!! Lol!

nonmember avatar K

Question I have is, when does "me time" become neglect? Is a single Mother raising 2 latch key kids entitled to "me time" because it makes her a better Mother? Is she a better Moher by leaving her 12 year old son home alone for hours on end, so she can "refresh" at the bars to meet men or go hiking while her son with nothing to do sits a home alone in a big house with no one to play with? This is the problem I have with "me time". You cannot,in some situations, use ths excuse when it takes from a child's self-worth. And nothing can erode a child's self-worth than parental abandonment.

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