When you become a parent, you dedicate your entire life to caring for another life. Quickly, you learn the importance of putting others needs before your own. You happily give them all of your time, your space, your love, and sometimes your food (when they get a bit older), amongst many other things. You knew going into this that you would be dedicating your whole self to this little life you are bringing into the world. While that is an admirable attitude, let’s face it, we all need some “me time”. Without it, we ultimately just end up running ourselves into the ground.
There are times and seasons when we may find ourselves without the outlet of babysitters or family support. It’s important to recognize the moments you get. I always tell my husband, “enjoy that commute to work, because that’s silence, that’s you getting to pick the song on the stereo, that’s YOU time”. Being a stay at home mom, I don’t have that kind of quiet time. When I get in the car my 5-year-old immediately starts requesting songs he wants to hear.
Meetup with other moms. When I had my kids, I didn’t have tons of friends with kids. Knowing that mommy friends were pertinent for my sanity, I went way out of my comfort zone and went to a random Mommy Meetup on Meetup.com. BEST DECISION EVER. I met some amazing gal pals that I still hang out with today, almost 2 years later. Many of them are very close friends of mine now. Some of my best “me time” comes when we hang out. All of our kids play together and entertain each other while we watch from afar and have an adult conversation. I can’t suggest this enough, seriously, get out there and meet up with other mommas!
Find a hobby. A hobby has been a lifesaver for me. I needed something that I could enjoy doing by myself at the end of the day. My first hobby was my Silhouette Cameo (affiliate link). After a hard day, I could escape into my room for 20 minutes at the end of the day and make a quick decal for my coffee cup. That is so relaxing and fun for me. You could also turn this into a side hustle if you make things for your friends and family. Obviously, my second hobby is blogging. When the house is quiet and my kids are sleeping I like to get on my computer and work on my blog. Whatever it is that you choose, it should be something that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
Get out of the house. I really enjoy a little trip out of the house, because I am at home a lot. Occasionally, when I have a really tough day, I will ask the hubs to stay home with the kiddos and I will go to Target, alone. It’s great. I love being able to take my time looking at things without worrying about one of the kids going into meltdown mode. Depending on when you are able to get out, you could also go hit up a coffee shop and just people watch as you enjoy some coffee. Take a walk around the block. Get a change of scenery, it’s good for the mommy soul!
Moms Night Out. Every couple of months, all my mommy friends and I get together for a little MNO. We leave the littles with Dad for a couple of hours (or at a drop in daycare if Dad is out of town) and goto dinner or a movie. It’s nice to eat warm food, have a drink, watch a movie, all without hearing, “MOOOOMMM!”. If you aren’t enjoying the occasional night out with your friends, start now. It doesn’t have to be a weekend and it doesn’t have to be all night. A two-hour dinner on a Tuesday night is plenty of time to regain your sanity after a long day.
Take a drive at naptime. If you can’t get away for a night out, take a drive at naptime. My kids are two and five, so my 5-year-old doesn’t nap but he does fall asleep in the car. If you are in need of some quiet time, take a little drive, wait for them to fall asleep and then pull into a parking lot somewhere and take in the quiet. Read a book (I recommend The 5 Love Languages of Children – affiliate link), or listen to music YOU want to listen to. Whatever it is in that moment, do it for you.
Being a parent requires balancing our time we give to our family with the time we need to refuel ourselves. Me time and Mom time can exist at the same time. It’s all about the balance. Find what feels comfortable for you.