Time Out for Mom
Source: Jennifer Pate
Before I even go into the importance of "me time", I already know what you are going to say, "I don't have any extra time", "You have no idea what my life is like", etc, etc. I also know that we Moms are beyond busy; the kids, the house, the husband, work, health issues, financial concerns, the PTA, etc. I get it. I have two kids, a career, a husband, a dog, a mortgage, and an ailing mom who I financially support, all of it. I am just like the rest of you, but I also take time for myself. Not everyday. Not a perfect science around it, but I do it and it makes all the difference in the world.
Let me ask you a question. Do your kids take time for themselves? Duh! That is all they do. Does your husband take time for himself? Sports on the TV? A poker night? Come home from work, drink a beer and "veg" out? Why are we the only ones in the house that don't take any time of ourselves? It is because we feel GUILTY? Guilty for taking care of ourselves? Is that what we really think of ourselves? Not worthy of some time just for "me"? It is time this madness comes to an end. We are not the world's slaves. We are not here just to cook and clean and take care of everyone else's needs.
I am not suggesting taking hours a day for pampering and shopping (although that does sound amazing, doesn't it?!). I am talking about 10 minutes (or more if you can find the time) for YOU. That time can be spent reading a magazine (you can admit you love People and US Weekly . . . I know I do), you can sit and breathe and relax (some call this meditation, I call this non-existent), you can have a phone date with a friend. Whatever it is, it is yours and yours alone.
What will this accomplish? These 10 minutes (or more, seriously if you find more time, do it!)? Will this stop the kids from arguing? Will this stop your husband from never closing a cabinet or throwing his dirty laundry on the floor (drives me batty)? No, it won't. But . . . it will help change the way you react to all of it. If you have something for yourself and give yourself a little love, you will be amazed at how that changes your responses to the normal chaos that is family life. Try it!
5 tips to Finding 10 Minutes for Yourself:
- Find the time. Don't tell me you don't have 10 minutes. So what if all the laundry doesn't get done today? So what if you buy store bought cookies for the PTA instead of making home made?
- Figure out what you want to do: Yoga? Plotting a new business idea? Read a book? Find your passion and use this time for it!
- Say NO: I bet you are saying yes to more in a day than you have to. Does your child really need you to help pick out their clothes every morning? Make them lay it out the night before. Can your husband do the grocery shopping once in a while? Say NO and make the time.
- Let go of the guilt. Seriously, right now. You deserve something for yourself.
- If you don't do it for you, do it for your kids. Don't you want them to see adults who have enjoyment in adult life? You don't want them to see a crabby mom with nothing for herself? Seriously, what will that teach them. They need to see a woman who is enjoying her life!!
And remember, if Mama isn't happy, Nobody is happy!
© 2012 Jennifer Pate, co-author of The Mothers of Reinvention: Reclaim Your Identity, Unleash Your Potential, Love Your Life
Jennifer Pate, co-author of The Mothers of Reinvention: Reclaim Your Identity, Unleash Your Potential, Love Your Life, is the mother of two, Cooper and Lilah, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband Jonas. After retiring from a professional dance career that spanned ten years, Jennifer became a casting director for TV and film, and co-founded Colloff, Fishman, and Britt Casting. She then went on to her most interesting and challenging career of all: becoming a stay-at-home mom. Currently, Jen is the co-creator and co-host of the award winning web series "Jen and Barb, Mom Life." For more information please visit jenandbarb.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.