Moms do it all. Check off to-dos around the house. Bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. They cook, they clean, they work, and when they play, they play hard. What they – by which I mean WE – don’t do, is take personal days.
Most of us don’t, anyway. There are a lot of mixed messages surrounding “me time” for moms. On one hand, we have marketers telling us to indulge. To let Calgon take us away. Break out the Dove for a momentary indulgence. Go shopping! On the other, as mothers we’re supposed to be micro-managing every aspect of our households because the prevalent message is that no one can do it all as well as we can.
But of course, the truth is that no one can actually do it all. Trying gets you a one-way ticket to crazytown. Anyone who tells you that they don’t let a thing slide is lying. And anyone who tells you that “me time” shouldn’t be on your list of mom to-dos is trying to sabotage you or something, because not taking time for yourself also gets you that ticket to crazytown.
Still feeling guilty about taking “me time”? I know. Me, too. But here are five very good reasons to go ahead and indulge in some activity, any activity, that doesn’t involve cleaning your house, working, or taking care of your kids.
1. It’s a chance to explore your own thoughts. Or the thoughts of others if your “me time” is cocktail hour with your best mom friends. How often do you get to enjoy real actual quiet time? How often do you get to say @#$% without worrying about those little pitchers with those big ears? We all recharge differently, but we all need to recharge.
2. Being a mom can mean losing your own self in the needs of your children. “Me time” is your chance to regain some of the sense of self that tends to erode as you focus on caring for others. Who are you now? Are you the same person you were a year ago? Before you had kids? Now is the chance to find out.
3. “Me time” gives you perspective. It’s like stepping back from the daily grind so you can once again see the bigger picture. Is it weird that taking a break from your kids will remind you why you love them so much? Sure, but it’s true! Try it!
4. If you’re a super driven mom, your “me time” may take the form of goal setting and the pursuit of said goals. That’s awesome! Ask yourself what you want to accomplish and how much time to yourself you need to make that happen. Working toward a goal that’s yours and yours alone can give you an outlet for your creativity and intellect that isn’t always found in the laundry pile or a day job.
5. Finally, you’re a human being (even if you’re a supermom) and human beings need time to relax and decompress and enjoy a few hours where no one is tugging at the hem of your dress and whining because graham crackers are suddenly too crunchy. You spend so much time taking care of other people and working your butt off to get things done. Don’t you think you deserve a break? Hint: You do. So take one already!