November 10, 2010 § 2 Comments
Now let me start off by saying that I’m no expert on Me-Time. In fact, guilt free time spent by myself doing something just for me is new terrain and something I’ve been having to work at rather diligently.
I like to think that it’s because I started my parenting journey so young, at 16 I barely had a sense of myself before I was armpit high in nappies and 2 am feedings. But the more Mommies I meet, in person and on-line, I’m discovering that my reluctance to hang up my apron, even temporarily, is shared by many a Mom.
It’s no secret that motherhood comes with certain undeniable expectations. Kids need to be fed, have clean clothes, a comfortable home and require endless amounts of loving attention and support. The daily grind is enough to knacker even the heartiest of us.
Still, as important as meeting those needs are, it’s equally important that we MAKE time to attend to our own. Afterall, before we were Mommies, we were people (as my kids have been recently shocked to learn). And whether we’re just starting out, nearing the finish line, have a large brood or just one child, we are equally entitled to regular Me-Time.
So, if we’re still uncomfortable with the whole concept, how do we start? Like most things in life if you’re new to something…practise, practise, practise. For example:
Taking A Bath
It took me years to figure out that if I had to clean the tub just before drawing myself a nice bubbly hot water soak, it doesn’t count. Get Hubby or one of the older kids to clean the tub first…if that’s just not in the cards for you, make sure you clean the tub the day before. That way, it’s all about you and the hot water.
I love to bake and when I’m doing it because I want to, it can be very relaxing and enjoyable. Just make sure it’s not for the kids’ school party, the church bake sale or a Scout fundraiser. Those don’t count either…if you can’t enjoy at least two of the cupcakes you spent the afternoon slaving over, then it’s definitely not Me-Time.
Drawing and sketching are one of my secret passions. The problem is that when I do have time on my own to do it, I can never find any of the coloured pencils I “JUST” bought. The kids usurp them for their own art projects and it doesn’t count as Me-Time if I have to spend 20 minutes sharpening the few pencils that I can manage to get my hands on. Keep a secret stash of craft supplies that no one else knows about.
Loving Your Music
I grew up in the 80’s and while the decade isn’t really known for it’s culturally significant musical influence, I still enjoy occasionally rockin’ out to The Bangles and Duran Duran. Play it loud, proud and dance around the room. If that’s not feasible, at least invest in a good pair of headphones so you can tune out everything else. “Walk Like An Egyptian”
Go For A Walk
You might be saying, okay Sheri, good for you that you time enough for all of that. But really, I started out just going for a walk by myself. A simple walk around the block can count as Me-Time. Just make sure you leave the dog (scooping poop doesn’t count), kids (worrying about how much exercise they’re getting doesn’t count) and any worries (stressing about bill collector’s doesn’t count) at home.
Me-Time matters and I’d like to see more parenting books addressing this issue.