I thought it only appropriate that my first official blog post would be about finding the holy grail of motherhood – “me time.” Afterall, this blog is entirely dedicated to moms (and dads) as individuals, with their own tastes (outside of a half eaten grilled cheese sandwich), interests (beyond Dora the Explorer), and hobbies (that don’t include reciting “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?”).
Before having kids, I don’t think I fully grasped the concept of “me time.” Let’s be honest – wasn’t ALL time “me time”? I could come and go as I pleased, eat what and when I wanted (and go out to a restaurant without an arsenal of crayons, stickers, coloring books, cheerios, wipes, sippy cups, and multiple apologies to the wait staff for the hunger-induced meltdown).
Before having kids, “me time” was really just “time.” Sure, I took breaks from my friends or my husband to relish in my personal space with a pedicure, movie, some retail therapy or reading a book in peace. But the truth is, I didn’t realize how precious or important this time was until there were other innocent beings relying on me at all times.
My friend just had her first baby and told me “I wish I’d appreciated sleep more before having my son! Like really appreciated it… slept whenever I wanted to, lounged in bed, and took naps just because.” Amen sister, ain’t that the truth.
However, as I’ve come out of that newborn fog and entered the world of two toddlers, I’ve learned that “me time” doesn’t have to be extravagant, well-planned, or long. In fact, sometimes “me time” is sitting in the car listening to the rest of my favorite song before going into the house and being greeted by the pitter patter of my kids barreling down the hallway into my arms. That hug is the best part of my day, but sometimes those last few lyrics of “baby you’re a firework…” is a close second (thank you Katy Perry!).
When my nephew (now 8) was an infant, my sister-in-law would go shopping at Target or the grocery store at nine or ten at night. I never understood it – why would anyone want to walk the aisles of any store at a time when most people are settling into bed? Now I know… “me time.” It wasn’t about getting essentials (which certainly happened) of picking up non-essentials (as everyone is apt to do at Target). It was just about getting out of the house and having a few minutes of time to herself. I too now enjoy a random shopping trip late at night. I get it now… what a luxury!
For all those moms (and dads) out there looking for ways to find some “me time,” without devoting too much time, here’s a list of some ideas:
- Take a long shower
- Volunteer to go buy coffee for your partner early on a Saturday morning
- Go for a walk/run, even if only to the corner and back
- Take the long way home
- Commit to reading a page/chapter a day/week in a new book
- Write in a journal while your kids are napping or you’re eating lunch
- Arrange for a babysitter for a few hours every day/week/month
- Get a mani/pedi (or a polish change – did you know they do ALMOST everything they would do with full service at a fraction of the cost?!)
- Plant a few of your favorite herbs or foods in your backyard, or in a pot if you don’t have planting space
What do you do to get your “me time”? Let me know in the comments section of this post… or tell me about it while we walk the aisles of Target at 10pm next Saturday night.