Taking Time for You
August 22, 2011 ~
The pressure to be the “perfect” mom is increasing. Whether you work in an office or at home, days can slip by without a moment of downtime. As you work hard to give your child the best start in life, do not forget to save some time for yourself. Although it can be difficult to schedule “me” time, it is a fundamental part of achieving a healthy life balance. Are you wondering where to start? Here are some ideas!
Let Go of the Guilt
Many moms feel guilty when they put their needs first and take some time away from their families. When you take care of yourself, you set a great example for your children. Give yourself permission to make personal time a priority without the guilt, and you will reap the full benefits of your investment.
Start by checking in with yourself. What are you missing most? Do you wish you had more time to catch up with your girlfriends, or do you daydream about taking an extra-long bubble bath? Make a list of ideas and talk to your family about it. Carve out personal time and space and, if your child is old enough, explain to him or her why it is important for you to have “mommy” time. Show your child that you are a person who invests in herself in healthy ways and that you are valued and supported by the family.
While it would be nice to have a full spa day once a month or to jet off on a tropical vacation twice a year, it might be more beneficial to your psyche (and your wallet) to do smaller things more often. Once you decide what activity would really recharge your battery, go for it! It can be as simple as reading your favorite magazine in peace, taking time to enjoy a hobby or having a dinner out with friends. Even if you only take 15 minutes for yourself every day, the downtime can really add up.
What if your day is just too booked to manage 15 minutes away from your family? Try wearing your favorite outfit on a regular day. When you wear something that makes you feel great, even if it is just your favorite shade of lipstick, you will feel a confidence boost that will last all day. Are you running to the grocery store? Pick up a small indulgence just for you. A candle, a glass of wine and some chocolate can go a long way at the end of a hectic day.
The most challenging part of focusing on you is finding the time. With dinner, errands, chores and all of those activities in which your child is involved, it can be hard to find a free minute. Try sneaking in those “me” moments. A slow cooker can be a delicious timesaver. You can save 20 minutes to an hour by using a slow cooker to prepare dinner. Do you need some recipes? Visit http://www.momswhothink.com/crock-pot-recipes/crock-pot-recipes-for-the-crockpot-and-slow-cooker.html for some delectable ideas.
Are you waiting for your child to finish up sports practice? Give yourself permission to read a magazine or book. Are you at the grocery store alone? Take an extra 10 minutes to peruse the magazine aisle and read an article or two. Are you heading to a doctor’s office that has a great coffee shop nearby? Build in an extra hour to sit and enjoy your favorite latte. Even avoiding the highway and taking the scenic route while running errands can have a soothing effect.
Is your child old enough to help clean up the kitchen or take out the trash? Can your spouse or a family member take the family to the park or out for pizza while you enjoy some time alone? Communicating your needs and activating your support network can open up time in your busy schedule. Being a mom means you are constantly busy and worrying about the needs of others. Just know that it is perfectly okay to ask for help. It takes a village!
There are thousands of magazine articles and blog posts about how to be more beautiful, how to be a better mom and how to be a better wife — the list goes on and on. Sometimes you just need to be the lovely, imperfect you! While it is wonderful to want to grow as a person, there are times when loving yourself and allowing yourself space for imperfection are more important than getting one more load of laundry done.
At the end of the day, your family can only benefit from the things that help you stay sane and happy. Just as your child learns and grows every day, so do you. You open up doors to growth and contentment when you take the time to breathe deep, enjoy the small things and reflect on your life. Recharging your battery means you can focus more on your loved ones when they need you most. Having even a small sense of balance is like a stone dropped into a pond — it has a beautiful ripple effect on all those around you.