As moms, we talk about balance a lot. It’s not always work-life balance either because you don’t have to be a working mom to feel like you never have time for yourself.
Working moms, work-at-home moms and stay at home moms all have one thing in common. We regularly put our own needs last for for the good our kids, spouses, work, friends, family members, pets, random strangers, you name it!
But doing this is dangerous because when mom – usually the heart of the home and the family – burns out (as we all inevitably do) then everyone around us suffers. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to work some much needed me-time into your life before you hit the wall:
Five easy ways to schedule me-time
Schedule your me-time
Picking a time – the same time – every week can be the easiest way to ensure you get some time for you in between your kids activities and household chores. Whether it’s two hours on a Saturday morning to go to yoga or cheap movie night every Tuesday when you take the same time every week it becomes a part of the regular routine. Everyone in the household will adapt to the time without you…trust us. And you can count on it every week.
Me-time isn’t the only thing it’s hard to make time for; so many moms struggle with finding time to exercise or practice self care. So combine the two. Hit up the gym and then relax with a book and a cup of coffee at your local cafe after as a treat. Or meet friends for dinner and head to yoga after.
Seize the opportunity
Sometimes we get an unexpected chance to escape. A last minute invite to a movie with a friend. Or your kids are invited to a playdate you weren’t expecting. Whatever the situation…don’t be afraid to say yes to that invite and read a book with a cup of tea while your kids are playing. All too often moms choose to do a chore or task when these moments arise rather than taking a break.
Having someone helping you achieve a goal always makes it easier right? Well me-time isn’t any different. Talk to your spouse about your needs and get their help to make it happen. Sign up for a class with a friend – knowing they are counting on you to be there will be motivation for you to go every week.
Chores Don’t Count
As moms we like to try and fool ourselves into thinking we are actually getting some quality time on our own. How many times have you said – or heard another mom say – “I LOVE going shopping at 10pm without the kids. It’s the perfect time to go!” Let’s be real here. We’d much rather be watching TV or reading a book or having a bath or sleeping or 794 other things than be grocery shopping at that moment. That is not me-time – that’s a chore.
So cut yourself a little slack. Remind yourself that life will indeed go on without you in your house. Let go of the guilty mama syndrome for just a few hours while you recharge.
You – and those around you – will be better off for it.
Kelly is the Managing Editor for VancouverMom and Director of Corporate Development for Crisp Media. She can't function without her morning coffee and hates making school lunches - especially when she forgets its hot lunch day. When not out enjoying the city with her husband and two daughters she can be found on her laptop at a cafe working on her novel.