There’s no denying that the most rewarding job in the world, is that of a mom’s. However, it’s also true that it’s the most demanding and toughest job at the same time. A working mom has so much going on in her life day in, and day out, that finding me-time seems impossible.
Just how hard is making time for yourself? A working mom has to wake up so early in the morning. She has to cook, get the kids cleaned, feed them, then send them off to school. She also has to attend to her husband’s needs. Then there’s work — deadlines, urgent projects, meetings, a grumpy boss, etc.
Once she gets back home, she has to prepare dinner and clean the dishes. She also has to spend time with her kids and tuck them to bed afterward (don’t forget story time!). What about the unfinished tasks from the office? If anything, me-time for a mom is when she sleeps.
What is me-time?
Did you know that the average working mom clocks the hours of two full-time jobs per week? To be specific, a working mom works 98 hours per week according to this study commissioned by Welch’s. Furthermore, the study also found out that working moms only get an hour and seven minutes to herself each day.
There’s no specific definition of what me-time is. That’s because how one mom defines me-time can be different from another mom. It’s even possible that a mom literally can’t find me-time at all. Or at least, that’s how she feels about it.
If you have to put a meaning to me-time, Oxford dictionaries have it as “Time spent relaxing on one’s own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.”
Why is making time for yourself essential to your well-being?
The keywords based on the definition above are ‘not doing things for others’ and ‘opportunity to reduce stress.’ Finding time to yourself has both physical and psychological benefits since you’ll feel refreshed and happier afterward.
Me-time is when you’re not thinking about anything else except yourself. At the same time, exercising, meditating, and giving yourself a break are all examples of calming tips for a stressed and busy mom like you.
Me-time is also essential because of the following reasons other than being a great stress-reliever…
You’re a person
Yes, you’re a working mother. But you’re not a robot programmed only to do things for your kids and your husband.
You have feelings and needs as a person. You have things that you want to do and don’t forget that you also need to enjoy life. Finding time for yourself doesn’t mean that you’re selfish. Remember: taking time off from mommy duties doesn’t make you a lousy parent.
It makes you more capable of taking care of others
This is something that most parents often forget about. You should put your family first, of course.
However, how will you be able to take care of them if you’re always exhausted, unwell, and unhappy?
If you continue with your daily routine without giving yourself a break, you’re just putting yourself at risk of getting chronically stressed.
If that happens, you will be in no position to help and take care of the people that are important to you.
You reap what you sow
Having a me-time means that you respect and value yourself as a person.
Tending to yourself can have a positive impact on people around you especially your kids.
While it’s nice to be a ‘supermom,’ you don’t want people to treat you as if you’re invincible — because you’re not.
So value and respect yourself, and expect that other people will pick up on this and do the same.
You’re not a mom forever
Moms will always be moms, but you can’t deny the fact that at some point, your ‘babies’ will leave you.
They’ll have a life of their own, and they’ll have a family of their own. This doesn’t mean that you should not get yourself attached.
In fact, you should.
However, don’t lose yourself in the process. Don’t let go of your goals and ambitions just because you want to always be there for them.
Cherish and enjoy the precious years that you have with them but don’t forget about who you are.
How to find me-time
The key to getting that much-needed ‘time-out’ for yourself is making sure that everyone in the family understands that you need it.
Talk to your husband and make arrangements with him on your me-time schedules.
Get him to take the kids out to the park or the mall. This should give you enough time to do what you want to do.
And if you’re wondering what qualifies as a me-time, you can try the following suggestions.
Get some sleep
Me-time doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do something. Sometimes it means not doing anything at all.
Sleeping is a perfect example of that. Don’t be too hard on yourself and give yourself a break.
Give yourself a good night sleep as much as possible and try to nap whenever you feel tired.
Exercising is an excellent way to reduce stress and to keep you fit.
Give yourself a breath of fresh air by jogging around the neighborhood.
You can even do exercise routines in the park or do yoga, for instance.
If you don’t know where to start, you can check fitness blogs for working moms.
Read a book
Reading is an intellectual hobby, which gives your brain an excellent workout.
In fact, research has shown that activities for the mind such as reading can help slow the progress or possibly prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Also, reading has other benefits such as:
- Stress reduction
- Stronger analytical thinking skills
- You become gain more knowledge
- Vocabulary expansion
- Memory improvement
- Improved focus and concentration
- Better writing skills
- Free entertainment
Among the different things that you can do for your me-time, pampering yourself is probably the one that gives the best sense of joy and accomplishment.
Go out and don’t just stay at home. Treat yourself to a restaurant or a spa.
After all, a woman who feels beautiful looks beautiful.
Specifically, red wine.
It has been studied extensively, and evidence suggests that moderate consumption may help people live longer, protect against certain cancers, improve mental health, and enhance heart health.
Reconnect with a friend
Sometimes, being a mom makes you lose communication with your friends.
A me-time can be one that you spend with them. Take this time to get in touch and bond with your friends. Have fun and hang out.
Other things that you can do for me-time
- Watch TV or see a movie.
- Dance to your heart’s content.
- Take your mom to lunch (she needs a break too!).
- Try a new recipe.
- Get a massage.
- Don’t take any calls for half an hour but let your family know that it’s okay if it’s an emergency.
- Do nothing at all.
- Pray or read the bible.
- Window shop or buy something for yourself.
- Learn some parenting tips
- And a whole lot more…
To sum it up, it’s okay to find time for yourself. It’s not about being selfish, and it’s not about being an irresponsible parent.
It’s about knowing that you’re not just a mother or a wife. Above all, you’re a person that needs to grow.