I know, I know. Just reading the title to this post seems silly (or siyyee if you are used to hearing a two-year-old’s voice in your head all day). At first glance, it may even seem pretty selfish and near impossible. I mean, who has time for that? But dear mom, it is essential! Not just for you, but for everyone’s sanity and wellbeing, we need precious “me time” as moms. When I used to hear this mentioned on occasion, I would think “yeah right, maybe in an ideal world.” But the reality is just as my car YELLS at me when it hits “E” with that obnoxious, “Ding, Ding, Ding,” when we are running on fumes as moms, our attitudes SCREAM at those around us that we NEED to be recharged!
When my son was a baby, I loved being with him 24/7. I am naturally a baby person and a cuddle person, really. I don’t mind smelling like spit up as long as I know I can cuddle my baby for two whole hours while he naps . . . pure delight. However, when my son became a crazy, busy, into-everything toddler, I realized I DESPERATELY needed time to myself.
Some MOST days I longed for nap time when I could finally slow down, have a glass of sweat tea, and relax. But honestly, nap time was never quite delightful. It seemed as if all of the chores I kept pushing aside accumulated for nap time, so I would rush around like a mad person trying to get the laundry folded, the kitchen cleaned, dinner prepped, the floors swept (an impossible feat really), the bathrooms cleaned, etc. Nap time often got away from me, and as a result, I started realizing I just needed some ME TIME.
Though I desperately needed this “me time,” I was way too embarrassed to tell anyone. I mean, what would people think? Wouldn’t I seem like an awful mother if I wanted time AWAY from my little guy? How was it possible? Since I basically felt like a failure admitting this to myself, I definitely didn’t want to admit it to my husband. But, on one of those teary eyed and emotional, this is the end of the world, I can’t do it anymore kind of nights, I did it. In my crazy, over the top meltdown, I confessed it all and even admitted that I KNEW I was a failure for feeling this way. To my surprise (and relief), HE AGREED WITH ME — not that I was a failure, but that I needed some “me time.” Though he had no idea how to make it happen, he agreed with me. (Cue the hallelujah’s.) This brought me so much peace and relief.
While it took us quite a while to figure out EXACTLY what that “me time” would look like, I had such a peace that it was okay to crave some time for ME. It was okay to still want time for myself even though I loved this little human (and now humans) with my whole heart. Eventually, I started talking to other mommy friends about how I felt, and to my surprise, they felt the same way!
After I realized that needing “me time” was a thing for most of us moms, I also realized that I needed to be intentional about making it happen. So, I decided to initiate a tea group with some sweet friends to meet once a week. We chat about life, share struggles, encourage each other, laugh, give advice, and offer acceptance. One thing I really love is that we talk about EVERYTHING. When I started potty training my son, I was venting to my group about how stressful it had been trying to get my distracted toddler to “go” IN the potty. During that same meeting, one of my friends got a text from her husband telling her that her toddler had made a HUGE mess in the bathroom and “tried to clean it up.” So as a result, there may have been feces all over the walls. She shared it with us and was thankful that she didn’t have to clean up the mess! We all laughed and laughed, and I realized that potty training issues don’t just go away. And you know what? That’s okay . . . because we ALL go through the potty training blues! Just like that day, our group encourages each other where we are, and are transparent with our less than perfect days. Through it all, we laugh. A lot. These meetings always leave me feeling rejuvenated, joyful, and ready to love on my kids! Not only am I thankful for that, but so is my family!
If you don’t have a group of friends that you can be real with (including ALL of the bad days), I would encourage you to be intentional and plan a coffee or tea date! (La Madeleine is our favorite with yummy goodies AND tea!) It may be super intimidating and feel a little forced (and A LOT awkward) at first, but it is so worth it!
Maybe your “me time” is taking a mall trip alone, sewing a dress for your daughter (so jealous!), monogramming some items for gifts, painting some pottery with the girls, crafting your latest pinterest find, or trying out a new recipe. But, whatever it may be, be intentional and take that time for yourself and enjoy it! You’ll be so thankful and REFRESHED, and your family will be too!
What do YOU enjoy doing the most for “me time?”