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How to Take Care of You: The Importance of Mom-ME Time

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Do you ever get that feeling that you want to hide for a few hours and not be found? You know, when your nerves are at your breaking point and burrowing in your closet sounds like a good idea for just 15 minutes of peace and quiet?! Or how about wanting to shut the doors, turn off your phone and taking a very, very long drive… ALONE? Being a mom is a lot of work! When was the last time you took a real time out?

I used to go on a short girls’ trip once a year which would typically last 2 to 3 days.  There was always this underlying guilt about going on a vacation without my family.  So what did I do?  I stopped feeling guilty. Meaning, I stopped going on vacations without them.  It was a strange transition.  Sometimes I would feel jealous that my friends would still go on trips and I didn’t go along.  I chose to put my family first.  In order to make myself feel better, I would constantly remind myself that this is what being a parent/adult is all about.  You learn to make sacrifices right? WRONG!

We are constantly tending to another little or big person’s needs and somehow we manage to put our needs last.  We learn to neglect ourselves because there is something or someone more important than our need for some alone time.  I firmly believe it is extremely important to make the time to do something for yourself.  I know I am not alone here when I say that this is one of the hardest things to do.  While we can multitask and juggle our amazingly chaotic mom lives, we find it difficult to pencil in some Mom-ME time.

Taking time to take care of our needs is something we need to set as a priority.  Our mental and physical health depend on it.  And let’s face it, our kids need a healthy and happy mom.  We spend countless hours doing things for others that by the end of the day, a lot of moms can say “there just isn’t time for me.”   So, I started doing things that I enjoyed that also require me to go alone.  One of my favorite Mom-ME time wins has been YOGA!  There is something about those awkward poses and the continuing goal to make progress that brings pure joy and zen to my life.  Let’s add some heat to that room, and BOOM! We have Bikram Yoga ladies!  (Disclaimer: this is NOT for everyone!)  I don’t know if it’s the heat or the sweat but my mind goes blank and I am the only person in the room.  No kids, no husband, no dogs, NO PHONE, I LOVE IT!

Unfortunately, I haven’t made it a priority to make plans for those amazing “recharging” trips I used to go on with my girlfriends.  Planning a date night is tough enough as it is.   Perhaps after my 6 month old turns one, I may revisit that option.  So how do I recharge now?  Where is that Mom-ME time I so desperately need and quite frankly deserve?!  I asked a few of my fellow mom friends how often they take the time to really take care of themselves, and the answers were very common for most: once or twice a month for that mani, pedi/pampering appointment.  But even for that one day, most of them chose to spend it with a friend.  So, it isn’t a full 24 hours without the humans, pets, or phones constantly ringing with a question that only moms seem to know how to answer.  It’s just a few hours here and there.  Still, this counts as a win for some Mom-ME time in my book.

I now find ways to take a few hours during the week to dedicate to myself.  While I may not be child free for more than 3 hours at a time, I managed to find little ways to recharge myself.  Sometimes it’s yoga, sometimes it’s a walk, and other times it can be grocery shopping by myself.  I get this little time however and wherever I can because when my fight or flight mode becomes engaged, I know I need a time out.  So what do you do for yourself?  How do you make your Mom-ME time?

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