I love my job. I get to be the primary caregiver of my two young boys. It is the job I was born to do and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing with my life. As with any job though, if I am not fulfilled in other ways, I lose the passion I have for my day job. As a stay at home mom, it is easy to forget to take time for myself. In fact, the default setting for most women is to take care of everyone around them. The burn out with this type of living is inevitable. If we are not investing in ourselves, we will have nothing left to give to others.
Many of us enjoy a girl’s weekend or day at the spa but let’s be honest. We can’t fit that into the schedule (or budget) as often as we’d like. Instead, why not work ‘me time’ into your routine in small ways? If you take time for yourself, even in very small doses, you will be much better prepared to care for those around you. Here are five ways that you can sneak some ‘me time’ into your everyday life.
- Leave the house 20 minutes earlier than necessary. If you must arrange childcare so that you can go to the doctor, or dentist, why not have the sitter arrive 20 minutes early and stop for a cup of coffee or meet up with a friend for a quick chat before heading to your appointment?
- Listen to a podcast while in the shower…or while unloading the dishwasher or doing other simple tasks. There are podcasts covering a wide array of subjects including news, self-help, and entertainment. There might even be a podcast that discusses episodes of your favorite TV show. Podcasts can be listened to on your smartphone. Invest in a Bluetooth speaker (some are even waterproof) and enjoy listening to content that interests you while going about your daily routine.
- Always carry a book, magazine, or journal. Car line taking forever? Prescription not ready when you arrive to pick it up? No worries! Relax and enjoy a few unexpected minutes of ‘me time’. I often read while waiting in the car line to pick up my preschooler. What about that 2.5-year-old in the back seat, you ask? Sometimes, I let him play with my phone, sometimes he reads books, and sometimes he tears the coupons out of my Kroger mailer (Fine motor skills activity!) If you always have a book on hand you can even get in some ‘me time’ with a little one in the back seat.
- Take advantage of “nap” time. Nap time is a great time for you to dive into a project or hobby. Sew something, paint something, or learn to play the mandolin by watching videos on YouTube. Do something that makes you happy. If your child no longer naps, institute a quiet rest time.
- Join a gym that has child care. Exercise is important and most of us don’t get enough of it. Find a gym in your area that has child care on site. Hopefully that gym also has amazing group fitness classes and state of the art equipment (we can dream, right?). You can enjoy a little time away from the kiddos, get a good sweat on, and maybe even meet up with a workout buddy.
Each one of these tips can help you focus on YOU. You are a mother, partner and employee, but you might also be an artist or musician with interests beyond your family and job. None of these activities can compare to the restorative nature of a weekend away or an evening out with your partner or friends, but they can be executed much more often. Carve some ‘me time’ into your everyday life, fit in a girl’s night occasionally, and you will be a more effective mother, spouse, employee, and friend.
If we are not investing in ourselves,
we will have nothing left to give to others
Want to be a more effective mother, spouse, employee, and friend? Carve some ‘me time’ into your everyday life