What Mamas Have to Say Monday

by Guest Author on August 6, 2012

It’s What Mamas Have to Say Monday! Each Monday, our panel of mommy bloggers weighs in on wacky questions that we – or you – think up. Have a question you want our panel to answer? e-mail it to us at info@mamasagainstdrama.com. We’ll notify you if your question is selected!

Here’s what mamas are saying today!

Question: How do you define “me time,” and do you get enough of it? (If so, what tips would you give to other moms on this front?)

Sarah Knight

“Me time” in fantasy: a day at the spa, a girls weekend, a day to myself.

“Me time” in reality: sitting in the ER waiting to get my final rabies shot (right now), going to the grocery store while my husband watches the kids (right after my shot), walking my dog around the cul de sac at night (interrupted last week by a bat attack and resulting in my current “me time” in the ER…)

*Sarah Knight is the co-founder of Mamas Against Drama. Two weeks after the bat bite, she is still waiting for her super powers to appear. You can follow her on Twitter at @sarahsknight.

Shannon Hembree

I define “me time” as time when I am not with my kids or my husband, and I am not doing chores around the house. It is a rare and treasured thing. I do think that when you are the stay-at-home parent that it is critical for you to take time for your own mental health. You don’t even realize how important it is until you are doing something like shopping in the grocery store by yourself or waiting for a doctor’s appointment by yourself, and the glee you feel at having a moment’s peace tempts you to run around rubbing your hands together while whispering, “my precious…” It’s a little free time after all, not the one ring to rule them all.

To avoid that fate, I recommend making it an “official” thing. Coordinate a time with your spouse and write it down. More importantly, treat it like an appointment that can’t be broken. If you don’t, you are doomed to an existence where your only “me time” involves a trip to the grocery store alone. And if anyone catches you whispering, “my precious” while you are there, they may call the authorities…and then you’ll get that me time you so desperately need.

*Shannon Hembree is the co-founder of Mamas Against Drama. She is the mom of a soon-to-be First Grader and twin toddlers. You can follow her on twitter @shannon1hembree.

Farrah Ritter

‘Me time’ is a rare commodity in this house as I guess it is in most homes. The best tips I can give to other moms is that you HAVE TO make it a priority. You have got to have some time to yourself in order to make yourself a more effective mother.

Losing ourselves in the day to day routine with our kids, jobs, many hats- etc. unless we give ourselves some kind of breather we lose our ability to appreciate the small moments. If we never get the chance to miss our kids- or they us, how can we appreciate that??

Going to the bathroom in peace is NOT ‘me time’, but perhaps a bath after the kids go to bed, losing yourself in a book series (ahem- I am currently addicted to the Game of Thrones books- wow!) or catching a movie solo are little things that can help you find some time to think. or not. Plan a date with yourself once a week- make it what you want but MAKE IT HAPPEN. Put it on the family calendar- just do it.

We all make excuses as to why we are the least important family member in our home. That’s got to stop. We are SO important. I think I’ve said it before here and I’ll say it again- Motherhood is like being on that airplane when the oxygen mask drops down in front of us. We have to put it on ourselves first before we can help anyone else.

*Farrah finds sporadic moments to jot down her adventures at The Three Under. Her 3.5 year old and 21 month old twins are all boys. Someday she will own nice furniture again. Catch up with what she’s dealing with on Twitter as @momofthreeunder and Facebook.

ML Philpott

Who time?

“Me time” is one of those ridiculous phrases you make fun of people for saying… until you enter the sleep-deprived, small-children-at-home years. Then, time by yourself becomes a novelty, as does speaking in full sentences, and you find yourself hollering, “ME TIME!?” while sprinting out your front door just to see how far you can get before someone toddles out and lassos you.

You can plan it (good luck finding enough me time to plan some me time) or you can take it where you can get it.

Having gum surgery while semi-anaesthetized may not be fun, but does anyone ask you for pretzels or bandaids while you’re in that chair? No? Then it’s me time.

When I had toddlers, I used to love the rare occasion of getting stuck in traffic alone. People bitch about gridlock, but I liked it. 20 extra minutes listening to music at any volume I like? Yes, please. Me time.

To mamas in those years: Take heart. It gets better.

Once your youngest is in school five days a week, your time comes back to you a bit. It used to feel like the quiet would never come back around here; but lately it has, at least from 8-3. And while I relish those productive daytime hours, I do sometimes get lonely for my little lunch buddies and wish someone would ask me for more pretzels.

ML has a son and daughter who are both, thankyoujesus, past diaper age. She is a freelance writer and editor, as well as the author of the humor column, I Miss You When I Blink. Follow along on Twitter (@wheniblink) and Facebook.

Sarah Deaner

I define “me time” as time I have to myself without my husband, without my son and without some household chore looming over my head like laundry or dirty dishes.  It is time where I am not responsible for anyone else or anything else and can do exactly what I want to do.  That being said, I don’t think that “me time” exists in our house.  We live 5,000 miles away from our closest family members and though we have a really great babysitter we typically use her when my husband and I go out together.  “Me time” sounds really great in theory but the reality is that I don’t experience it on a normal basis. Even on the rare occasion my husband will take my son somewhere on his own I have a hard time just sitting down and relaxing.  There is always something more important to be done.

*Sarah Deaner is ex patriot living in the land of sauerkraut and bratwurst. She is a STHM to her two year old son. When she is not out and about being yelled at by Germans, Sarah can be found at www.gleatieanddeaner.blogspot.com and Sarah Gleaton Deaner on Facebook

Tracy Winslow

Me time = the panacea necessary to remain sane when my tiny people are robbing me of my will to live. And, the amount of “me time”needed increases exponentially in direct correlation to the level of fighting/whining/crying occurring at any given time in my home. “Me time” is anything from:

  • an unadulterated trip to the ladies room without people pounding on the door and crying
  • showering without having to referee about who gets to drink the last Capri Sun
  • eating an entire meal without tiny fingers “sha-wing” and then returning partially masticated chicken nuggets to my plate for me to enjoy
  • the ability to make a phone call in peace instead of every time I am prompted to verbalize why I am calling someone cries and the system disconnects me because it cannot understand my request
  • an uninterrupted hour to fold laundry without the piles being karate chopped over by stealthy ninjas
  • or a rare, highly indulgent morning at the salon in which multiple chemical procedures are implemented in order to cover up the grays that are rapidly taking over my scalp.

For the most part, I just want to be left alone for a few minutes to collect my thoughts and weep for my lost youth.

There are two kinds of “me times”: impromptu and scheduled. For impromptu “me time,” a meltdown of epic proportions has to happen on my end. When my husband comes home to me sitting in the driveway while sobbing as the kids are drawing a chalk outline of my not quite yet dead body – he knows I need “me time.” When my kids hear me say “I have changed my name to a symbol so I won’t answer you until I hear it!!!!” they know that I’m about 37 seconds from snapping. When my best friend answers the phone to a crazed lunatic shrieking on the other end about the fact that my girls have used my Chanel lip gloss to “paint” their walls she just listens, makes me laugh. She doesn’t even complain when I have to interrupt our call to stop the kids from trying to take the fish on a “baycation”.

Several consecutive hours of scheduled “me time” has to be Sharpied into the calendar months in advance and my husband has to be given multiple reminders, favors and updates about the event in order for it to occur. As for getting enough of it – no longer am I mistaken for the nanny. More often I hear “Oh! You look so…tired!” So, not so much…. But, it is critical to my mental health. When I have the ability to have some time to myself, I return to feeling blessed to have my fantastic family. Instead of feeling “Mommy’s not here. My name is &!”

If it’s not too late, try to work this into your wedding vows: “Through sickness, health and 3 hours to myself a week while you watch the kids without whining, ‘til death do us part.”

*Tracy Winslow is a mother of two young girls she believes may be closet MMA contenders. When she’s not crying in her coffee about her crows feet she can be found cursing at the raccoons that chew on her flip flops. Live vicariously through her craziness at www.momaical.com, and please follow her on FB and Twitter @Momaical.

That’s all the mamas have to say this week. Check back next Monday for another wacky (and yet profound and insightful…) round of answers from the mamas!

Read previous What Mamas Have to Say Monday posts!

{ 14 comments }

When I Blink August 6, 2012 at 8:01 am

Farrah – love the oxygen mask analogy! That’s great and so true.

Laura H. August 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

Loved Farrah’s answer! And welcome, Sarah D.! (Y’all are in for a treat with her writing! Trust me!). I promised Shannon I’d have an answer for her, but, alas, that requires a bit of time BY MY-FREAKING-SELF to be able to put a sentence together. That means a few minutes without someone hovering over my shoulder or beating a helium balloon like a bongo or griping about breakfast or yelling about the gerbil or fighting over an iPad. And all of that has taken place in the 3 minutes I’ve taken to write this response. I once read a poster that said “Teaching Kindergarten is like being pecked to death by chickens.” That’s exactly how it feels here at our house–at least on this, the week before school finally (FINALLY!) starts back…

Shannon August 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

Farrah’s is one of my faves as well — although Laura, the part about being pecked to death by chickens also made me laugh ;)

Farrah August 6, 2012 at 9:20 am

I’m glad you ladies like it! It was pretty much hammered into my brain by my post partum doula. She helped me get myself together after B and then the twins. We don’t have family here- so she was the person I leaned on, and boy did she help me see things clearly. She’s also a big proponent of getting rid of guilt. We all need someone like that in our corner!

Tracy W August 6, 2012 at 11:47 am

Ok, I am dying laughing at Sarah’s response. Bat attack? Not that it’s funny – but it kind of is when reading about it. I hope you’re ok!

Sarah K August 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Don’t worry Tracy — everyone thinks it’s very funny, including my husband, my dear friend Shannon (a phone witness to the attack), and the staff at the ER…(And I’m OK. SO happy to be done with the rabies shots. Now I’m free to walk amongst the bats!)

Shannon August 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I confess…I did laugh, but only because she was alive and telling the tale on the phone. I will get worried though if she starts taking an interest in the Twilight series and showing signs of bat or vampire-like behavior.

Laura H. August 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

How many shots? Eek. Are you communicating by translocution now? That would be cool. (and remember the old wive’s tale from growing up–that if a rabid animal bit you, you had to get 20 shots in the stomach? or maybe that was just in south georgia…anyway, shed some light on it for us. It can count as your ME-Time.)
cheers!
hoping this picture comes through…it’s what i look like after not enough Me-Time. for reals.

http://sciencenotes.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/whats-killing-our-bats/

Laura H. August 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

p.s. did you move to Santa Fe? (and i’m so glad you’re ok because, obviously, this wouldn’t be nearly as funny if you weren’t. xoxo)

Woman gets rabies shots after rabid bat attack
Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2001

SANTA FE (AP) – A woman who lives south of Santa Fe is being treated with shots to prevent rabies after she awoke this week with a rabid bat attached to her lip.

The state Health Department is warning residents to watch out for bats and keep them out of homes by closing up any attic openings or other entries.

The victim, who lives about 10 miles south of Santa Fe, took the bat with her to St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe after the bat bit her Tuesday.

Officials did not release her identity nor the exact location of her home.

BrookeB August 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Oh. My. Gosh.

Tracy W August 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Bahahaha! Attached to her LIP???? How does that even happen? And, I so, so, so freakin wish I was on that call with Shannon and you, Sarah. Or one of the bat gang members. Or in the ER. Because I always laugh when it’s highly inappropriate.

Sarah K August 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

The lip is much funnier. Mine was on the leg — and I’m not 100% sure it was a bat. But I was bitten by something while I was being swarmed by bats. The doctor said, “It’s a gray area, but I just keep coming back to the fact that it’s 100% fatal without treatment.” Um, yeah.

Sarah K August 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I think that’s true about the shots in the stomach — that’s how it used to be up until a few years ago. With the new vaccine you don’t have to get shots in the stomach anymore. I got 5 shots the first day in my arms and legs (one in the front of my leg, which wasn’t as bad as the stomach, but seemed kind of cruel and perverse), then one shot on days 3, 7, and 14 (I think).

Laura H. August 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm

holy smokes. you are BRAVE.
i hope you dress up as a bat for halloween.
:)

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