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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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?)
“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.
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.
‘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.
“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.
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
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!