Saturday, February 23, 2008

Taking Time for Me

I can always tell when I haven’t had enough “me time” because I start getting a little resentful. The other day, my husband took off to go to the gym, both my teenagers made plans of their own, and nobody bothered to ask if, perhaps, I might have needed to get a few things done, too. It’s always assumed that “Mom” will care for the twins and hold things together while everyone else does what they want or need to do. I have to ask if someone can “babysit” the twins if I have an errand to run, while the rest of the family does what they want, assuming I’ll take care of them. So, it’s no wonder that I sometimes start feeling a little sorry for myself. It’s not that I don’t love being with the twins and taking care of my family, but it’s just the fact that nobody thinks about my needs first. I always seem to be working my schedule around everyone else’s, but nobody considers mine before making their plans. Have you ever felt this way?

As I said, when I start feeling this way, it’s a sign that I need to take time for me. I used to feel selfish about this, but I’ve learned that doing what I want to do sometimes is actually a gift to my family. As the saying goes, “When Mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy.” And, thus, this time to do what I please makes me a happier—and less resentful—mother.

Most days, whenever the boys are at school, I jump on the computer and begin writing. I’m usually working nonstop until it’s time to pick up the twins from preschool, and then I work at least another hour after their bedtime. Needless to say, I’ve missed a lot of movies, days at the beach, and walks through the mall. But I’ve recently decided to take a few hours off every Friday to do something I enjoy—and not feel guilty about it. Friday’s a particularly good day to do this because I know that the weekend will need all my energy as the boys are out of school and we carry out our weekend plans.

The past few weeks, I’ve spent my Fridays watching the Jane Austen movies that have been playing on PBS every Sunday evening. I TiVo them, and wait to watch them on Friday when I can watch them uninterrupted by family demands. It’s my own little guilty pleasure as I immerse myself in the romantic sagas of a bygone era. Afterward, I feel refreshed and satisfied, ready to tackle “mommyhood” again! I intend to keep my Friday “fun days” even after I run out of Jane Austen movies. I’m sure I’ll think of something else to do!

I encourage every mother to take some time for herself. Do what you enjoy, whether it’s going to the movies, getting a manicure, shopping, going for a walk or even taking a nap! Most importantly, don’t feel the least bit guilty about it, even if there’s laundry to be done, bills to be paid, and a business to run. Know that your needs are just as important as everyone else’s, and you’ll be better able to handle the challenges of life when you take care of yourself first. Go ahead . . . put “me time” on your calendar now!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Susan,

    I have been blogging about this too! I am passionate about getting more 'me' time - guilt free of course.

    It's great to see someone else blogging about investing in ourselves.



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