Me Time? What Me Time?

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I have this habit of ignoring emails that seem like they are going to spell trouble. You know the ones that ask for your help, time, resources… The ones that once you open will either stick in your head in that annoying way, or every reply will claim more time. How Do You Do It?‘s Sadia sent me one of those emails. I opened it. Big mistake. I have been in an emotional kind of funk ever since.

Her email was simple, innocent, kind. She just wanted to know if any moms of multiples bloggers wanted to participate in this week’s series of posts on “Me Time”. As hard as I try I cannot get that phrase “Me Time” out of my head. Because I have no idea what it is. And it caused a fairly intense panic attack.

Me Time.

It sounds like an awesome idea. It sounds like that nebulous “Spare Time” concept I have heard so much time about. Do people really have time that is “Spare”? I feel like every second of my day is scheduled, planned, allotted. But the more that phrase stuck in my head, the more I tried to analyze my time and see if I do have any “Me Time”. Does folding laundry count? I generally have company when I use the bathroom. And showering is hit and miss. There is nothing like trying to shower while 3 year old twins pull open the curtain from either side and scream to be picked up.

Meal times I sit with the kids but I often get caught up in serving, refilling water, putting dishes in the sink (is it ok to scrub just one while they eat? Maybe 2, 3, or 4?). Story time, playing outside… it is all about the kids. It is all scheduled.

And then once they are all in bed there is the battle over not wanting to go to sleep, needing a stuffed friend, wanting cuddles, Mommy can you PLEASE rock with me? And once they are asleep (for however long they are asleep – Mommy there is a giant snake in my bed!), there is the house to pick up and work to do, papers to grade, and a husband to spend a few minutes with before I get too tired to stand.

So then, what is “Me Time”? Do I not have any? Or does it not exist? Is there such a time as “Me Time” when you are a mommy? A few weeks ago my husband took the kids out to play so I could have time to myself and I spent that time cleaning, doing laundry (I swear I do enough laundry for it to be a full time job!) and cooking dinner. Is that what “Me Time” is really all about? I am up every day before 6 to shower and get ready for my day. I crash between 9 and 10. But those hours from 10pm to 6am (ish) are mine. Maybe that is my “Me Time”. I just wish I was awake for it.


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and lifeFrom August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.

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Do These Five Things for Yourself to Be a Better Mom

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Categories Making Time for Me, Mental Health, Mommy Issues, Perspective1 Comment

On any given day, between the hours of 7:30 am and 7:30 pm, my home is a lively place. It buzzes and hums with the mischief of three busy two-year-olds discovering their world.

I rush about the house, vainly attempting to keep up with them. I toss in a load of laundry here, break up a squabble over there, and generally try to keep my children happy and alive, and my house clean habitable.

At the end of the day, I sit down to dinner with my husband and reconnect. The time between bedtime for the kids and bedtime for the grown-ups is ours.

While I love time spent with my family, it is not always easy for me to find time for myself. I’ve learned that if I want to cultivate my own happiness, I have to carve that time out of a day that seems to already be whittled down to nothing.

Over the past two years of raising triplets, I have struggled to create space for my own needs. During the first year of the their lives, I almost lost myself entirely. As time passed, I slowly began to realize that the more I focus on myself, the more I am able to be a better wife to my husband and a better mother to my children.

While I’m nowhere near perfect, I have found a balance that works for me right now. I hope that these five ideas can help you to do the same.

Be a better mom by taking time for yourself.

Define self-care for yourself. Self-care means different things to different people. If you can’t identify what it is that fills your emotional bucket, it won’t matter how much time you set aside for yourself. You will never be satisfied. For me, self-care means finding silence to read or write. Seems simple enough, but finding peace in a home with three toddlers is not always easy. I have to work for it.

For you, self-care may mean spending time with friends, exercising, or cooking. It may be an annual beach vacation or volunteering at an animal shelter. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure it suits you and that you are a happier person because of it.

Identify your best time of day. In Gretchen Rubin’s book “Better Than Before” she talks about the concept of larks and owls. People that prefer to wake early and those who would rather stay up late. It’s more of a continuum than a black or white concept.

I happen to be a lark, so getting up very early, while not always easy, is refreshing to me. In the evenings, I struggle to even make a coherent sentence after about 9:00. In the morning, I can get the same amount done about half the time. Also, I love drinking a cup of coffee that is piping hot to the last sip without having to toss it in the microwave.

Waking early isn’t for everyone. I am married to an owl, and he is sluggish and foggy in the mornings no matter how much sleep he gets. Everyone is different; it is just a matter of finding the time when you are your best and capitalizing on it.

Don’t waste your time on things you think you should be doing. This one was critical for me. The first year, I had a long list of things I thought I should be doing. I loved the thought of scrapbooking my children’s lives and pureeing their baby food. But, I constantly felt guilty about the untouched scrapbooking supplies sitting in my office. And, because I get no joy from cooking, I felt like making my own baby food was sucking all of my free time away.

Trying to fit these things into my already overcrowded schedule was making me unhappy. When I decided to focus on the essentials, the things that made me truly happy, managing my time became much easier and I felt more fulfilled.

Protect your time. Once you find the activity and time that work for you, protect it. When others ask you favors, or ask you to skip your obligation to yourself to help them out, find the strength to say no. It is so easy to treat this time as a luxury rather than a necessity. Remember how important you are and how important it is to your family that you are your best self.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Occasionally, a couple of days will slip by when I will hit the snooze alarm in favor of allowing myself a little more rest. That’s ok. Remember, this time is for you and you don’t have to be perfect. In fact, I don’t think there is such a thing. The best you can do is good enough.

 


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and lifeFrom August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.

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SAHM vs Working Mom Me Time

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Categories Balance, Older Children, Parenting, SAHM, School-Age, Working1 Comment

On Monday I wrote about how I (re)imagined “me time” in the midst of twin toddlerhood.  Being a full-time SAHM, I needed that time.  I needed time away from the responsibility of the day-to-day, minute-to-minute needs of my girls.  I needed that time to do something just for me.

Fast-forward a few years, and my girls are 6 1/2.  They’re in school, and I’ve been back to work full-time for about a year now.  They love school (and I [mostly] love my work).  Hubby and I have a great set-up.  I drop them off at school, and he — a high school teacher — picks them up in the afternoons.  He takes them for the occasional ice cream cone or hot chocolate, and homework is usually done by the time I get home at suppertime.

Everything works out great…but I desperately miss spending time with my baby girls.

Our time in the mornings before school and in the evenings after supper is always jam-packed.  On the weekends, I just want to hang out with the girls…but that doesn’t stop me from wanting some “me time”.  I’ve just had to re-imagine “me time” again, this time as a working mom.

working_mom

I take at least one day a week to do something frivolous on my lunch hour.  It might be an errand…a run to Target, perhaps…but I’ll make time to peruse the stationery and take a spin through the Star.bucks drive-thru on the way back to the office.  I might go to the craft store and walk up and down each aisle…alone!  Or I might treat myself to a chocolate chip cookie from the local bakery.

I also get out at night from time to time, after the girlies are in bed.  I recently discovered the nail salon is open until 8pm.  It feels a little rushed…but I can keep up my monthly pedicure without taking time away from the girls.

And on occasion, I still leave the girls at home with Daddy to do something by myself.  It’s hard not to feel guilty…to feel like I’m missing precious time with them…but I think it’s important for them to see me pursue my own interests from time to time.

In some ways, it feels harder to justify “me time” these days…but I know it’s still important.  It’s important for me AND — now that they’re old enough to understand — for my girls, too.

How has your “me time” evolved over the different life stages of your kiddos???

MandyE is mom to 6 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

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Evolution of Me Time

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When I had newborn twins, I considered snatching a few minutes of sleep or brushing my teeth to be enormous luxuries of “me time”.

Once I returned to work, the 11 hours of the day I spent at work or commuting was my “me time”.

When my daughters started sleeping through the night at 14 months old, the luxury of loading the dishwasher in one go was “me time” to me.

When my children grew responsible enough to be left unattended when I went to the bathroom, an interrupted potty break was “me time”… although it was rare, since the girls usually had something most urgent to discuss under the door.

When my daughters started sleeping for 10-hour stretches, reading for a few minutes before falling asleep was my “me time”.

When my marriage started to fail, a warm shower was my “me time”.

During my divorce, a stop at Sonic for chili-cheese fries before I picked the children up from school was my “me time”.

When I first became a single mother, my “me time” was while the children were in ballet class. This was my chance to chat with other parents, and sometimes to read. The children were afraid to go to sleep alone, so everything I did at home, I did with them. Even when I was at work, I was worried for them.

Now that my children are older, confident, and independent, I don’t need devoted “me time”. The kids help me with chores, or play together while I do things around the house. When we spend time with our friends, the children naturally wander into one room while the adults end up in another. The age groups intermingle and separate organically, and we all get our social fill. I consider my visits to the gym “me time”, but my kids enjoy that time as much as I do.

In a few short years, I am sure that I will consider any time that my girls can spare to spend with me my “me time”. This evolution of “me time” has reflected the evolution of my daughters. It’s bittersweet.


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and lifeFrom August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

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Twinkly Tuesday – September 1, 2015

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Skip to Tuesday Twinklers | Skip to rules | Skip to participant badge | Skip to this week’s links

Welcome to this week’s Twinkly Tuesday, the link party hosted by Sadia here at HDYDI, Caro of The Twinkle Diaries, and Lisa at Mummascribbles.

Meet new people, share a post, and read blogs you might never come across elsewhere. Twinkly Tuesday participants are generous commenters and talented writers.

Each week Lisa, Caro, and I choose a favourite post. If you have been featured, be sure to claim your fame by adding the Twinkly Tuesday Twinkler badge to your blog.

My Tuesday Twinkler is from Puzzled Mummy. In this pointed letter from her 4-year-old’s perspective, Louise illustrates all the ways in which parental choices must seem completely batty to the observant child. Utterly hilarious.

Puzzled Mummy's insights on her 4-year-old's views of her parenting choices. Hilarious.

Lisa’s Tuesday Twinkler this week is from Thinking Parenting. In this very intelligent article, Anita very clearly explains why expecting a toddler’s brain to behave like an adult’s is unrealistic. Every toddler parent should read this post for an insight into why their child behaves the way they do, and perhaps even some ideas for effectively getting through to them.

Anita Cleare explains how toddlers think.

Caro’s Tuesday Twinkler is from Mummy Fever, a post on the incredible beauty of a sibling relationship. It’s beautifully titled “My shadow, my bodyguard, my bestfriend.” As someone who was only child until age 10 and who has watched my daughters interact since the womb, I was deeply touched by this post.

The sibling relationship adds so much!

Take a moment to visit these posts, if you can. We would love it if you paid a visit to the other host links, and any others that look interesting.

On with this week’s link-up!

Link up a post, old or new, that you think deserves more readers!

Twitter: Be sure to mention me — @hdydi, Lisa — @mummascribbles, or Caro — @twinklediaries, on Twitter and please use the hashtag #TwinklyTuesday. We’ll be sure to retweet every tweet tagged!

We’ll also visit everyone’s posts and leave comments between us.

Pinterest:  Lisa and I pin every post with an image to the primary Twinkly Tuesday Pinterest board and I repin the top pins on the HDYDI Twinkly Tuesday board. Send an email to mummascribbles@hotmail.com or tweet Lisa your email address and she’ll add you to the primary board. No more than 2 posts per week please!

Each week, all three of us pick our favourite posts which will be featured on the following week’s Twinkly Tuesday page.

There are a few easy rules to follow, to ensure that everyone’s posts get the attention they deserve. Please do make the effort to abide by the rules, in fairness to the vast majority who do. We have been forced to block participation for repeat offenders who haven’t responded to multiple reminders.

  • Link up one post per week — old or new.
  • Please be kind enough to add our badge to the bottom of your post/s or your linky page. (Scroll down for the code.) If you haven’t (yet) been featured, please make sure you’re using this badge and not the featured one.
  • Please comment on at least two other posts including the one directly before yours. Visit and comment on as many others as you can. Of course, checking out the hosts’ posts would make us feel very loved.
  • Please use #TwinklyTuesday in your comments so people know where you found them!
  • By linking up, you give us permission to use images from your blog if featured. You also allow us to add you to a mailing list to receive a weekly announcement when Twinkly Tuesday opens.
  • The linky closes at 23.55 GMT tonight.

We look forward to reading all of your fantastic blog posts and seeing you again next week! Remember to grab our button!

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Here’s how to add our badge to your site. Enter HTML editing mode on your post, sidebar, or page. Copy the code in the box below and paste it into your site in your code/html view. Save and publish. That’s it!

Twinkly Tuesday
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Mommy’s Workout Time

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Categories Childcare, Health, Lifestyle, Making Time for Me, ParentingTags 2 Comments

I work in IT and spend my day at a desk. Like many people, I have to exercise for both physical and mental health. I’m not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination. Without an effort to get myself moving, I wouldn’t get any exercise beyond that provided by housework and playing with the kids.

Structured exercise classes are what work best for me. When my kids were younger, I was reasonably good at using exercise DVDs to keep myself moving, but I’ve since become a member at a local gym. At a bare minimum, I make it to Saturday morning full-body weight class. In a great week, I might attend 4 workout classes spread over 3 days.

When I had infants and toddlers, it didn’t even occur to me that going to a gym was an option. The gym at work didn’t provide childcare and it never occurred to me that other gyms might. I was pleasantly surprised that the local gym had dropoff childcare for children of all ages, included in the base membership price. I haven’t seen the infant room, but I’ve really liked the indoor playscape made available to younger children and the video games, air hockey, and craft centres in the room for older kids.

In addition to having plenty to do while I’m exercising, my daughters are also learning that it’s important for adult women to take care of our bodies and health. I’m sure they see how much my energy suffers on the rare week that we have to skip a gym visit. They’re such active children now, but I hope the example of mommy’s workout will stay with them if they pursue more sedentary careers in the future.


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and lifeFrom August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.

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Why I Need Meditation to be a Good Mother

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Categories Feeling Overwhelmed, How Do The Moms Do It, Making Time for Me, Mommy IssuesTags 2 Comments

I am not one for absolutes.

In motherhood, as in relationships and jobs and family, the scene before us is always changing, so we learn to adapt. Today’s toddler meltdown may need to be handled differently than yesterday. The bills need paying and the kids need braces. Learning to respond to challenges with intentional reactions instead of instinctual yelling and foot-stomping takes a lot of patience and self-control, (the very things we try to teach our kids, but gosh darn it if we aren’t still learning those lessons ourselves).meditation1

Without fail, every day, absolutely, no ifs ands or buts about it, I meditate. I meditate to be a better mother. I meditate to practice accessing that still, quiet space that exists somewhere in my mind. (It’s really hard to find some days!) I meditate because when I don’t, I feel easily overwhelmed, tossed about like flotsam in the chaotic seas of mothering young children. It’s exhausting. I yell. They cry. I feel guilty. We all lose.

When I keep up with my meditation practice, it makes the difference between being the mother I want to be, or the one that makes me feel guilty at day’s end. It gives me a chance to practice listening to my thoughts and pausing before reacting. Concretely, it gives me the awareness to stop myself before I yell right back at my twin three-year-olds for their incessant whining. Instead, my practice helps me take a deep breath, squat down to their level, and explain calmly that I will listen to them when they speak to me with respect, not whining.

For me, meditation is not religious, but it is very hard spiritual work. It has its roots in Eastern traditions, but meditation need not be limited to a particular sect or religion. Anyone can meditate. In fact, I bet a lot of you do, but don’t realize it. You know that peace you experience on a nice after-dinner stroll? The kind where you notice the wind in the trees and feel so alive? That’s meditation.

Meditation is the practice of slowing down, being fully aware of what’s in front of you, and blocking out distracting thoughts about what happened,what’s coming, or what you should remember for later. For some, like me, meditation is a more structured practice of sitting in stillness and falling into a kind of dream-like state.

Sometimes I use a japa mala to help me: I say a mantra, and finger each bead for each repetition, 108 times for each of the 108 beads. Gives my mind something to do!
Sometimes I use a japa mala to help me: I say a mantra, and finger each bead for each repetition, 108 times for each of the 108 beads. Gives my mind something to do!

I sit still, close my eyes, and start paying attention to my breath. Sometimes I count them, sometimes I just imagine where that breath is going on an inhale and coming from on an exhale. After a certain point, grocery lists and to-dos start popping in my head, so I imagine sweeping them to the side, like on a screen. Swipe, and it’s gone, back to stillness. Sometimes this is all I do for 10 minutes: Sit, breathe, distraction, swipe it away, repeat. Other times I sit and feel stillness turn into what I describe as warmth and love radiating through me. It makes me feel worthy, important, loved and capable of seeing that same love in others.

I know for some, this seems pretty hokey and hippy, and I suppose it is! But just the way we practice running further when training for a race, or learning chords before writing a song, I meditate to practice honing my patience: patience with myself and patience with others (especially those of the under-five crowd!). I still falter. I still lapse and yell and use sarcasm and do things I don’t like. Then I begin again, keep trying, and never stop learning.

Everything about motherhood changes. Our children’s needs change, our families change, our surroundings, our resources and our health. My meditation practice does not. I have to do it. I want to do it. It is time I need to focus on myself, no distractions.

I need meditation so that when I return to the fray of a busy breakfast before heading out for the morning, with demands being asked of me left, right and centre, the spills and hurts and tears and whining and a ringing phone don’t do me in. My girls instead see me take a deep breath, choose a reaction, and steer the ship with confidence, adjusting the sails as necessary.

Sarah is a mother of four girls, including two identical twin three-year-olds. She blogs at www.cureforboredomiscuriosity.com and is happy to help anyone with questions about starting a daily meditation practice. 


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and lifeFrom August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.

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Imagining “Me Time” in the Midst of Motherhood

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Categories Making Time for Me, Mommy Issues, Parenting2 Comments

When my girls were 2, I committed to a blog link-up entitled “52 Weeks of ME!”  It was meant to encourage mamas to carve out some “me time” every week.

Sounds wonderful, right???…although at the outset, I didn’t quite know how I would swing it.  I stayed home with the girls all day, every day.  And since I wasn’t working, we tried to be conservative with our finances.  I couldn’t afford regular date nights, and a pedicure was something I could only do occasionally.

Once I got into the swing of things, though, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d feared.  Actually, it was downright enlightening to challenge myself to think differently about “me time”.

Sure, some weeks I treated myself to an actual treat.  I bought a new sundress.  I had dinner out with my hubby.  I went out for coffee with a girlfriend while the babies napped at home with Daddy.

More often than not, though, I had to get creative.  I soon found it wasn’t always about the “thing” I did…but how I positioned it in my mind.

Here are a few examples of my “me time”:

First time wearing my flip-flops for the season! It wasn't quite warm enough, but it was exhilarating to feel the sunshine on my feet!
First time wearing my flip-flops for the season! It wasn’t quite warm enough, but it was exhilarating to feel the sunshine on my feet!

I skipped my nap time chores and took a luxurious bubble bath in the middle of the afternoon.

I loaded the girls up in the car with the sole purpose of going through the Starbucks drive-thru.

I bought a new magazine and read it cover to cover over the course of the week.

I set aside 30 minutes a day to do some long-overdue crafting.

I called my college roommate, whom I hadn’t spoken with in way too many years, and we had the best time catching up.

There was the element of anticipation—What am I going to write about this week?— the planning, the conscious enjoyment, and the reflection that made this such a worthwhile challenge.

Over the course of that year, I taught myself to be fully present, to take things as I could get them, and to appreciate the little things in the context of my hectic toddler-twindom.

If you can snag some super-indulgent “me time”, GO FOR IT!!! Enjoy that girls’ weekend, that Swedish massage, those adorable new shoes!!!  But when you can’t, find something to step back and appreciate… just for you.  And do it often.

MandyE is mom to 6 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and life

From August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.

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Children Matter, But Not Above All Else

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Categories Making Time for Me, Marriage, Parenting, Perspective, Time Management47 Comments

My children are not the most important thing in my life. GASP! Okay. Deep breath. Let’s try this one again.

I have four incredible, messy, beautiful, frustrating, funny and crazy children. And they are not the most important thing in my life. There… I said it.

I realize that such a statement is not a popular one, so let’s go back to the title that children matter. My children matter so much to myself and my husband. They are the reason we wake up early (too early) every morning. They are the reason that my husband works hard at his wonderful job. They are the reason I chose to leave my job and stay home after the Twinkies (#3 and 4) were born.

IMG_20150706_090751977

These four beauties hold my heart. So why aren’t they the most important things in my life? Three big reasons: doing so makes them the center of my world, my marriage, and taking care of their mama (me) matters a whole lot.

#1 – Making my children the most important thing makes them the center of my world.

The idea of making my world revolve around my children is a problematic one for me. Making them my sole focus puts unrealistic expectations on them and gives them the job of making me happy. They are children, they are innocent, and their only job is to be a kid, not to make their mama happy. Additionally, making them the center of my world takes energies away from my marriage and self-care.

#2 – Nurturing my marriage benefits my entire family.

Special K (my hubby) and I have built a strong foundation for our marriage, but that doesn’t mean that we can forget about it and count on it to be just as strong later on. We must put time and energy into our marriage. Whether they know it or not, our children need us to nurture our marriage so that they can grow up in a happy, healthy, two parent home.

In no way am I putting down single parents or divorced parents. As a child of divorce, I know what it feels like and I nurture my marriage in the hopes of protecting my children from such feelings.

If you’re a parent, you know that your child(ren) watch everything you do… everything. This includes how I speak to my husband, how he greets me when he returns from work, how we fight and how we make up. We know that our children watch our examples, and in putting my marriage first, I am (hopefully) teaching them how to model their relationships after ours.

Okay so how do we do that?

I’m going to delve deeper into this on a future post this week, but for a few quick ideas:

  • Date night in after the kids are in bed. Easy and free!
  • Utilize offers from family and friends of help, whether that’s bringing a meal, watching kids, or something else. If people in your life offer to help, let them!
  • Get creative! We are a single income family supporting 6, but we still make time (which sometimes costs money) for our marriage. Our last date was a trip alone to the grocery store! Sexy? No. Fun and loaded with non-kid conversation? Yes! There is no limit to how creative you can get. You just have to be willing to look at things differently and be committed to taking time to take care of your relationship.

We had children early into our marriage, but we were married first. This relationship is primary for us. Someday, if we do this whole parenting thing right, our children will leave our home as independent individuals and we will be left with just each other. After our children grow up, I want my marriage to continue and I want to know and love the man that I’m sharing an empty nest with. In order to do that, I have to put him and our relationship before our children… FOR our children.

#3 – Taking care of mama so that I can, in turn, take care of the children.

Oftentimes, I find that I take care of my family before I take care of me. I’m sure that I am not alone in this. For the last year, I’ve been dealing with a major health issue that has hopefully been resolved with recent brain surgery. I had to leave my children for three very long weeks while I left the state to receive my surgery and post-operative care. Since being home, I’ve had to let others take the lead while I ensure that I don’t overdo it. Obviously, this is extreme, but the point is still valid. If I didn’t take care of myself, I would have died. Then who would be their mother?

Okay, how about a more relatable tale? With my last (twin) pregnancy, I gained about 55 pounds. I nursed both twins so the weight came off quickly, but I knew that I needed to take care of myself to keep the weight off after weaning the girls. I found a gym with daycare options and pinched and tweaked our budget for a few months while we worked the membership into it. As soon as I got the membership, I went at least every other day. I found that when I was done at the gym, I felt stronger, healthier, and more emotionally available to my children.

What I’ve learned over the past few years is that I am a better mother when I am healthy, well rested, etc. Perhaps you need 10 minutes to yourself to sneak in a walk after dinner when your spouse or friend can watch the children? Perhaps you need to skip a latte or two so you can get your hair done? Perhaps you need to go to bed 30 minutes earlier tonight so that you are better rested for your day tomorrow? Whatever it is, if you take care of their mother first, your child(ren) will have a healthier, more secure, happier life.

What things do you do to take care of your marriage/your relationship/yourself?

How do you encourage or remind yourself to take time for you?


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and lifeFrom August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.

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Make Time for Mom: A Theme Week Kickoff

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Categories Balance, Making Time for Me, Mommy Issues, Perspective, Theme WeekLeave a comment

Welcome to Making Time for Me Theme Week 2015!

This week of posts has been a long time coming. The HDYDI MoMs have been talking about getting it underway for over a year. Other priorities were more pressing and I couldn’t quite find the time to pull the pieces together.

That’s exactly what this week is about. As mothers, everyone and everything else comes first: our children, our spouses, our careers, our communities. Many of us remember to nurture everyone but ourselves. We all know that balance and mental health require us to include ourselves on the list, but it’s easy to let ourselves—our non-mommy selves—fall to the wayside.

This week, the exceptional How Do You Do It? writers are going to share our thoughts on the time we devote to being something other than mom. We’re going to talk about what we do during those fleeting moments. We’ll discuss the sacrifices we make to find time for ourselves and the sacrifices we make when don’t. You’re going to read a variety of perspectives because we’re all different and me time means something utterly different to each of us.

How Do You Do It? is, above all, a community, and we welcome your voice too. Share your thoughts with us here in the blog comments, or on our social media in response to our posts. If you’re inspired to write about your own thoughts and experiences making time for yourself, or have an older post that fits the discussion, please link it to our theme week linkup. Tell your friends!


Making Time for Me - a series on mothers finding time for themselves in the middle of the insanity of parenting and lifeFrom August 31 to September 4, 2015, How Do You Do It? is running a series on “me time” for mothers: why we need it, how we make it, what we do with it. Find the full list of posts on the theme week page.

Have you blogged about mommy time on your own blog before? Are you inspired to do so now? Link your posts at our theme week link up! We’ll do our best to share them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #metime.

Share this...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone