Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Me Time (Part 2) :: Mom2Mom
By Stephanie Kay
A conversation between Moms about the hard points of this motherhood journey.
A couple of days after last week's Mom2Mom post published I went back and read it. And I realized that what published wasn't really what had been on my heart to write. Somehow it ended up being a tip or how-to post when really I wanted to write a from-the-heart post. So I'm giving it another try today.
Today's Mom2Mom conversation is: Me Time.
Honestly, the concept of "me time" has always made me uncomfortable. Back before I had children (aka when I knew everything), I listened with horror as moms talked about needing a break from their children. I so desperately wanted to be a mom that the idea of gleefully leaving my child with a sitter so I could pursue my own agenda sounded self-centered.
After all, isn't self-denial and sacrifice the primary requirements in the Mom job description?!
Then I became a mom. You would think that my view of "Me Time" would have changed. But it didn't.
I still thought "Me Time" was selfish, only now I felt guilty because I wanted it so badly! If I went out with a friend and left my family at home, guilt set in. If I sequestered myself in my bedroom after my husband came home from work, guilt set in. If I left my family for an entire day or overnight, I tried to make it up to them and ignore the guilt!
But, as any caregiver will tell you, if you don't take time for refreshment and renewal you will burn out.
I think that's what happened to me about two years ago. I just plain burned out. Six years of meeting the needs of my family 24/7 had used up about everything I had to give.
I didn't have an epiphany or any kind of dramatic moment. I just slowly started changing how I view "Me Time." Now I see it as something that's necessary for my own well being.
Me Time isn't about fulfilling my own needs or wants.
If I get focused on what 'I' want and what 'I' need then I'm probably going to become frustrated with the people and events that get in my way. I'm going to require my family to make sacrifices that aren't in their best interest so that I can get what I want. In that case, Me Time is selfish, and I've so been there!
Me Time is about gaining perspective and a clear view of my life.
When I have a girls night out with my friend and we talk about all the crazy and annoying stuff our kids do, then I come home with the perspective that my kids are normal and healthy. And that they aren't trying to make me lose my mind on purpose.
When I spend an occasional night away from my family, then I come home with a greater appreciation for sweet bedtime hugs and snuggles.
When I spend an evening secluded in my bedroom reading a book, then I feel creative and energetic for having fun as a family.
So, if you are early in your journey as a mom, let me share my heart - this is a marathon not a sprint. Take a break from mothering every once in a while and reposition your perspective. Your family will benefit just as much as you will.
What is your opinion on Me Time? Selfish or Needed? Do you take regular breaks or is it hard to find the time?