Alone time. What’s that? If you’re a mom, you’re quite possible in the same boat as me. Some days, okay, most days, I feel like my needs come last in the whole scheme of things. From the second our eyes open in the morning, it’s all about the kids. Getting everyone changed and fed, answering 800 questions before 9am, cleaning up 25 spills and messes before 10am, making sure everyone is where they need to be on time. It’s downright exhausting. And what about us moms? To be honest, there are some days when feels like a great feat if I’ve eaten a meal by noon.
Is this healthy? No. Is it NORMAL? Yes. Completely.
But as moms, how long can we continue putting our needs last before we completely burn out?
Not long, I’ve realized.
Don’t get me wrong. I loooooveeee my kids. With every single fiber of my being. But I also know that “me” time is crucial when it comes to motherhood. For me right now, it’s difficult to leave my babe for longer than 2 hours max. But still, 2 hours is 2 hours. And after many days where I felt like I was on the verge of a total meltdown, I’ve decided that alone time is a must. A priority. For myself, my sanity, and my family. No one else can have their cups filled if mine only has one drop left.
Whether its a simple walk around the neighbourhood or an hour spent in your local coffee shop, these moments of solitude and peace can help refresh us and keep us sane! These breaks will in turn will make us better parents.
I even like running errands by myself. It’s kind of like a mini vacation. Strange? Maybe. True? Yep. While this might not excite everyone, I enjoy doing otherwise cumbersome chores that would take five times as long with little ones in tow; even the simplest of activities or errands can be a helpful breather.
But when it comes to straight-up, relaxing, take-a-breather alone time, here are 10 simple but good Making Time for Mom ideas.
Making Time for Mom – 10 Ideas for Getting “Me” Time
- Go on a Coffee Date – Alone or with a friend. Go sit in your local coffee shop or cafe and enjoy some leisurely time reading, people-watching or just chatting with a girlfriend.
- Go for a Walk in the Park – It’s true that being surrounded by nature can help alleviate stress. I find I am better able to deal with any of the meltdowns or parental woes after a good walk. Apparently being in nature even makes us nicer!
- Take a Drive – Anywhere! Seriously, some times just getting in the car, blasting some good tunes and driving around can do wonders for stress levels. Find a quiet area, preferably one near nature and trees.
- Hop on a Bike – In the nice weather, I love jumping on my bike and going for a ride. It brings me back to my childhood, cruising around the neighbourhood. Breeze in my face, hair blowing back, not a care in the world. Not only will you get a bit of a workout in, but again, the fresh air will help refresh your mind.
- Hit Up a Yoga Class – Exercise will help release endorphins, which reduces stress, which in turns makes you a happier mom. Yoga not your style? Find a class at your local gym or health club that is more in tune with you, or even go for a run.
- Indulge in Some Spa Time – I know this isn’t the most affordable one, but once in a while, try to treat yourself to a spa treatment, whether it’s a manicure or pedicure, or even a half day at the spa (hint: ask for gift certificates for special occasions like your birthday or Christmas).
- Take Yourself to the Movies – I’ll let you in on a little secret. I haven’t been to the movies in 5 years. I’m not joking. It’s not that I don’t like going, but life just gets busy and we haven’t yet found a good family film suitable for K. When my hubby and I get any alone time in, we tend to prefer renting a movie and cuddling up at home. And while going out to the theatre alone might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it can be a great way to see a film you’d otherwise not be able to watch on the big screen. Take along a friend or family member if you want,
- Run a Bath – Ahh, the wonders of a steamy bath. Pick up a good book or magazine and spend an hour relaxing in a nice bath.
- Schedule some Alone Time at Home – When I’m alone in the house, the quiet almost seems eerie; it’s such a rarity! But I also enjoy it. Send your kids out for a couple hours with your partner or other family members, make yourself a nice cup of tea (or pour yourself a glass of wine if you want) and spend the time doing whatever you want. Read that book you’ve been meaning to start for the past month, have a nap, do some gardening, write, complete that craft project you’ve been dying to work on, or even just sit and think in silence. Take the down time to do whatever makes you happy.
- Join a Local Club or Class – Have you always wanted to learn the art of pottery? Or take a painting class? Or maybe you’re an awesome cook? Sign up for a class in your town or city. This will not only give you that something that is totally yours, but you’ll be learning a new skill or art and possibly even meeting some new friends.
Do none of these speak to you? No worries. There are so many ways that you can carve out some “me” time. Just think about what it is that makes you feel most content, most at peace; that activity where you take a deep breath, look around and feel somewhat sane again. That thing that maybe brings you back to your pre-kid days. When your biggest decision after coming home from work was what whether you’d watch a movie with dinner or after dinner. For me, sitting in a quiet place with a cup of tea and good book sits high on the list of “favourite things to do, ever.”
It can be easy to lose ourselves and our interests once we become moms; these little people fill our hearts and our days. But when it comes to maintaining our sanity, for the sake of our whole family, we all need a bit of alone time to re-energize ourselves and come back more content and happier.
So the next time you’re feeling like you’re on the verge of tears, make sure you take a step back, breathe, and make some time for yourself. Fill up your own cup before it runs dry.
What is your favourite thing to do when you get some “mom” time in? I’d love to know. Please share!