Taking Time for Yourself. Yes, Really!

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This past Sunday, I ended up taking a nap for two hours! When I woke up, I said to my husband, “Why didn’t you wake me up?” To which he responded as he usually does, “You needed it!” Well, of course. I said I had tons to do, I didn’t have time to nap!

Both statements are true. I didn’t have time for a nap, but I did need it. As we all do! All the time, especially if your children are under the age of four (and probably older than that as well, I just can’t speak personally on that)! This brings me to my point: You need to take time for yourself! Really!  You can’t be a good momma if you are too exhausted or busy to have a little me time. I’m not talking a whole day or weekend here (though those are warranted as well)! I’m talking even just twenty minutes, to yourself. Maybe for you this means meditating among the screaming or leaving the room while the toddler finishes her fit (this is what the experts tell us to do anyway)! Maybe it means taking an extra long shower (that is, the one time I am not interrupted).

Now, if you take a look at my house, you would probably think I take time to myself all the time! My super power is not “Phantom Mommy.” There is usually a mountain of laundry in various places around my house. Our sink is often full. One day, I’ll figure out how to stay on top of it all (probably when the kids move out of the house). None of these things matter much in the long run. I dare say my children will remember me spending time with them more than anything. And while I do hope to keep my house clean, I am willing to forfeit that in order to take time for myself.

So, yes I am a huge advocate of taking time for yourself. It is so so important! We must remember that we had lives before children and we had our own personalities and hobbies and passions. And you know what, it is okay to continue to pursue our own interests.

So here’s a list of ideas to help you take a little time for yourself. Pick one or two or all! Just make the time. It is often said, you make time for the things that are important to you! Make sure you are one of them!

  1. Take a Nap!

  2. Wake up before your kids (or stay awake after everyone goes to bed) and read or write or watch what you want on tv, whatever restores you!

  3. Plan a girls’ night out! Thanks to Jessi Rymer for the great moms’ night out!

  4. Plan a trip or even just a night away. You don’t even have to go very far. We recently just visited friends only an hour away. The point is to get away, with or without your significant other.

  5. Sleep in once a week and let your hubby get the kids breakfast. They can do this, I promise! If your kids are older, then let them get their own breakfast. They are usually capable of more than for which we give them credit. My three year old can pour her own cereal (as long as I don’t care that she pours the whole box out)!

  6. Let your kids watch a cartoon or read books in your bed while you sleep.

  7. Be spontaneous. Schedules are important but so is living in the moment. Sometimes you just have to throw the schedule away (and I love schedules so this is a hard one for me)! I loved Stefanie’s post on this: “Why not say yes?” Why not say yes? Dinner can be a little late sometimes!

  8. Write an encouraging note to someone each week, even if it is to someone in your house. That’s 52 people who know you appreciate them!

  9. Read a blog! (Hey! You are doing that right now! Good for you!) Read a magazine or a fiction book just for you that does not have pictures! Peruse Facebook or Twitter. Play a game on your phone or xbox. Waste 30 minutes a week doing something that you enjoy (I have to be careful on this one as I can easily waste more than 30 minutes of my time). The guilt factor rarely registers in my mind. Maybe…that’s my super power?? 🙂

  10. Go for a walk. Without the kids and sometimes with them. I love Saturdays because I can walk my dog without a three year old trying to “help” or push the stroller into oncoming traffic. Or I can choose to walk with them and enjoy our time together. The best part is I get to choose!

  11. Show a neighbor you care every week; bring some cookies, talk on your deck, invite them over for dinner (you can even just order pizza or pick up one of those yummy meals at the grocery store)!

  12. Ignore household tasks! Each week, don’t do a “have to.” Watch the world still spin. It’s pretty amazing actually.

  13. Make a phone call or send a Facebook message or an email once a week that is just for you. Reconnect with an old friend. You will be glad you did!

  14. Find a mentor and be a mentor! You need help and someone needs your help. Try to meet once a week! I meet a friend once a week for a walk. I used to have coffee chats over the phone with a friend. Just encourage each other to love!

  15. Lastly, SILENCE! Yes, it is possible. Go outside, stay in the shower or bathroom longer. Wake up to watch the sunrise. Go for a drive. Turn off the TV, the phones, the radio, anything that beeps or flashes or vibrates! Have complete silence! Lock the doors if you must. 30 minutes. That’s really not that long! That’s how long an average sitcom or cartoon is (hey your kids can watch cartoons while you do this! It’s okay! Or they can entertain themselves drawing or coloring or reading). I’m betting we all can find 3o minutes somewhere.

You know that episode of The Middle where Patricia Heaton locks herself in the bathroom for 15 minutes while at work? That episode always comes to mind when I think of taking time for myself. She came out to pure chaos, but you know what, in a comedic way, she was able to take on the chaos with a refreshed mind. Let’s give to ourselves so we can give our all to everybody in our lives who need us.

What ideas do you have for taking care of yourself? Thanks for reading!

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