Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Making Time For Myself

Having kids changes so many things. My children have brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined. It also brought on many other things that I wasn't expecting. Why didn't anyone ever tell me how haunting "Mommy guilt" can be. Then there is this whole  parenting thing, and no a damn manual! And why didn't someone tell me that I would lose sight of myself if I wasn't careful?! Five years into the mommy gig I am beginning to smooth out the wrinkles and some days I even feel like I am doing an "OK" job. I love every bit of being a mom. I would never change any of it! Instead I have grown from it and know that this is just the beginning of my growth. Because of my children I am learning more about myself.


With that being said I have also lost a part of me. The part that did things for herself and didn't feel the guilt. For the longest time I didn't even want to leave the house without my children. I wasn't able to enjoy a date night with my husband without feeling this pain deep down, as though I had abandoned the little creatures. Seeing my girlfriends meant playdates accompanied by our children. If we were lucky we could get in a sentence or two about how we were doing. Otherwise the comfort came from just having another human being in the same room with me that wasn't going to put their sticky fingers all over my new jeans. Oh wait...yeah I meant old yoga pants. As if I actually get to buy myself new things. 

Stock Photo

The thing is I should be able to have nice things for me. I should be doing things that make me happy. As a mother I need to be sure I am also taking care of myself. For me to be a better mom I also need to be sure that I too am happy. My children do come first. That is not something that will ever change. What does need to change is that I need to put more focus on myself and take  care of this woman. It doesn't have to be big things, even small simple things can be fulfilling.

When I started running it was after my first son was born. I started running to get in shape and create a better me. In the joy of running I discovered it offered me so much more. This was/is the only time that I get to be alone with myself. This makes my running sacred and spiritual along with keeping myself fit. Running has served to be that "ME" time that I need, that time that I crave and desire


Now that the little's are not babies anymore I am feeling that I need to do more for myself. I need to take the time to celebrate myself, reward myself, and find happiness in the things that I enjoy. I am getting better at it and suddenly I know that I need to make things happen and lose the guilt. I need to let go and realize that taking care of me is not selfish, it is essential and healthy

Here are some things I have been doing and will try to make more of an effort to do in the future

* I scheduled myself a facial last week, courtesy of my hubby. I got to lay on a fabulous heated table in a dimly lit room, soft music in the background, and the scent of intoxicating oils while I had someone take care of me! Granted many of my thoughts went back to my children but I also got to talk with my girl who does my facials (who is absolutely amazing!). I had an adult conversation, got to relax, and came out with incredible skin at the end. Over the past year I have tried to do this every three to four months. It's good for my skin and it is good for me! I am allowed to get a facial, massage or my hair done. Once in awhile it is okay to splurge. Matter of fact I need to add manicure and pedicure to this list before summer comes. (No one one's to see my runner's feet right now!) 
 
* There use to be a time where I could read book after book. I think the last time I plowed through a bunch of books was when I was pregnant for my first son. Once he was a toddler I got back into reading again...then came child number two. I miss reading. I am going to do my best to try to read a little more. Even if I only get in a few pages during bath time or while they are glued to some mind numbing kids show I have seen ten times. Right now I am reading Tales From Another Mother Runner

My tablet for reading accompanied by a beer

* Last month I had dinner with one of my dear friends. It was awesome! We had actually not had any time alone together since she was last pregnant, sadly that was around twenty one months ago! I need to connect with my friends more and step outside the house. I believe it is good for my children to know that I need to spend time with my friends and even more important that my husband get some rare one on one time with them since he works a lot. I have a dinner date scheduled for next week with another friend and I am ecstatic about it. Dinner dates for mommies is the equivalent of what Christmas is to toddlers. Trust me, it's pretty awesome! 


* Then there is my writing. I want to write and not feeling bad about the time I put into it. Here's the thing, I love to write, I love to blog and I love the connections I have made. I have to admit sometimes I feel guilty when I sit down to write. I feel like I should be doing something with my kids and not sitting at the computer. It is  not like it is constant and figuring that I post only once to occasionally twice a week it should be okay for me to take some time to write. I need to write for me which means I need to let go of that damn mommy guilt and realize that it is okay to do things that I like to do. 

It's easy to lose ourselves in our everyday routines. I hope as the years go by I will learn to relish in moments for me. I hope I will continue to strive to make more time for myself; to honor who I am as a woman, a mother, wife and friend. I wouldn't change a thing about this amazing life I have blessed with. I do not regret any of the time that has passed since children are only little once. As they grow, I too will grow. Parenting is a lifelong school; teaching us as well as creating who we are in the process. Once in awhile we need to take moments to breathe, to reflect and to take care of ourselves. This life is a gift for each one of us, we must embrace it. Happiness is in everything around us, even the little things. 



What do you do you do for your "ME" time?  


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14 comments:

  1. I just like to have quiet time in my head, so running, driving, cleaning (alone) are my favorite ways to recharge. I love reading, but haven't done much lately!

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    1. Cleaning is another good one! Something I am pretty good at ;)

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  2. me time is so important and is couple time. A happy, relaxed mom is a better mom right?!

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    1. Yes! Couple time is equally important and my husband and I are getting better at that too!

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  3. It's like you were reading my mine. Very similar about how I feel. My husband and I recognize how important "me" time is so we trade off so that we each have some time for what we love to do. Yep, having kids changes things, no more sleeping-in, no more relaxing when I get home from work, but having kids is worth it.

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    1. Glad you can relate Lucie! And yes, kids are worth every second of it! I figure someday they will be all grown up and I will miss all this terribly.

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  4. I have more time to myself than I'd like! Being the mom of teens will do that to you. Yet you are never completely untethered. I was in Florida for the past 5 days with my parents, and I got a call every day and more than that from my husband. He was struggling with being in charge. Sigh.

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    1. That makes my heart hurt Wendy. I dread the teenage years. I just love how they want to crawl up on my lap everyday. I am going to be a hot mess mom when they get older. I think it is harder for men with children than it is for mothers. I hope your hubby survived :)

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  5. I love to take a bath or read. Splurge me time is a mani or pedi - pure bliss!

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    1. I don't even know the last time I took a bath! I think the mani/pedi thing is a perfect thing for me time!

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  6. Crystal, it's so true that mothers, even women in general, taking care of themselves is not selfish. That selfish bit is a product of society, not reality. Our devotion to our families does often drown out our natural instinct to care for ourselves, and it's a real struggle for balance. But despite this and society's programming, we need to do what's best for ourselves. Ironically, our families will benefit from it as much as we will. Thank you for sharing this relatable post. -Elle C. Mayberry

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    1. I am so glad you can relate to this post. It has taken me awhile to realize that it is equally important for me to take care of myself as it is my children. You are right, we all benefit when mom is healthy and happy!

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  7. Me Time is so important...without it I have noticed that I turn into this grumpy grinch which does more harm to the family than good... so I make it a point every week to take a couple hours off from parenting and just do whatever the hell I feel like doing (My husband becomes the primary parent then). Works wonders! Thanks for sharing this important reminder!

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    1. Yes Daisy! "Grinch" definitely comes out when I don't do things for myself. I can relate to that! I love that you and your husband work together to make "me" time happen. Team work! That is how it should be! Thanx for stopping by!

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