Today’s link up topic is “Remembering You – taking care of yourself and keeping your identity”.
Wow. As a busy mom of two, it’s HARD finding time for myself. It’s hard for ANY mom. If you stay at home, you’re with your children practically 24/7. If you work, as I do, then you spend your time in the mornings/evenings, getting things ready for the next day, and your time away from your children is spent working. Finding time for myself in the midst of keeping our home clean, the laundry done, children loved and happy, is not something that is easy to do, but it is NECESSARY.
I have a love/hate relationship with taking time for myself. Often times, when I do make time for me, I feel incredibly guilty for doing so. I feel bad for leaving the kids with Zach or I feel bad that I’m not spending time with them. But I also know that having time for me is a way I take care of myself both mentally and emotionally. It makes me a better wife and a better mother.
This last week, I had a dilemma. Ava had something in the morning that I needed to be at, and Zach had something in the afternoon and I needed to be there, also. I didn’t know how to juggle that and work, or how to let one of them down and which one to let down. So I decided to take a day off from work. And you know what? I felt GUILTY. Even though I was doing it to be there for them, I felt bad that I was going to have several hours between these functions and I’d be using a day off when they weren’t able to be with me! And then I got to thinking. WHY should I feel that way? I work hard at home and I make sure that everything that needs to happen, happens. So what if I used one of my 19 days off when they wouldn’t be around when I use the other 18 to spend time with them?
I think moms are wired like that. They take care of everything and everyone else and more often than not, they put themselves last. We work tirelessly, do chores, fix boo-boos, cook, clean, and a million other things – why should we not get the time to relax, too?
I know everyone is different and enjoys different things so here are some of the ways I take care of me and keep my identity (and sanity!):
- I spend my lunch hours in three ways: exercising, running errands, or lunch with friends. The exercise is for me. If I don’t do it at lunch, the only other time I can fit it in is to wake up at 5:00 a.m. I much prefer doing it at lunch. I also like to use this time to meet up with friends for a quick visit. Running errands isn’t so much for me, but it does keep me from having to do them with the kids in tow.
- Devotional time – this feeds my soul and honestly keeps me sane.
- I don’t do it often, but I love going to get a pedicure! There is something so relaxing about having my feet in a tub of warm water and my nails getting all pretty!
- Girls nights out!!! There isn’t much that is as uplifting to me as hours filled with my favorite girlfriends! I had a girls night this past Saturday and actually get to have another this Friday. I’m SO grateful for this time to just forget about everything for a while and spend time with people I truly enjoy being around. I’ve even done a couple girls’ weekends and they are SO wonderful. Time away is sometimes the key to coming back feeling refreshed and renewed!
- If an errand needs to be run over the weekend, sometimes I’ll escape by myself and have a little leisurely shopping time. I love when the errand includes needing to stop at Target and I can peruse the aisles slowly and by myself! I also LOVE being able to listen to the music I want and singing along!!!!
- Date nights! Now, that’s not necessarily alone time, but as a couple, Zach and I need alone time too. We don’t do as well as we should in regular date nights but we do try as often as we can. This past fall, we also took our first extended getaway. Let me say this: being away from the kids for 2-3 days and being able to just be Zach & Sarah and not Dad & Mom was SO good for us. I know that’s not easy to do, and I don’t know how often we’ll be able to do it, but I’d highly recommend it!
- Reading! Losing myself in a good book can be so therapeutic for me. I don’t have enough time to read as much as I’d like, but it’s something I truly do enjoy so when I get the time for it, it’s a great way for me to unwind.
Life is full of hustle and bustle. I hate thinking that I may miss out on something with my kids, but I realized something else over this weekend. My girlfriends and I spent an evening at our house on Saturday evening. Zach took the kids out for a while. I’ll say this – my kids and I are so lucky because Zach is an AWESOME daddy! He does SO much and shares so much of the responsibility of the kids, but he doesn’t often have alone time and the chance to do activities with them like I do. Me having this time over the weekend was good for him and the kids, also. They were dependent on him and they got to make memories with him. I will definitely remember that the next time I feel guilty about needing some me time.
I’m SO SO SO grateful for my little family. I wouldn’t change one thing about us. But the days (and nights) can be hard, and taking care of me and taking time for me helps keep things in perspective!