As a young mother I’m constantly struggling with the balance of taking care of my daughter, other adult responsibilities, social life, and “me” time. That’s right, “me time”, something many mothers, younger or older, never really have anymore. Between work, children, household chores, and anything else they are juggling, most moms never get any time for themselves. Well, I have taken on the challenge of making “me time” work, and honestly it’s pretty rewarding.
Now, I know what everyone will say, “but I feel guilty having my child watch their favorite cartoon so I can do yoga in the other room”, or anything else along those lines. But no!
You have no reason to feel guilty, you are taking care of yourself.
If you cannot take some time to get yourself together, to get yourself feeling good, then how can you do so for others?
Okay, so I admit, I did feel guilty leaving my daughter with my parents so I could go to a pilates class. After a long day at school for her, and work myself, we hardly got any time together already. Adding something to that scheduled “us” time just seemed unfair! However, after the first week of going to the pilates class on that Tuesday and Thursday it made me realize something…that I was happier when I got home.
I was more energetic, and most importantly, I felt good. Honestly I felt great!
It was like I was a brand new person after each class. The more and more I went, the better I felt. And you know what else? My daughter saw that. She saw that mommy was happier, and that mommy was more playful. She noticed it, and she was just as happy as I was. That’s when it hit me.
I didn’t have to feel guilty anymore. I was making a positive change in my life, which was making a positive change in my mood, which was becoming contagious at home as well.
But the fun didn’t last for long. When paying for that class twice a week became a financial burden, I had to stop going. I was so upset, this wonderful hour and half time in my life was just taken away from me, and I had no idea how to get that time again. I started to notice that I was getting more frustrated easily, and I was tired more than I was before. I couldn’t do it. I had to figure something out. So I did.
Selfish is defined as only caring, or interested in oneself. Which is normally a negative thing, if you are like this 24/7. Being selfish for 20, 30, hell even 15 minutes, is not a bad thing!
It does not mean that you are a terrible person, or that you are a bad mom. You need to take care of you, for you, and for others.
When I realized that I didn’t need to leave the house to get my “me” time in, my world became much happier.
Now, it took me quite a while after that pilates class situation to realize I can have time to myself at home. It’s okay to tell my daughter to go play a game, or read, or even watch her favorite T.V. show so I can take 20 minutes to do a YouTube workout. She is not being neglected, or ignored. I am taking care of myself, after I have taken care of her. And there is nothing wrong with that, and I do not feel guilty at all.
Sometimes, she even sees me doing a workout and tries to copy my moves later, which is super cute in my opinion. But whatever it is you love to do, workout, read, paint, anything! Never feel guilty telling your children you need some time to yourself, or leaving your children with someone you trust to go do something you love to do.
It is so important that we take the time we can to do those activities we love. It’s who we are, it’s who we were before we became mothers, wives, etc.
So many times I see people who are married, with children, and have careers lose those interests. That just breaks my heart. We aren’t just mothers or wives; we are creative, beautiful individuals, and we are worth so much more than just our “daily” duties, or however you want to put it.
So please, take some time to be selfish. Take some time to rekindle your love of whatever it is you like to do. Do something that makes you feel great. Do something that makes you feel like you again. Because like I said, to take care of others, you first have to take care of you.