Ten Sure Ways of Finding "Mom-Me" Time

Just last week, a group of mom's gathered to discuss the importance of finding time for themselves in the midst of parenting.  This group of which I am part of, Mocha Moms, is following and discussing the chapters of  Time for mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for A Mother's Self-Carewritten by a fellow Mocha Mom.

I used to be a pro at finding me time, but I have since fallen a bit off of the "me time" wagon.  Last year, we employed a weekly sitter who would come each Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. which covered the evening parenting duties.  I needed at least one night off from all parental responsibilities.  I didn't want to tell the kids to eat 1000 times.  I didn't want to clean up spills, wipe poopy buts, wash faces, brush teeth and read bedtime stories.  I just didn't.  I wanted at least one night to get a weekly mani, walk the mall, meet a friend, visit the hair salon, or just sit and look at a blank wall (sans straight jacket), or even dine out with Valley Stream Dad.  When we came home, the kids were fast asleep.  Yes!  We paid the sitter and I had the rest of the evening to enjoy the company of Valley Stream Dad.  If I didn't take these moments of "me time" I would eventually find myself in that room with a blank wall IN a straight jacket.

New and/or future moms, I don't want to scare you away, but you will need a break.  I don't want to be one of those moms you hear about in the news who are drinking, mething, or forgetting to take their kids out of hot cars due to fatigue.  If you're not a healthy mom, how can I raise healthy children?

I am trying to find my way back to "me time" now that the school year has ended.  We're onto a new schedule and a few weeks in, things have finally settled down.  We no longer have a weekly sitter, but Valley Stream Dad did suggest that we have the girls across the street come over once a week during the summer.  I guess I'm showing signs of fatigue again.  

Here are my suggestions on finding a little "me time" in each day:

1.  Rise an hour early before your children to catch up on a few things or just do nothing.

2. Meet a friend for coffee at Sip This even if it is for 30 minutes.

3. Put the kids to bed at a decent hour such as 7:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.  so you can have a few hours to yourself or to share with your spouse.  It may be hard at first, but it is possible.  If your child is difficult to put down to sleep, it's your fault.  We used Supernanny's techniques from her show.  You can read about them in Ask Supernanny: What Every Parent Wants to Know.  Her suggestions work!  If you want your children to see their dad/mom after work and want to keep them up, establish a morning routine instead where the kids can see them.  Special time with mom/dad can happen anytime during the day.

4. After the kids are in bed, catch up on a favorite show stored on your DVR that airs during the bedtime routine and skip the laundry for an hour.

5.  Hire a baby sitter to sit 1-2 times a week if you can afford it.  

6.  Can't afford a sitter?  Recruit another family or two and create a parenting co-op.  They provide free childcare and a playdate with their children and you reciprocate.  It's FREE!!

7.  Find a drop off play space such as The Little Gym or The Jumping Gym so you can have a few free hours to yourself.

8.  Institute quite time in your home.  As I'm typing this post, my two children are in their rooms laying down in their beds reading.  Hopefully they will eventually fall asleep.

9.  Drop them off at your parents home or invite your parents over.  I can't believe I almost forgot this one.  More than a few of my friends refuse to do this.  I can't fully understand why.  They raised you so why not trust them with your kids for a few hours, over night, or a whole weekend?  Unfortunately I'm 500 miles away from my parents and sisters, but thank God for my mother in law who visits each weekend.  Without her, I would surely be in a white jacket.

10.  I can hear the gasps now with this one.  Leave the kids home with dad.  If he is a good dad and won't send the kids into the woods alone, leave them with him.  They should be in one piece when you return.  God willing.

That's all I have for now, but trust me with these suggestions you will find peace of mind.  As a bonus, your children will become disciplined as they develop routines throughout the day.

Good luck!

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