Motherhood

Getting some Mommy Me-time

I never used to be a homebody.  The minute I walked through the door I was itching to get out!  A coffee shop, a concert, a jam session, whatever.  I loved to be around people, action, excitement.  You could say I thrived on it.

Now, by the end of the day, I’m hearing the call of the couch much, much louder than the call of any potential activity (can’t you hear it?  Rivki….Rivkiiiiii).  And that’s on a normal day.  Yesterday was not normal.

My baby is teething, but super-efficiently.  He’s getting four at once.  He is a ball of miserable, poor thing!  This means, of course, that I am holding him.  All day.  And using Motrin, Tylenol and Baby Orajel.   And lots of cuddling.  Now, my toddler is a smart kid (in my unbiased opinion).  He sees that when the baby cries, the baby gets lots and lots of attention.  So, of course, he mimics what he sees as a successful formula.

This means that I have two crying, kvetching and clingy kids.  That’s okay.  I’ve made my peace with not getting the cleaning, cooking, or anything like that done.  I’ve been drinking tepid coffee for two-and-a-half years now, and while I still prefer hot coffee, I’m not expecting it any time soon.

But, boy, is it draining!  This is why, despite my fatigue and waning desire to socialize, I went out last night.  It was clear to me that I needed some time just to be me.  Away from the laundry, the dishes, the toys that need picking up.

“Mommy – it opened by itself!”

When I take the time to do something for myself, I’m recharging my batteries.  I know that for most moms, it’s not a simple feat to schedule some time for themselves into their crowded schedule.  I usually forget to do it until I feel like I’m going to pull my hair out.  My goal is to be able to take some me-time before it’s so obviously needed.  Even though it’s hard to do, it’s pretty crucial.

Dr. Nadine Kaslow of Emory University explains why me-time is so important:

“First of all it’s really hard to take care of other people if you are not taking care of yourself. If you think about a car metaphor, if there’s not enough fuel in the car, the car won’t go,” she said. “A second reason is when people aren’t taking care of themselves, they tend to get resentful of the other people they are taking care of in their lives, so they may become short or irritable with them. A third reason is that life is more meaningful and gratifying if we take care of ourselves; we tend not to feel depressed,” she added. “We feel less anxious, and moms who are not depressed and less anxious are more able to be effective mothers.”

(from CNN.com – HEALTH)

Me-time doesn’t have to mean going out to a social event.  It doesn’t even have to involve spending any money (thank goodness!).  It could be as simple as reading a book, or taking a bubble bath, or reading my blog (what?  How’d that get there…).  I used to like to leave my kids at the sitter and go to the Art Museum.  It cost a little bit for the childcare, but it was well worth it.

How do you spend your me-time?

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6 thoughts on “Getting some Mommy Me-time

  1. This is my me time :) I write or read… sometimes I have to sneak it inbetween Shabbos cooking and cleaning though! Sometimes I practice guitar though obviously not at the moment. I do have a hard time finding the time for that one though – I’m still in the “this hurts my fingers and i forget how to strum!” phase so it’s not so much therapeutic as it is functional lol. Also I like to go to shiurim and learn about things that aren’t on my “conversion list” because sometimes I just want to learn for learning’s sake and not b/c I have to :)

    I sent my husband out to run errands with the kids since he was flexible today. What that really means is “take the kids for a few hours while I get all the cooking done in peace!” b/c frankly by Friday I am touched out!

  2. My fantasy: go to Starbucks and read the paper. Any paper. From cover to cover. Including the ads. And not look at my watch. I’m such a cheap date!

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