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.
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?