I am the first person to say that it’s important for mom to be happy and healthy in order for the babes to also be happy and healthy. But I’m kind of falling behind — every day life takes over, and mama time and TLC take a back seat. For instance, despite putting it on my to-do list every single day, I have yet to get out and exercise, and — why yes! I *will* have that Coke Zero for breakfast. I know! Terrible, but it’s the reality of a busy mama.
With all that said, you can imagine that having ME time is nearly impossible. I work straight through the day then its dinner time and well…you get the point. So I’ve learned to sneak in ME time in very unusual and creative ways.
Here are 10 ways I sneak in some time to relax — I take what I can get!
1. I wait until my husband gets home and I go to the supermarket — ALONE! I know, its not fun and it has to be done, but going alone is like being on vacation in Hawaii for me. I walk up and down the aisles, singing along to Michael Bolton or whatever soft rock tunes are playing on the supermarket radio station and I don’t have to rush or deal with a crying or hungry baby. Good times — GOOD times.
2. I do errands on foot. My husband asked me to pick a package up for him at the post office this weekend. He figured I wouldn’t be more than 20 minutes. Before he could finish asking me, I was out the door! But instead of driving, I walked. I took my sweet, sweet time strolling through our neighborhood. I patiently waited for the WALK sign at the corner despite no cars coming, I swung my arms (which are usually pushing a stroller) freely and I checked out every house on the way there. I savored every moment alone. He wasn’t thrilled I took almost an hour, but I didn’t care, it was freedom for mami!
3. I use the bathroom in the basement and I disappear for a good 30 minutes. I can hear my son and my husband looking for me, but I just keep quiet and enjoy the silence. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve read a magazine (or two!) because outside of those doors there is never a chance. I get caught up on Hollywood gossip and skim through the latest in Redbook, play with beauty products, properly clean my face and moisturize or just SIT and let my legs rest on the cool tiles. There is no place more peaceful than my guest bathroom in the farthest corner of my house.
4. The one chore I absolutely despised growing up was folding laundry. Oh my goodness it was torture for me. Now I look forward to laundry day. It means my husband entertains the kids and I get to hangout in my basement, ALONE. I turn on some tunes, load up the machine and get washing! Later at night or the next day, I throw all of the laundry into a box or basket and SIT in front of the TV, watching whatever I want and fold. No thinking, no talking, no rushing after the kids, just me and a pile of laundry. It’s total relaxation time for me.
5. After going to the supermarket alone and being able to get into my car without strapping in two kids, I take the extra long way home. I have even gone 3 miles out of the way, JUST to be able to drive alone. The radio goes on and I’m suddenly singing out loud to Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” all by myself. Never has ME time felt so good as driving through Alexandria with the windows down and no kids to complain about the wind in their faces or that the radio is too loud. Total bliss.
6. Another bathroom moment, but it seems to be the backdrop for many of my ME moments. A few weeks ago, I was cleaning the bathroom and knowing my husband won’t be coming anywhere near it to clean it himself, I filled up the tub and had a spontaneous hot bath. It was unbelievably good and relaxing. Afterwards, I got out, got dressed and went back downstairs exclaiming the bathroom was clean.
7. I turn on Disney Junior for M, put Little L in her moses basket, make myself a strong cup of coffee, and just sit in my rocker chair on the porch. I just rock and roll! I tell M that it is “quiet time” and that we each get to do something without talking. It works and it’s a great way to unwind amongst the craziness of my day.
8. I have morning cuddle time with my babies! Okay so it’s not exactly ME time, but M, Little L and I will all cuddle in bed. Most times Little L will dose off, M will read a book or play a game on the iPad and me, well, I just lay staring at my kids and enjoy the calm before the storm.
9. I do yard work. Usually my husband mows the lawn and fixes up the yard, but I started “volunteering” my services and found that watering the plants and even pulling weeds provides for a little ME time. I get to get away from the cries and kids’ music and enjoy being outdoors without having to keep a watchful eye over my son (who is busy playing with his papi inside the house.)
10. And lastly, I might say “it’s that time of the month” — yes, I admit to laying on the guilt and telling my husband I need to sleep it off. I sweetly something like, “I’m really sorry, mi amor, I just need to lay down for an hour. Okay? Thank you, I should better in a little bit,” and then I sneak away to our bedroom, LOCK the door, jump in bed, and take a nap (if I am really tired) or just do nothing, but enjoy the time away from the chaos.
How do you find ME time? I’m sure there are many more creative ways!