In today’s stressed-out busy world, being a good mom sometimes means making a beeline for alone time. That’s easier said than done, as most of us well know. We're so busy trying to be everything we can for everyone else--our kids, our spouse, our employees and friends. But to preserve our own sanity, we need to carve out a little “me time."
I still have vivid memories (or nightmares) of treks to the local YMCA with my then two-year-old son Thomas, trying to sneak in some lap time in the pool while older sister Caitlin was in school. Showered, in my bathing suit and poised to dive in with my big toe testing the waters, the child care workers would come racing in holding a screaming toddler who had either fallen, been hit by another kid, or refused to give up the good separating-from-mom-tears battle. Finally, I just postponed my exercise time until a couple years later, when Thomas went to preschool.
Certainly it is challenging to find time for ourselves. A recent British study published in the Telegraph finds that moms averaged a sum total of 26 minutes a day for themselves. I’m assuming that includes shower time and our own potty breaks.
But as short as those escapes can be, we all know any sliver of time we can grasp each day for ourselves is crucial for our stress level and well-being.
To help moms make the most out of their less than one-half hour of alone time, we looked to Circle of Moms community members for 10 great tips on carving out some “me time.”
2. Book a Babysitter. “Then find a trusted babysitter or trade with a friend,” adds Susannah R. She adds that she enjoys her own kids so much more when she's had the chance to recharge her batteries.
4. Be Super Organized. Bonnie Jean S., a mom of four, says she squeezes in alone time in the early mornings by being super organized the night before, including packing lunches and backpacks, and laying out clothes for school.
5. Power Walk. If it’s impossible to squeeze in any time alone, bring the baby or young children along in a stroller, and take a good walk, says Marcy C. “I work full-time outside the house so when I get home it’s a mad rush to get dinner on the table, laundry folded etc." She says if her daughter then falls asleep in the stroller on a walk, she turns on her iPod and she adds: “I just go on a long walk. If you live near a coffee shop, swing by and grab a cup of coffee and make sure you bring a good book.”
6. Ask Your Partner to Help. Circle of Moms September W. suggests striking a deal with your spouse or partner to carve out “me time,” for each of you separately. “I suggest you sit down and tell him how much it would mean to you to have your regular 'me time' and pick a time that is convenient for both of you.”
7. Go Virtual. Ellen S. of the Circle of Moms Weight Loss Support Community recommends that moms who can’t make a break from the home front sign up for an online exercise program or stock up on videos. “Twenty minutes of exercise builds up fast,” she says.
8. Take Mini-Spa Moments. "If you can get a few minutes to yourself in the shower, that is some nice, relaxing time," says Sue G. "Whenever you can sneak in a few minutes for you it is good for your spiritual well being. Hot showers are very relaxing, so that's a healthy option."
9. Share “Me” Time. If you can’t escape alone, try the next best thing: bring your husband with you, advises Rachael S. of the Circle of Moms Aged 20/30 Community. “It's a good way to kill two birds with one stone,” says Rachel. “We get to spend time together and I can get to the gym.”
10. Don’t Feel Guilty, says Julianne Marie on the Circle of Moms Informed Moms Community “It’s not selfish time,” she adds. ”I much prefer the term ‘preventing insanity time.’ If you don't have time to yourself, you go crazy, every person needs wind down time. If I'm not happy and calm, I surely can't be the best mom I can be for I my family."
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.