Moms deal with a little mom guilt by nature too!
It’s a 24/7 job, 365 days of the year.
You may have 2, 3 or 4 kiddos, a spouse, several pets and a house to care for.
You may have all of that AND a full-time job outside of your home as well.
Regardless of what exactly it is that you have on your plate, it is probably safe to say that we can all agree on one thing:
We need a break, a few moments to ourselves, which are hard to find without being overwhelmed by mom guilt and feeling like we need to be fulfilling everyone else’s needs.
The truth is, a mom’s health (yes, mental health is included) and well being is equally as important.
We have heard, loud and clear, that moms, especially moms of multiples (or more), find it hard to sneak in a few minutes for themselves, which is why we are inspired to team up with one of our favorite gals, Mary from www.mommabearmag.com to share with you some ways we are able to find some kid-free time, helping us to decompress and recharge!
Mary’s website, publications and classes are all geared towards teaching moms how to kick the mom guilt out the door and experience the joys of motherhood…it’s truly a magical place! And, if that wasn’t enough, her images are phenomenal…..we are lucky enough to feature her artwork in this post.
So mama’s, here are a few simple ways to get some time to yourself without the MOM GUILT:
Make A Plan
Communicate your needs to your spouse/partner and SCHEDULE alone time. For example, next Thursday from 6-8PM go to your favorite coffee shop and read a book, people watch or just quietly enjoy a HOT cup of coffee.
Be specific! If it isn’t scheduled, it ain’t real, and it ain’t happenin!
Scheduling time and writing it on your calendar will help you stick to your plan because every time that mom guilt creeps up, urging you not to go anywhere, you’ll have concrete details to stick to.
It’s About The Give and Take
Whomever watches your kids while you are enjoying some time alone, return the favor! If it’s your husband/partner watching them on Thursday, you offer to be with the kids on Friday while they go do something THEY enjoy.
You’re a team, and they’ll love knowing you’ve got their back, too.
If you have a friend that’s going to watch the kids for you, offer to watch their kiddos the following week.
And If it’s a friend or relative who doesn’t have kids, make a meal for them, give them a bottle of wine or a very coveted Starbucks gift card.
Doing something in return, even a small gesture, goes a long way and shows someone your gratitude. Besides, you’ll feel much less guilty because you won’t feel like you’re “taking advantage”, ya know?
Also, when you’re leaning on loved ones who are watching your kiddos free of charge, please mama know this: they WANT to watch your kids.
They want YOU to enjoy kid-free time.
You aren’t “making” anyone do anything they don’t want to, you’re not guilting them into it…you asked, they said, “yes.”
Or, maybe they offered, and you said, “heck yeah!”
No need to feel guilty about that. Learning to trust other care takers is a great learning experience for you and your babes. It’s a necessary experience that’s totally worth it.
Let it be a Learning Experience
Being away from your kiddos is tough, it seems like once you get a minute alone, you begin to miss them like crazy and count the minutes until you can hold them in your arms again.
Maintaining who you are without kids, your sense of self and your identity as a person is important. And for your little ones, being away from you and getting used to others caring for them is a valuable life lesson.
Eventually, they need to learn to be confident and independent people without their mamas. Giving them a little practice in controlled situations, where you are gone for short periods of time and they are with people other than you, is great practice for all those times you’ll drop them off in their classrooms or other non-parent guided activities.
Get Creative…Try a Few of These:
- Can’t leave the house? Put headphones on and dance while doing dishes. Your kiddos might be playing or crying, but at least you can have a few moments of me time. As long as everyone is safe, you’ll all be ok!
- Once your babies are in bed, safe and fed, pour yourself a glass of wine and hop in the shower after a long day. It can be your time to be uninterrupted. Seriously it’s so relaxing. You’ve gotta try it. Warning: I’ve totally broken a glass in the tub before (feel free to join in while I laugh at myself). Use a plastic kids cup if you’re a clutz like me. It’s pretty funny, too. I mean, total mom life, right?!
- Find a balance between date night and girls night. Grabbing a glass of wine with a good girlfriend helps make you feel just as good as a date with your partner. Try to not talk about kids the whole time and vow only to gab about anything else!
- Get a pedicure and spring for the extra long foot rub just to sit in the massage chair for a few minutes longer.
- Drive through and get a coffee for yourself before a running errands with your kids (or while they’re asleep in the car!).
- Splurge on a cute workout outfit! Our daily get up is usually yoga pants and a tank top…isn’t everyone’s? Might as well make it cute!
- Make time for an eyebrow wax or haircut (even if it’s at the late time slot) to go alone after the kids are sleeping and your partner is home alone!
It is SO important for your mental health to have alone time, to reframe your perspective and get out of your norm.
Whether it be a pedicure, a quick shower or six hours in a coffee shop (or wine bar) alone – mama, do what you’ve got to do!!!
When you are happy and healthy, your family will benefit from that too.
Your homework is to make a list of why you want to be alone, and another list of how you felt after you’ve had some alone time.
Words like “refreshed, rested, calm” come to mind for us.
Isn’t that a great way to feel around your kids? Now, every time that guilt comes in your mind, tell it no! Refer to your lists and say, “Alone time is not selfish, it makes me feel calm and rested, which makes me happier and my kids love me happy!”