I never realized how much I needed me time. From the moment I wake up until Connor goes to bed, I'm interacting with someone else, especially now that he doesn't nap (oh how I miss naps?!). I know that when every little thing starts to push my buttons and my patience is tapped out, it's time for me to take some time away from my family for me time. Here are 6 ways to have some time alone without sacrificing family time.
GO SHOPPING ALONE
Before being a Mom, I never imagined the joy of a solo grocery store trip. What is it about little ones that make grocery shopping painful? Often times, I'll go to the grocery when Connor is at school or when James is home. I find that I'm able to get in and out easier and my blood pressure doesn't go through the roof with demands of "I want! I want". And let's not leave out the glory that is a solo Target trip. Having the place to yourself is truly the closest thing to Heaven on Earth in my book. But regardless of where you are shopping, go alone. That way you can have time to focus on the chore at hand and you don't have to entertain a small one while working through your to buy list.
DATES WITH GIRLFRIENDS
This past Saturday I had a MOPS Leadership Retreat and after the week we had last week, it was exactly what this Momma's heart needed. We had coffee, completed a scavenger hunt, was pampered at a salon and had lunch together. Those hours did wonders on my spirit. While I know that budgets don't always allow for such days, meet a girlfriend up for a cup of coffee. $4 and a couple hours later, you've solved the world's problems and had the chance to unwind a bit.
TRADE BABYSITTING SERVICES
My best friend in Texas and I did this when we lived in Austin. I would watch her little girl while she spent a few hours doing whatever needed to be done: go to the doctor, run errands, take a nap, you name it. Then the next week, she would watch Connor. I usually would use this time to go to the salon and get a much needed hair cut or even tackle some home projects that needed my attention. Whatever you do during your "kid free" time, make it something that soothes your soul. I loved knowing Connor was having fun with his friend while I got the chance to have a bit of me time during the day.
JOIN A CLUB OR ORGANIZATION
I mentioned earlier that I'm in MOPS. I love this organization more than words. The faith, support and encouragement is such a blessing in so many ways. If you have a branch in your area, consider joining, it's exactly what every Momma needs. Just recently I started a book club with a group of ladies in my MOPS group. We have our first meeting at the end of the month which gives us to talk about the book but also a chance to have dinner and catch up with each other without being interrupted every other minute by little ones.
GET UP EARLY
One of the best things I've ever done for myself is to get up BEFORE Connor. Once his little feet it the floor, the bulk of my day belongs to him. I've learned that if I get up before him, I'm able to start my day on my terms. Usually this means I can grab a cup of coffee and tackle some blogging tasks and answer emails, get in a quick workout. Other days, this means simply using the bathroom alone. Occasionally, I get a solid 90 minutes and that's when I can focus on my devotional, shower, make phone calls, etc. Start setting your alarm and making time for you first thing in the morning.
COFFEE DATES ... WITH YOURSELF
This is one of my favorite ways to etch out me time. I pack up my computer, blogging material and leave the house. I visit my local coffee shop, use their free internet and work for a couple hours outside of home, without feeling like I should be doing some household chore. I always go in with a plan in place of the tasks I want to complete. Once those are finished, I head back home. Not only does this give me time to work but while I'm gone, my husband and son get some one on one time as well.
No matter how you do it, making time for you is necessary. Not only is it good for you, but odds are your family could do with some one on one time with Momma hanging around to help. I challenge you to pick a way to indulge in you and plan for it within the next few weeks.