When you first decided to be a mom, you had little idea what was about to happen to your life. Sure, experienced moms dropped subtle hints, but you pushed them aside. After all, you were different—more patient, more loving. You thought you could handle it.
Yes, you now love being a mom, which is great, but you still need to have “me” time. If you don’t, your patience will be tested without a break. In fact, becoming a mom requires more emotional self-control than anything else.
If, for example, you find that you’re not taking care of your skin, then take a little time to research skin care. There are many excellent websites like http://www.highya.com/review-topic/skincare which give helpful reviews on how to choose the most effective skincare products and avoid getting scammed. Or if you’re not in the best of shape, get a gym membership. In other words, do your best to take care of yourself.
Here are four reasons why “me” time is important for you, your family, and your kids:
1. You’re still human.
Despite the fact that you’re probably an excellent mom, you’re still human. This means you have thoughts and feelings, needs and desires that most human beings have that help you feel fulfilled. When you’re denied time and space to gather your thoughts, to calm down, and to meet your needs and desires, you become out-of-sorts.
Although this may seem like a rather obvious statement, don’t expect everyone to agree. Your children, for example, think of you just as their mother. Your spouse and family, too, may have come to simply see you as this new role. Naturally, all this is unconscious. But the pressure is on to play the role of mother 24/7.
Think back on your own childhood. You likely just thought of your mother as a mother and not a person in her own right.
The point here is to give yourself full permission to think of yourself as a person who is entitled to some personal time to take care of herself. While everyone may agree on the surface, deep down, they may think you’re being a little too selfish. You have to quit feeling guilty over wanting to express your humanity. In order to be a loving person, you have to love yourself first.
2. You can’t be a good mom when you’re stressed out.
It never feels like the right time to go on a date with your husband or to head out to the gym. You can feel the pull of those little eyes watching you walk away. But if you don’t take time out to get your balance, you will soon be too stressed out to act with kindness and patience. You’ll say and do things that will fill you with regret.
Instead of trying to hang in there, try to hang out with your friends. Instead of forgoing exercise, decide to treat yourself to a fit and vigorous body. Instead of feeling guilty about leaving your child at home under the watchful eye of someone else, relish the opportunity to renew your spirit.
3. Everyone will appreciate you more.
Familiarity makes people take each other for granted. If your home all the time, paying perfect attention to your kids, you’ll get into endless conflicts about petty things with everyone around you, including your children. Everyone will feel a little jaded by the constant interaction.
Taking time out for you refreshes everything. Your kids will be delighted to see you and you’ll have missed them too. “Absence,” as the old adage says, “makes the heart grow fonder.”
4. You’ll be a role model.
Kids learn from example far better than instruction. If you want your children to grow up to be strong, independent and self-reliant, you have to be that way, too.
This may sound counterintuitive, but by taking care of your education, career, or other interests, you’ll set an example of what a progressive-minded person does to become successful in life.
Suppose, for example, you enroll in an evening class at your community college to learn graphic design because you aspire to create your own home business. What does that tell your children? That studying is important, and that you not only have to go to school but you also have to do your homework. This is an image they will keep in mind when they go to school.
Alternatively, you could just talk about the value of getting a good education to get ahead in life, but since you’re not going to school yourself, it’s all an abstraction.
Perhaps career goals are not your thing. Maybe you aspire to be an artist. Simply setting up an art studio in your home and spending some time learning how to paint will inspire your kids to be creative, too.
The point is to set an example. Be the kind of person you want your kids to become.
Don’t Lose Perspective
Yes, being a mother is a full-time job. However, the best way to be a great mother is to be a perfect example of a well-rounded human being. By spending quality time with your husband, by exercising to stay in shape, by continuing to work on your goals and aspirations, you’re sending a strong message to your children on how to be a winner in life. By taking some “me” time, you’ll be sharing your authentic self with your children—and, you’ll be a better mom for it.