When you get on a plane and listen to their safety talk, they tell you to put your own air mask on in an emergency before you put your child's air mask on. As a Mom, I always wonder if I would be able to put my own mask on first or if instinct would kick in and I would put theirs on first. Hopefully, I never have to make that decision.
It does beg the question, though, what about the rest of the time?
Let's think about a typical day together. We get up and make coffee for all the coffee drinkers in the house. They take their cups and we take what's left, willingly. We make sure everyone gets off to work and school with lunches, breakfast and a reasonably neat appearance in between us getting ready for our day. While at work (even if work is at home), we're making doctor's appointments, dentist appointments and switching car insurance. We are thinking about dinner, how to logistically get everyone to games and practice tonight and how to get everyone home. When we do finally get home and eat whatever we put together for our family, the day isn't over. It's time to make sure the homework is done, showers and baths happen and there's the fight to get everyone to bed while also cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. We collapse into bed exhausted, but running through a list of things we didn't get done and mentally adding it to our to-do list for tomorrow.
Does this sound familiar?
What about us?
If you're like most Mom's, you thought about that last question for a second and then felt instant guilt for thinking about it. Why is that? Isn't it just as important for us to be taken care of as it is for our kids to be taken care of? Who does the best caring in the house? Isn't it us?
So, why the guilt?
The guilt happens because we think we are taking away from our kids when we take time for ourselves, but I'm here to tell you that simply isn't the case. In fact, we're able to give more to our families if we're fulfilled and taken care of. Research shows this, but we don't need research to tell us this because we feel it! Think about the last time you felt totally relaxed and at peace. Didn't it affect the way you were around your family? You probably laughed a little easier, maybe you smiled more and you were likely much more affectionate than you normally are. It's all because you had you time.
Today, I challenge you all to come up with one thing you can do to give yourself a little you time! Below are 3 ways you can do this for free:
- Take a bath. Lock the door, put on some music, take a glass of wine with you. If you have bath salts or bubble bath, use it. Breathe in the air, ignore the things that need to be cleaned and challenge yourself to stay in the bath for 3-4 songs.
- Go for a walk. Whether it's around the block or a trail you love to do, get outside and enjoy the sounds of nature rather than the sounds of the house.
- Head to the library and grab a magazine or a book to read right there. There is nothing like the silence of a library to help a Mom feel like she is miles from her home. Silence is refreshing and can help you catch your breath!
What are your favorite ways to take time for yourself? If you could do anything once/week to give this to yourself, what would it be? Comment below and let us know! If you are struggling with guilt, contact me, we'll have a free discovery session and work on getting rid of your guilt in no time!
Karen Becker is a Family Coach who has spent years working with couples, one-on-one and in groups, as they transition from parenting together in a relationship to co-parenting. Her own experiences as a co-parent have helped build curriculum, communication techniques and worksheets that help clients take the negative emotion out of their relationship and put the focus on the children. She has helped many rebuild their lives after a divorce or separation whether children were involved or not. She has a Master's Degree in Counseling and applies these skills when coaching clients.