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You Just Have to Pencil Yourself In

19 April 2010 8 Comments

Sometimes it’s hard to remember there was a time in my life I could jump in the car and run up to the store just to buy something trivial, like a slice of cake…. just because. The whole ordeal wouldn’t take much longer than 10 minutes, and then I’d be back in front of my TV, watching my favorite show and noshing on exactly what I’d been craving all week.

These days, any trip requires at least 10 minutes just to get shoes on me and the toddler, the diaper bag packed, the special book found so that he will be entertained in the car (momentarily, at least), and then there’s the struggle of getting everyone and everything out of the house and into appropriate seats and buckles. Ugh. I’m exhausted just typing that.

So, yeah… “quick” trips to the store for trivial things don’t happen very often anymore. Everything has to be thought out and planned for, it seems.

And that’s pretty much the way it is with any sort of “me” time these days. When my son was a baby, “me” time just didn’t happen. I couldn’t spontaneously leave him whenever I got the urge. Even if my husband was home to watch him, the chances that he would want to eat while I was gone meant that I had to worry about whether or not he’d take a bottle and if I had enough precious pumped milk in the freezer.

For a while I was fine with it, sacrificing time alone to be with my son every waking moment. Until one day, well, I just wasn’t. I NEEDED to get out, to be a single entity again, to know what it’s like to miss my baby, to remember what it was like to just be me. I learned that the key to regaining “me” time was scheduling it. It was such a strange concept at first, having to pencil in time to be alone, but now I don’t know how else I’d accomplish it.

I started by signing up for a bootcamp. Strange as it may seem, I looked forward to getting my butt kicked twice a week. Then last year I dedicated myself to training for a marathon. I never enjoyed working out at much as I do now that I’m a mom. It’s something I have to do by myself, and I come home reminded how strong I am. Not to mention, the extra boost to my self esteem as I start to fit back into smaller jeans doesn’t hurt, either.

While I can’t just decide on a whim that I’m ready for a run and head out the door (unless I want to push the jogging stroller and an extra 35 lbs), I have adapted to scheduling these “me” times (and taking turns) with my husband. And sometimes I skip the run altogether and just take off for some retail therapy if I feel like my wallet’s getting a little too chubby, which might be crazy because my wallet probably gets about as chubby as Paris Hilton.

What about you? How do you get “me” time in? What do you do?

Jill Krause is a BornFree Panel member and blogger.

8 Comments »

  • Jess said:

    Me time is vital and it takes a while to realize you need it–desperately! I am a runner and I love it. Even if I happen to be pushing her along with me, that “silence” of just hearing my music and my feet hitting the pavement is amazing. I love it.

  • TheFeministBreeder said:

    I love this post, Jill. One of your best. The (only) way I get “me” time is when my MIL comes over to watch the boys while I go do homework before I head to class. It’s filled with stressful deadlines and paper writing, but until my law degree is finished, I doubt my life will look any different.

    Sometimes I run out for a cup of coffee with my friend after the kids go to sleep at night. The husband is always annoyed though because he likes spending all his free time with me. Mama needs her space though. Too bad I probably won’t get any until these kids are all moved out!

  • Elizabeth Smith said:

    I am not the best at creating “me” time. I tend to realize that I am cranky and need it. But, I LOVE my bubble baths and books after the kids go to bed, with a nice chocolate bar to boot if I need it! My time is going to be more elusive when the newest addition comes next month and I will be breastfeeding again!

  • Anna Lisa said:

    This reminds me of what I often blog about. Out of the many things I miss from being child-less, I often miss the simple thing of being able to just leave the house in a matter of seconds. Not minutes. Being mobile with a baby is something I am still striving to get better at.

    I really wanted to nurse and tried my hardest for a while, but due to my baby having a tight frenulum and his failure to gain weight (and my sanity quickly running out) I gave up and did formula. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a great thing for me. Due to that I was able to be me and have me time. I go out with friends sometimes, but I’ve realized that what I really need is ALONE time. Not even just time with friends. It is vital that I at least take a drive somewhere by myself. It feels like a vacation. Without it I tend to get nuts. I also work out 3-5 days a week once my husband gets home. I do whatever I can to get my alone time, but sometimes it never seems like enough.

  • Erin said:

    “Me time is difficult to get. I too usually don’t realize I need it until I start going nuts. Even on the rare occasion when the husband takes the kids out of the house, I’m left looking at the piles of laundry and dishes and dirty floor and think about how I should probably use the time alone to clean. Unfortunately, that does not leave me feeling at all rested. So, my “me time” needs to be out of the house. Going to the gym has helped a lot, it isn’t even about burning calories or looking better, its just a way for me to blow of steam and get some time alone. That great feeling that you get after a good workout can also does wonders for my mood. I also agree that when you can do it, a little retail therapy never fails !

  • Joyce said:

    “Me time” what’s that? I have tried to schedule me time and it never happens. I am going crazy! My husband works so much and so unpredictably that it is super hard for me to ever get any time for myself. I try to take a few minutes when he is napping to do things like shower and check email, but it is not the same than being completely away from him. I would cherish a moment where I do not have to worry about making a bottle or changing a diaper or hear the shrill scream of a child. I NEED A BREAK!

  • KLZ said:

    I haven’t been great about this but I’ve finally scheduled a few days off where the boy will still go to daycare. And I will do….anything.

    Shhhhh! Don’t tell.

  • Roberta said:

    LOVE and LOVE! One, the images are goradgeous, and two, the fact that they did a sesadsion with just the two of them! You can see how over the moon they are with each other, and I love the ones under the wiladlowy tree. Goradgeous couadple anda0work!

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