Anyone who has had children knows that feeling of helplessness and being overwhelmed by their non stop demands. All young children really care about (apart from your love and attention!) is themselves. It is all about “me”.
Well, moms need “ME” time too. In fact, not having enough “me” time is bad for your health leading to elevated stress levels and high blood pressure.
For your health's sake, it is imperative for you to have regular breaks just for yourself
It is often a lot easier to be a career mother than a stay at home mom. The demands of the working world are considerably less. You will definitely get less grey hairs! So do whatever it takes to negotiate with your partner or husband, your mother or mother-in-law or anyone you can trust for some regular time off to just do your own thing. If this is absolutely impossible then what about making a plan with a close friend in a similar situation. One week you look after her children and yours for an afternoon and the next week, she returns the favour.
A couple of years ago, Melissa Chapman-Mushnick gave some tips for the super mamas out there to protect them from themselves on this site
Apart from the “me” time, she also suggested
- “Get a good babysitter. You can also alternate babysitting duties with your friends. In fact, if you have kids that are the same age, you'll get both an afternoon for yourself and a play date for your child.
- Identify at least five tasks that drain your energy - and eliminate them from your routine. If it's cleaning the house, think about getting a housekeeper to come in once a month to do the heavy cleaning. Paying someone to clean your house is equal to the cost of two people going to dinner and a movie.
- Give yourself permission to say "no." If you're too over-extended with volunteer activities, give some of them up. You have to get good at disappointing people if you want to live a sane life.
- Embrace your guilt. Guilt is good. Most women never face the feeling. You need to learn to sit with the feeling until it loses its power and you realize that it's not going to kill you. And whenever you start to feel guilty, just smile and know that you're doing something good for yourself.
- Make a list of 10 things that give you energy. Anything goes: playing with your daughter in the backyard, reading a good novel, painting your nails, listening to great music. Too often moms see these tasks as indulgences, but you should recognize that they're really the fuel that gets you through the day.”
In addition, Dr. Nadine Kaslow, professor of psychiatry at Emory University and chief psychologist for the Grady Health System, goes on to explain how some working moms need more “me” time too. She says: "As more and more women are in the workplace and are working full time, and then they often come home and work full time, so they often have two full-time jobs. I think as the pace of life has gotten even faster with even more and more demands, children having more activities, cell phones, text messaging, e-mailing. The demands have gotten greater."
She advises the need for making yourself a bigger priority
"There are a number of reasons it's good for a woman to take care of herself
," Kaslow explained. "First of all it's really hard to take care of other people if you are not taking care of yourself. If you think about a car metaphor, if there's not enough fuel in the car, the car won't go
," she said. "A second reason is when people aren't taking care of themselves, they tend to get resentful of the other people they are taking care of in their lives, so they may become short or irritable with them. A third reason is that life is more meaningful and gratifying if we take care of ourselves; we tend not to feel depressed,
" she added. "We feel less anxious, and moms who are not depressed and less anxious are more able to be effective mothers."
So there you have it – no more excuses! You never know, there could even be a further upside – your young child or children actually miss you and appreciate all you do for them!
Whatever the outcome, your health is definitely going to benefit and in the long run, everyone else will too.