First, let me start with: I am a happy mama and I am more than ecstatic to spend every day of my life with my 2 little munchkins.
However, in order to get up in the morning and look forward to every day, let's admit, no matter how perfect and well-behaved your kids are, you need those few moments to yourself. And to me, mostly not because I got tired of being a mom, but because as a human being you need to respond to your own needs of being alone and doing things that are only for you.
Why do you need alone time?
We are constantly pulled away and told what to do and how to feel by social media, TV, kids, bosses and even a random stranger on the phone that calls during dinner time. It became hard to listen to your true self. It's so easy to loose that connection with yourself. Also it's very important for your Inner growth and renewal.
What not to do during ME TIME
OK. So the kids are down for nap and you do what?
Don't you even think about folding this laundry, or paying bills online.
Here is a super funny post: 10 Pathetic Ways Moms Spend Alone Time. Read it and make sure not to do any of those things.
How I find quality ME time as a stay at home mom
1. Get up before everybody and charge up for the day. This was the very best thing I have ever done to myself as a person and to my family. You've heard it before, but it's so important it's with mentioning it again. I share some helpful tips on what to do when you get up before everybody in the morning. It's my most popular post on the blog - How I became happier Stay at home mom - Morning Routine.
ME TIME: 1-2 hours
2. Move. Actually since we moved to the farm I don't have easy access to the gym, but I have been really enjoying my daily dancing. Yes, my daughter joins me, bet we really just dance off and don't get in each others way at all. I count that as alone time, since it's for me and I enjoy it so much. It brings back good and very exciting memories when I was younger and used to dance a lot.
We usually do it when my toddler is napping.
ME TIME: 15 min.
3. Hobby. Wait, what's that? Pottery, painting, dancing, knitting, whatever makes your heart happy. To me - it's DIY'ing and blogging. If I don't do this for few days, my hands are literally itching and my creative side of me is begging me to do something. If you don't get involved with your hobby, you will always find something that needs to be done around the house, for the kids, for the husband. When you have something that you are really passionate about, you will be more determined to stick with it.
I do blogging mostly after kids go down for bed. I get a pretty good chunk of time.
ME TIME: 3 hours
So when do all the house work get done?
I can see you wondering if I have a cleaning lady or a chef coming to my house to do all those things that every mom does every single day. And the answer is NO. No way!
The house cleaning.
First of all, I have finally got rid of that horrible guilt feeling whenever (which was almost always) I had a house that's not super clean. I would stress out before anybody was coming in and would spend hours and hours sparkling the home that would turn back into a mess withing 2 hours.
Now I don't stress over it as much. As long as the kitchen is clean, the couches are food free and the front door can be opened without pushing the stuff away.
I clean with the kids. We do daily clean ups so it doesn't pile up. And there are so many ways to include your kids when you do housework. There are 10 amazing tips on how to help kids to clean the house. As soon as I started implementing those tips my life got easier.
I do a lot of soups and and crock pot meals. They don't take much of my time. I mostly do it in the morning, right after the breakfast so all day I don't have to stress out about making lunch or dinner.
The activities and learning
We do most of our school with my 6 year old when the toddler is sleeping. Right after our dancing. We have at least 1.5 hours where we do some educational activities.
We continue later on when the little one is up by reading some books, playing games and doing crafts.
Kids have some free play too. They start with being bored. And then it turns into "best game ever". Here is how.
Me and my husband we both work from home, so he goes to town for his business and gets all the errands done. I know, I am super lucky and grateful in this department.
Few extra tips on finding ME TIME
1. Relax and accept the reality.
2. Don't stress out over little things.
3. Live simple. Be simple.
Balance. Balance. Balance.
And the end I would love to add that motherhood is all about balancing. I didn't mean to encourage you to spend more time away from your kids and have fun every day without them (believe me, I would be the last person on earth to suggest that). All I wanted to say is that with little trying and some planning you can have it all: happy family and happy yourself.
I love your advice! It is so true. I homeschool my 3 boys and work at home, if I didn't get up early in the morning and make time for a cup of tea and my hobbies, I think the whole family would be worse for it. I hope more moms take this advice to heart. I know way too many burning the candle at both ends.
Birute Efe says
Thank you Sakeenah so much. Yes, getting up in the morning before everybody else has definitely saved me in many ways.
THANKs for sharing this wonderful post that hits at the heart of EVERY mother, whether SAHM or working. The only comment I have is that I would LOVE to have time when the kids sleep, but my kids don’t sleep! All 3 have fought their naps from the time they were 3 weeks (I literally had my 3 wk old son scream every time I walked toward his bedroom and stop crying when I walked away). I get my me-time after they all finally conk out at 9-10p and then I get myself to sleep so late. No caffeine, very low sugar, lots of physical activity here in our home. I have just accepted it as normal for this stage of life and waiting for the time they are a little older to get some of that hobby time back. Days are long but the years are short, right? ?. Anyway, I really enjoyed your article, thanks for sharing.