It seems like once you're married and/or start having kids, life starts to get so fast paced. Your days are filled with caring for your kids, driving them to activities, feeding them, working, and cleaning your home. We love being parents and we love our kids so much, but the days of finding time to do things we used to do or taking care of ourselves seem to have disappeared. While we wouldn't trade being a parent, and our hearts are exploding with love for our tiny little humans, our minds are filled with the constant lists of all that we have to get done. It feels like there just isn't enough time in the day to do your own activities/hobbies. But that doesn't have to be the case. You can still create time for you and continue to nurture and care for those cuties in your life! Here's how to create that "Me Time."
Find a Hobby
What are some hobbies you used to do before having kids? Did you used to love painting and want to get back into it? Head over to the craft store and get yourself a paint set and a brand new canvas to start your creation. Did you use to bake for fun and miss the days of taste testing or experimenting with several delicious recipes? Look online or follow some creators who have some inspirational ideas you can do in the kitchen. Or maybe you miss reading a good book. Go to a park or even a cute café and check out some must-read books from the library. But what if you don’t have any hobbies or want to try something new? There are lists, books, and community opportunities hosting events that will help you find a hobby you may find interesting. It can truly be exciting to immerse yourself into your hobbies again!
Make the Time
This is a tricky one, especially if you have little ones. During the day it can be hard to find time to do things for yourself if you need to be at home caring for you children, or even if they're at school, you probably want to use this time to run errands and pick up groceries. Even after school or later in the evening, it's still a challenge--you need to get dinner ready, take the kids have activities like dance class, a soccer game, or make sure the kids do their chores, help them with homework, get them bathed, and finally put them to bed.
It's so easy to feel like there's no time left to do anything. But don’t let your busy day stop you from creating your “me” time. Register at a gym and take that Zumba class you’ve been wanting to take. Watch a movie at home. Pick up that desert you’ve been craving all day! It doesn't even have to be after they go to sleep at night. If you're like me with young kiddos, you can do something while they nap or even create a “quiet time” where the preschooler age kids go to their room and play for one hour or so. Believe me, that one hour of them self-entertaining quietly or napping will mean the world of difference and allow you to take a breather and focus on what you want to do with your free time. Make this a goal, and though life happens and you may miss a day or two, this will help create a pattern in your life to continue setting time for yourself.
Spend Your “Me Time” with Others
It may seem like a paradox to spend "Me Time" with other people, but socializing can reenergize you and help you feel more in-touch with yourself. Go hang out with friends or family! I realize that as a busy parent this can definitely be hard to do, so plan ahead. Text a group of friends and plan a day where you all pick somewhere to eat. Host a fun themed night at each other's homes, or even create a spa night at someone's house. There are so many ideas you all can do together.
Now what happens if you don’t have close friends, or your closest friends don’t live near you? If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mother, it's that making friends as an adult can be scary. It seemed way easier to make friends when you were in elementary school, right? Well now you're an adult and wondering how you can make friends. Here’s what I’ve done:
- Join state-based mom/community groups online and ask around if anyone wants to get together. See if anyone has the same interests as you.
- Make friends with moms who have kids the same age as yours and arrange playdates. Sometimes you will notice that you don’t really need that “Me Time," but just need adult interaction. Making time for playdates will not only allow your child to have fun, learn, and grow, but also allow you to connect with other moms/parents!
- I also highly recommend the Peanut App. It’s like a dating app but for mothers! All you do is share some pics of you or your family, share what interests you have, how many kids you have and what their ages are, and where you go. You literally match up or can swipe on people you share the same interests with and start talking to them! All of this in a safe space! It may sound a little weird, but I use it myself and have connected with several moms through the app and have set up playdates for me and my kids to get to know them and their kids. It's been a blast being able to use that platform to connect with other moms and create great friendships!
Other Ideas for "Me Time"
- Wash your face, paint your nails, focus on your self-care
- Go grocery shopping without the kids
- Go on a walk
- Listen to podcasts at home or while driving
To be honest, it is hard carving out personal time to do things you love or are interested in, and sometimes we feel guilty for even thinking about ourselves. And while there is no doubt we love our kids, it is so important to create that time, whether it's starting small with 30 minutes a day, or going out an hour a week. Creating "me time" will recharge your batteries, improve your mentality, improve your overall health, and make you a better parent. So whatever you find that works for you, do it! Set that time and have fun relaxing and enjoying your "Me Time"!