Moms Find Creative Ways to Sneak in ‘Me Time’
About forty percent of moms are taking two hours per week for themselves. Two whole hours might feel like hitting the jackpot! Sometimes we feel lucky to sneak in just five minutes inside the pantry with some Nutella and a spoon.
Moms are finding creative ways to carve time for themselves into a busy schedule, and hiding in the pantry is one of them.
If you have kids, you live a life interrupted. You're in the middle of a thought about what to make for dinner and you've almost decided what side dish to add to the roasted chicken that night when someone yells "Mama!" so loudly you think they need a rescue because they're being chased by a bear, when all they really need is a little help taking tags off of some new flip-flops. The near heart attack caused you to forget all about the green beans.
Or you're on the way to the laundry room to throw in a load, and your daughter calls for help with her 2nd-grade math homework and you don't understand it so you try to show her "your way," and she gets upset with the ancient methods so you have to bring in the 4th grader for help with the "new math," and all of a sudden it's dinner time and there's no time for the laundry. Back to the green beans.
Someone always needs something. If it's not the kids it's the dogs. Or your husband! Don't forget him. We're pulled in a hundred directions every day and it can feel like we're not giving enough to any one thing, right? Taking care of ourselves and finding moments to rest and recharge can go a long way toward handling it all with a little more ease. Deep breath.
Brit.co says two in five moms, or 41 percent, take fewer than two hours to themselves in an average week. And 13 percent take no time for themselves at all. Sometimes it takes extreme measures to force a little breather. Here are four creative ways, according to Brit.co (and moms like me).
1. Hanging out in the bathroom. Stay in the shower longer, or sit on the toilet for a few extra minutes and just think. You can only run the hair dryer for a few extra seconds before that reaches the point of diminishing returns, but taking our time with makeup and hygiene can totally work to our advantage. Find time to piddle. The kids don't think the bathroom is all that exciting, and if they have a question they'll probably come in, ask, and leave again. Back to piddling.
2. Go to the store. If you have someone to watch the young ones of course. If you've got teens that can take care of themselves, just hit the road! The key to all of this is lingering. Linger in the bathroom, and take your time at Target. You may end up with more yogurt and protein bars than you really need, but at least the kitchen will be stocked and you will have had some time to yourself. This idea will make me look at the checkout lines a little differently next time. Women by themselves might be on a "me run."
3. Hide in the pantry. Here's the key to pantry success. Have some things in there that don't require utensils, so you don't have to make noise in the silverware drawer and alert the house to your mission. Just sneak in there and shut the door behind you, and go after the pretzel rods and peanut butter, or the half-empty bag of Doritos that you've been dying to polish off. If you need Nutella by the spoon, hide a utensil in there. These quality moments can be pre-meditated, it's okay.
4. Lock yourself in the car. I haven't tried that one, but sometimes I do linger in the garage a little longer than I need to after a trip to the freezer out there looking for frozen sides to throw on for dinner next to that chicken. Some moms sit in the car in the driveway to listen to the radio and think. This can work if you're just pulling into the drive and maybe the infants are asleep in the back seat. If the kids are older, awake, and inside just make sure the hubs is home before you head to the SUV.
On the heels of Mother's Day, make plans to carve out some time for yourselves, moms. You deserve it. Plan some girls' nights out, go get the mani-pedi, and plant some moments in your day when you can get a deep breath.
We can do this! With the help of a little longer stay on the toilet and some good quality time behind the pantry door, life will be even better.