Me time as a parent

School has begun and that means you’re running here and running there, packing lunches, ensuring homework is completed, and your list of motherly duties goes on. But you lose yourself in the midst of it all. There isn’t time to pamper yourself or read that book you’ve wanted to read when there are school activities to attend, practices to get to, and children to be picked up or dropped off.

What is Me Time?

Neglect is a word that should never be associated with parenting. It brings to mind the thought of a child being left alone, unloved, and without the proper care. But mama, I want you to consider something for a moment…have you ever stopped to think that maybe you’ve been neglecting yourself? While you’ve been busy caring for your child’s well being, yours has been left neglected.

The time you once spent on yourself has been overrun by children’s activities. You’ve stopped going to the gym because you don’t have time. Your nutritional philosophy has become “eat whatever you can whenever you have time.” Depending on the age of your child, you’re either up to your elbows in dirty diapers or maybe overbooked with soccer practice and after school activities. I am in no way saying that your child’s well being and interests aren’t important. But if you and I are to be the best moms we can possibly be, we cannot neglect our own health, well-being, and sanity.

If you’re not doing well, your child isn’t doing well

You maintain a crammed schedule full of your children’s activities, making sure everyone is fed, where they need to be, and happy. But internally you’re just a couple of breaths away from a breakdown.

I believe you and I are truly more effective parents when we’ve taken time to care for ourselves. You may need to write this down and stick it on a mirror because this doesn’t come naturally for most moms. But there is nothing wrong with me time as a parent. You need time alone.

Caring for yourself

You’ve probably been so programmed to allow your children’s time to consume anytime you would have otherwise spent on yourself. Me time is not sipping a cup of coffee with your toddler hanging on your arm. Me time is not sitting on the bleachers watching your child’s soccer game.

So what is accurately defined me time as a parent? Well, it may look different for you than it does for me. Me time may be reading a good book during naptime and allowing yourself to COMPLETELY forget about the mess around you. Or maybe your me-time is going for a long run on Saturday while dad stays at home with the kiddos.

Once you’ve allowed yourself to be refreshed and rejuvenated by taking a break from your duties, you’ll be much more prepared to care for the needs of your little one.

Here are 5 ways you could treat yourself to some well-deserved me time as a parent:
Take a bubble bath: Sounds so luxurious, doesn’t it? Ask the hubby to put the kids to bed, grab a candle or two, and go Even if it’s only for 20 minutes, I promise you will feel relaxed and refreshed.
Grab coffee with a friend: This is one of my favorite ways to There is just something about getting out of the house and talking to another adult without kids screaming in the background (or is that just in my house?!).
Go on a date: When Friday rolls around I’m usually in need of a break and one of my favorite ways to do that is going on a date with my I love trying a new restaurant and getting dressed up (no offense yoga pants). It can be so refreshing to reconnect with my husband and getting to eat all my food.
Read a book: Before kids, I read all the Then kids came and it was a thing of the past. This is actually one of my favorite things to do on vacation. I love grabbing a good novel and immersing myself in it. But why wait for vacation? Grab a book and schedule time each day to read. Even 15 minutes will do wonders for you mentally to be able to take a break and get enthralled in a good book.

What are some ways you spend your me time?
And if you’re not, choose one of the above options and enjoy the benefits!

– By Kara Swanson

Kara is the founder and certified health coach of Life Well Lived, where she shares her passion to educate and empower women how to properly nourish their bodies using whole foods. She is passionate about showing how living a healthy lifestyle can be easy, simple and delicious. Kara is the creator of Transform: Nutrition Bootcamp where she helps clients not only lose weight but live a life well lived.

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