Do you take time out for yourself?

Bradi - posted on 04/06/2011 ( 76 moms have responded )

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Seems like I'm always putting myself last in the order of things- it's just who I am. Although, after listening to Dr. Robi speak at a Go Red for Women luncheon, I am inspired to! Here's what Dr. Robi (Blogger for MyWorkButterlfy.com in partnership with COM) said- let me know if it works for you?!
Nationally known Psychotherapist and Butterfly Mom, Dr. Robi Ludwig:

"When was the last time you took time out for yourself? Now, when was the last time you took some time out for yourself and didn’t feel guilty?

If you’re like me and a lot of other women, it’s the “guilt factor” that gets even the most sophisticated self-nurturer to forgo their much needed time to replenish themselves.

It’s usually starts as a powerful little voice, from somewhere deep within. It rears its ugly head every now and again to say,
“I shouldn’t be doing this.” “This is so self indulgent.” “I’m so selfish!” “I’m a really bad person.” “I should be cleaning my closets, feeding the poor, flying to Japan to help out the tsunami victims, while substituting at my kid’s school.”

Woman’s lives are filled with more responsibilities and obligations now, than ever before. It’s not uncommon for women to stretch themselves too thin and to push themselves to the breaking point.

Woman now have successful careers and family lives. People count on and rely on us, which can be very flattering, but can also be very overwhelming at times.

Face it, we’re usually far better at taking care of others than we are of ourselves, and it can get pretty darn tiring at times!!


So, what stops us from taking time out for ourselves? Why is this so hard for us as women to do?

In part, it’s because women often define themselves by how well they are able to nurture those around them. On some level we believe the more we nurture others and forget about ourselves, the more virtuous we are. Even if we know on some level, this isn’t really true; this thought pattern is a very hard pattern to break.

The problem is, this stressful pattern can have a very negative impact on us, and get far too many women to neglect their health and happiness in the process. As we know, anything that increases our stress levels can also weaken our immune system.

So what’s the answer? First we need to give up this superwoman myth, which we’re all supposed to balance all the various aspects of our lives to perfection.


Then we need to give ourselves permission to do something nice for ourselves, even if it feels really uncomfortable at first, which it might. But that’s ok!


In fact, there may always be a little part of us that feels permanently guilty when we take much-needed time out for ourselves. But, do it anyway!

Self care is important. People who are able to give this to themselves function much better in life.

Look in the mirror and own what you like about yourself.
Make time to call a girlfriend, go out for lunch, or go to that work out class.

Start small. Start with 5 minutes a day to just be alone with your thoughts.

When we give to ourselves we’re actually helping our loved ones. We become happier, healthier and less resentful of those around us.

Happy fulfilled people are more pleasurable to be around. Realize when you’re giving to yourself you’re actually making it more possible to give to others too.
You’re re-energizing your ability to give back. You’re not taking away from anyone.

Do something nice for yourself. You’ll still be a great wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.

So the next time you find yourself feeling tired or stressed out, put your care giving on hold for a bit and give yourself some of the attention, kindness, compassion, wisdom and acceptance you so easily give others.

You and everyone around you will end up “winning.”"

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jaimie - posted on 01/20/2012

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Well I will say we as moms never do but aI will also give a warning to those that dont. about 3 years ago my mom passed the person who was my backup for everything. I was an only child, and my dad is in poor health. My husband is good but essentially I was raised old fashions or old school. Essentially once my mom passed I went into overdrive. I was a nut anyway trying to cover everything. I get up at 3:00 am to let out the doors, set my son up for school set out his breakfast set the house up so its warm, prep bookbags lunch, then I start setting up for myself to get to work in another state by 6:30am. out of work at 3pm pick up my son from daycare take him to tutor or speech or some lesson get back home cook, get dinner ready, do a bit of work at home so I wont get behind, help my son with his homework, put him down, load more laundry, let the dog out clean up and set up the house for the next day. My husband does the emergency pickup and taking to daycare or school in the morning all sick days and whatever since I hold a more essential postition. Well a year well after a year of it, I had a heart attack, and was bleeding internally from and ulcer. I had a heart of an 85 year old in that short of a time and the ulcer left me a mess. After being in such an emergency state, I realised after a cardiologist asked me what lead to this, he told me one thing! If I kill myself where does that leave my family whose fault is it! I made myself so essential I also left my family helpless when I was down. I know take time even if its just me going and sleeping in the family room in front of the fireplace once the house is quiet and everyone is down, with a glass of wine and an old movie I fall asleep and never watch. My husband comes down checks on me during those nights but get its a me night! Remember ladies when it was just us and you had all the time in the world to primp and give yourself all those me time cause it was just you? Well Look for them now even if its just 10 to 15 minutes behind the bathroom door to read a magazine sit in a tub, stick your head under a hot shower! Do it!

April - posted on 05/31/2011

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Yes I take time for myself, I encourage you to do the same. I find I am not so stressed when I come back to my child. My husband encourages it so that also helps! He is very good about even little times like after our son is sleeping for making me a bubble bath to relax. I work full time and try to be a full time mom which is tough. I find time to get out without him!

Vicky - posted on 05/02/2011

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I struggled for 7 years with this. Every time I tried to do something for myself, my husband would seem to suddenly get some illness or do something like sprain his back which meant that i had to cancel any plans I had for 'me' time. I couldn't catch a breath.

The one hour I truly have to myself is my lunch hour. So I take that damn lunch hour, and I leave the office and go out, and then eat at my desk later.

Sometimes, I just drive around the corner and sleep in the back. Sometimes, I drive down the beach and take myself for a walk. Sometimes, I read a book. Sometimes, I doodle. Sometimes I listen to the hardest metal I can get my hands on and turn it up as loud as I can, and scream my lungs out (I find it therapeutic, husband hates metal). But its my time and no-one can take it away. Husband isn't there to contract a mysterious illness, child isn't there to ask a million questions. It was the only 'me' time I had for quite some time. It kept me relatively sane.

Now I just announce that I'm going out, and go out. Doesn't give anyone the opportunity to develop an illness or hurt something. Its amazing how well the husband does actually cope without me - if he *has* to. The thing is, now he's "stepped up" a little, he's feeling better too.

But the best thing is I'm no longer full of seething resentment... I was before, very much so.

Michelle - posted on 04/20/2011

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actually after reading this i put, the Go Home Now! to remind me to stop working.. Sleep now, to stop me from checking mails and preparing for tom. Love Red, my daughter, to wake me up in the morning and have a quality time with her, and finally.. Please excercise if you love your self! to remind me that i should do some "Me" time instead of all work lady.

Brenda - posted on 04/19/2011

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I totally agree that one needs to find time for themself. I am a stay at home mom and have a 7 yr. old w/ ADHD & ODD, and an 18 mo. old who is into everything so finding time for myself is very difficult at times. However, there are a few things that I do to ensure that I get some time for myself. These are just little things but make a huge difference. The 1st. thing I like to do is get up about 1/2 hr. before the kids. There is so much I can accomplish in just that little bit of time and it makes a huge difference in starting my day off on the right foot. I can get a head start on my cleaning, shower, and even enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book for a few minutes before the kids get up. Of course in order for me to do this, I have to make sure I get to bed at a descent hour or I don't want to get out of bed in the morning and then my "me time" is lost.
Another thing I do is get together every other Wednesday with a few of my girlfriends for dinner and a movie at my girlfriends house. It's only twice a month so I don't feel like I'm neglecting my families needs, but am still able to get out and relax for some much needed "me time."

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Ellen - posted on 04/17/2012

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I agree with what you are saying. I think we have to be nicer to ourselves and stop feeling guilty. I think we also have to know that it's ok to ask for help. I just signed up for www.stellibell.com and it's helped a ton. I spend the extra time on me and the kids and yes I still feel guilty sometimes, but not as much. At least I'm doing something good for all of us now.

Thanks!
Ellen

Lori - posted on 04/10/2012

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I take Friday nights to myself to go to Bingo with my mom. At first, I felt really guilty leaving my 2 1/2 year old and husband. I felt I was gone too much working full time & leaving her in daycare. My husband made it worse at the beginning also by making me feel guilty. Now, he just realizes how much better off I am having this time. I snap less and appreciate the rest of the weekend with my family. It gives me a chance to relax and spend time with my mom. I think I felt guilty for the first 6 months. Now it is just a given that I will be gone every Friday night for 4 hours....

Danielle - posted on 04/10/2012

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I have learned this very quickly to make time for myself. I do feel guilty for it but if I don't during the day I get very stressed out and its not pretty. As a work at home mom and have 2 kiddos its the best thing for me.

Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2012

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I have me time. I usually put my 6 yr old to bed by 8 or 8:30 and then by then I am usually done with everything so then my husband and I will watch a movie or a tv show.

Elaine - posted on 03/01/2012

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As soon as my son goes to bed, it becomes me time. I will clean, cook, and do laundry all while he is awake, but once he goes to bed, even if my chores are not done, I am. I think it is essential to find and take that time for yourself, because if you don't there is a huge possibility of you getting worn out or tired of taking care of everyone else. I don't ever want to feel that way about taking care of my son or my home, but I know that from the time he goes to bed to the time I go to bed, it is the perfect time for me to watch a little TV, do some online shopping, or even read a book.

Jennifer - posted on 02/29/2012

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Sometimes I feel that there is not enough time in the day to get all the things done. I am a working mom just like much of you in here. By the time I get home I am exhausted and just want to get done with the everyday chores and things just to get a little relax time. Truth is really that I feel like I am stealing quality time away from my daugther. I feel like I am there but that I have so much on my plate that I am not being quite fair to her. I want to be the best that I can be starting with taking that time for myself but also giving her more quality time that she deserves. In college I have taken classes about time management. It still seems to me that even though I manage my time it just runs out too darn fast. Today I am taking action. Even if its one thing a day that I take that extra time out for and plan something special for me and my daughter to do daily. It can be making a picture, going to the park, taking a walk and really listen to what she has to say and how her day went. I want to be the best that I can be. Yes I feel guilty when I go jogging or have a kickboxing class but that time is needed too. I used to be so guilty of not doing anything for myself but I have found that it actually helps when you do it, when you take say 15-30 mins and do something you want to do after work sometime when you get home. I find that you are much more pleasant to be around and have more patience and more appreciative of the things you have and do for your family.

Pam - posted on 02/27/2012

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I believe this is crucial to being a good mom - if you don't feel good about yourself and content - how can you help and support the rest of your family!

Christine - posted on 02/13/2012

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i find it hard to take time for myself with all that has to be done every day. even when my little one takes a nap i have laundry and dishes and bottles that have to be done. for some reason my husband thinks its a walk in the park to be a stay at home mom. all i do is jungle things all day. i dont get to relax till like 11 at night

Lorri - posted on 02/06/2012

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Hey Claudia! I am in the same boat. I sometimes have to get up ay 5am to be to work by 6am and work til 4pm. I am completely exhausted. But I have been forcing myself to go for walks. Even if I must take the kids with me. And they can ride their bikes because I like to go for at least four miles. And I can wind up walking for eight to ten. And it is gradually boosting my energy. But you must utilize your time, you can exercise, and still spend time with your son, Grab the stroller and go girl! Lol..



I really understand. I try to make people laugh so please do not get offended. Hope you have a good day!!

Claudia - posted on 02/06/2012

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Hi, this sounds very nice... like a dream for me.

I am married, but Husband works late. And I work 5 Days, start early at 6:30 a.m. get off at 4 p.m. rush to pick up my 3 years old son, and than getting dinner ready.... and so on....

I know that I need some time for myself, but I am so tired in the evening that I fall asleep with my son in the bed. On the weekend I do a lot of stuff with my son, and sometimes my husband join us. Now he is mowing to the states, and I am alone here, so it is not easy to realize this. Maybe one day

Lorri - posted on 02/02/2012

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I thought I was the only one! I put myself last too. I try to make sure everyone else's needs are met first. I would love to have 5 minutes alone with my thoughts but it is not possible. And by the end of the day, I am completely exhausted!! I go to work, come home, help three children with their homework, then do my own homework, cook, clean, Girl Scout leader, run to sports, and whatever else pops up. I have never had time for me. I have had people get me gift cards to JC Penney's and Kohl's stores but if the kids need something, then I will spend my gift cards on them. I do not know how to spend time on me. Some pointers would be great!



Thank you,



Lena

Jaimie - posted on 01/30/2012

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Rosa, one thing that is crazy but it work, sent your clock early at first two time a week about a half hour earlier than usual, make that Rosa time for cofee or just to lay there in the piece and quiet of the Morning!

User - posted on 01/28/2012

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I try but I do honestly feel guilty, and it is sad but I do. I wish I could take some time but the only time I get is when my husband takes own son outside to play or they do something together.

Dusty - posted on 01/27/2012

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I love what this woman said!! I think it's very well put! We, as women, do tend to feel "guilty" if we take time out for ourselves. I had this problem for the longest time. I'm still not able to take time out for myself regularly, but when I am, to keep myself from feeling guilty, I make sure that my children are taken care of first. If something isn't fitting right, I don't take the time for myself. Or if I am taking time to myself, & something goes wrong with one of my kids while I am, then I drop what I'm doing to run to them. It lets them know that they are still my #1 priority, & very rarely does my "me" time get interrupted!! :)

Betty - posted on 01/26/2012

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I really LOVE these suggestions. It is so important to take time for yourself, even if it is just five minutes of deep breathing. I find that it centers my day, calms my nerves, and just improves my emotional state so much! My favorite thing to do?! Take a bath, and eat an ice cream bar... :) My other hobby? Horse back riding... great exercise!

Nitie - posted on 01/25/2012

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I started working out more regularly at home it had 2 benefits

1) After the workout I felt happy

2) I did not feel guilty as the kids were playing while I worked out.



I use www.FriendsBFit.com

Marylou - posted on 11/08/2011

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I have been blessed to find work that I do out of my home so that I can have the flexibility to do things that I want for myself. I still struggle with the guilt thing though:)

www.homeisgreat.com
Helping Families Work at Home

Krisi - posted on 11/02/2011

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I had to make my me time. I started my own business. I work for Slumber Parties and when I do my parties it consists of gorl time. I LUV it. There is nothing else like it. Check out www.slumberpartiesbykrisi.com

Stacy - posted on 10/24/2011

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I feel like I am on the go from 5:30 in the morning till 8:00 at night. I don't feel like I ever have enough time in the day. So, It is hard for me to find time for myself.

Iysha - posted on 10/21/2011

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lol...I realized this after being a SAHM for 10 months without any friends or family around. now that I have people willing to watch my child i definitely take advantage!! Mondays are my "free" days when my aunt picks up my daughter at 9am and my daughter doesn't return until my mom picks her up at around 5;30. during that time i could be cleaning, cooking and whatever seems like is the most responsible thing to do BUT most of the time I go look around at target, have lunch with a friend, sit at home and be lazy all day, take a looong shower and change the paint on my nails, I am FREE!! Then there's school to stimulate my mind 4 nights a week and i get some social time with my fellow students. loooove it ♥ never knew how valuable those little things could be until I was without them. every mom should have free days to take care of themselves mentally and physically. After doing so, I am not experiencing symptoms of depression and enjoy most of the time i spend with my daughter. night times are a treat when i get to be around her, my two week "vacation" from school is wonderful because i get to spend all my time with her and its fun, not something i just need to do. When i get that free day, the week seems so much less frustrating. i have something to look forward to when things get too hard at any point in that week.

Michelle - posted on 10/14/2011

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Teresa - posted on 08/05/2011

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I get up at 5:00am so I can get ready for the day and then I spend 30 mins. watching Joyce Meyer. That gets my day going good and i usually spend a few minutes to pray and do my daily devotionals. At lunch I make sure I have a good book to read and do nothing else but eat and read.

Shanetta - posted on 08/05/2011

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I never have time for myself. I have two boys who always want my attention. I love to read, and have been putting it off since I work, then have to come home and spend time with them all the time.

Amanda - posted on 07/29/2011

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Its so hard to find time to take a breather even let alone think of ourselves, I used to take a fast walk everyday but have found it difficult to stay in the habit. Silly really, not taking care of myself results in me grumping at everyone because I feel ripped off I havent had time to clear my head - just do it!

Amberly - posted on 07/27/2011

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I rarely ever get time to myself unfortunately. As a single mother with limited financial options for babysitting, it is very difficult to find time for myself. I do however cherish those little moments i DO have. for instance, the time between their preschool in the morning and my work, or reading a book before bedtime :) i find even the little moments help :)

Susan - posted on 07/14/2011

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As an "only parent" I struggle with this constantly. Because not only do I feel the guilt, I feel it for two parents. One thing I do do though, for myself, is leave for work extra early so I have at least 20 minutes (hours in mom minutes!) to have coffee and read and ease into the day ON MY OWN before I get to work. It helps! ANd for me, it's a start - Susan
www.thesusie.blogspot.com

Angelina - posted on 07/13/2011

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I agree with this so much! I joined a gym almost 6 months ago at this point and I go 3-4 times a week and take a 45 minute class. I am not one that particularly likes to work out or ever have before but I love it because its ME time. I think what I like the absolute most is that while I'm exercising and completely focused on what i'm doing. I'm not thinking about cooking, cleaning, work, or what the kids are doing. I definitely need it as sometimes i'm too busy and would lose my head if it wasn't attached. What is also nice is that my fiance gets to bond alone with the kids when i'm there :) It's so worth it in all ways

Cara - posted on 07/12/2011

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My daughter is 23 months old and I have just started to take time for myself. it has been hard to find time, but it is worth it. I only wish that I could take more time for myself.

[deleted account]

Thank you for posting that. I work teaching mindfulness to moms and women expecting. The one thing that always comes up is guilt. Feeling guilty of taking alone time. I always wonder why, on planes, they advised you to put on your own mask before helping the children. The same thing goes here. If you are worn down with stress etc. you can't really be the support and mom you are trying so hard to be. You simply won't have the energy. It doesn't have to big hard and difficult. I ust created th ecommunity The present mom, where I would love to have people inspire each other on how to take time for yourself and stay connected. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Carina

Rehana - posted on 07/08/2011

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I have an eight year old girl and four and half year old twins. It has been an absolute struggle to do anything for me since the twins have been born. Every year I tell myself next year it will be easier. I work for the sake of my sanity as it gets me out of the house and away from everyday chores and tasks at home. I call working a "rest" as its the only time when I'll get a chance of some adult conversation and a time where I don't have to keep eyes at the back of my head. I can manage over 15 staff but I can't do the same at home. My time for catching up with house work is once the kids are in their beds. Shopping does not happen as I get it all online. I've tried a few trips to town with the kids but once both the boys ran in opposite direction and I didn't know which one to catch first. My friends don't have children and when they come round I can't talk to them because I'm constantly on alert for the twins digging a scheme up. They are happy children but absolutely exhausting....

Donna - posted on 07/07/2011

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It's true when I think of times when I've taken time out for myself always in the back of my mind was how much other stuff I could have been doing during that time. But then again without mental health, nothing can really get done.

Donna - posted on 07/07/2011

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It's true when I think of times when I've taken time out for myself always in the back of my mind was how much other stuff I could have been doing during that time. But then again without mental health, nothing can really get done.

Michi - posted on 07/05/2011

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It is so important for women to take some alone time. So that they don't lose who they are in the whole "taking care of family/parenting frenzy". It can be so overwhelming at times, but it is especially important to learn to cut out that time in the day or week for recollection, regrouping, and recooperation. Some woman "like single mothers" don't have the luxury of having someone watch the kids while they go do their nails or get away. I say, find some time on the weekend when they are all asleep. If you don't do for you, you will forget you and when the kids are out of the house you will say to yourself "who am I" and that is a very scary place to be. One should never feel guilty about doing something nice for yourself. You have not been omitted from the ever-so-complicated equation of motherhood. You are very much apart of it, so you need to nurture and take care of the one entity that makes motherhood happen - YOU!!!

Thandiwe - posted on 07/05/2011

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But how do I take time for myself without taking away time for my little 1. The "me time" I usually take, i get to play with her and do fun things she likes.

Sheena - posted on 06/29/2011

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no i dont have time for myself work do housework take care of kids and no sleep

Felicha - posted on 06/24/2011

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Okay so I am going through this same excact thing as I am typing right now. I am a full time, engaged mother of 5 (2 of my own, 3 are my fiance kids). I work full time 12 hours a day, 3 days a week. He works off and on doing temp work, but an awesome dad who cooks, does light cleaning and sometimes does laundry, but will not hesitate to do any I ask. I have been talking about a trip to Vegas with a few co-workers and I felt really guilty going without him being that I went last year without him. He says "Go and enjoy yourself, you deserve it", but I would love for the both of us to go together. FYI, he was away in Forth Worth earlier this year to work "kid-free", while I stayed here to work and tend to the kids. Now we are soon to be married May of 2012 on a beach in South Padre Island. I ask myself, "Am I doing the right thing, going off a second year while he stays home with the kids, AGAIN"!!

Angela - posted on 06/23/2011

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I always make time for myself. I am a merchandiser so if I don't have to go home right after work, I drive around or go into a store and look at everything. And I do mean everything. I had to learn to take this time for myself because I thought I was losing it for a minute. I feel so much better about things and my smile is not fake anymore when I walk through the door at home.

Kelly - posted on 06/02/2011

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we are aloud to take time for ourselves? Wish someone had told me sooner!!

Veronica - posted on 06/01/2011

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:) oooooh that is so familiar... late home from a stressed day: "MOM! i'm hungry! MOM! let's play! MOM! help me with math!" BUT! Moms are humans, we need rest and care also! So, once a week, i ask my mom or my sister to stay with my kid (my or their place) for a few hours. Really helping! Sometimes even my dad takes my son for a walk so i could have 30 minutes to me only :)

Amy - posted on 05/31/2011

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I agree with the post. I learned that to take care of my family I also need to take care of myself. I work full time, go to school full time and always wish I had more time for the kids. But I find if I don't take those few min to myself I am so stressed out. My husband and I both trade off and also find time for just the two of us. I have to say it can be crazy at times and we might be behind on some chores but we are all happy and growing strong as a family.

Barbara - posted on 05/29/2011

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I'm lucky; my kids know that come 7pm or so, it's shutdown/relaxation time for mom! So if they still want attention, they'll bring in their books/homework/etc. and read with me in my bedroom.

Being everything to everyone can end up making you nothing to anyone, Ive discovered....

Paula - posted on 05/25/2011

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I am the mother of three teenage children. When they were younger, it was more difficult to find time for myself but now, I do every day. I don't have to be at work till 9 so, I leave my house early in the summer and stop by a little coffee shop near my job so I can have some time to gather my thoughts. During school I will go by the same coffee shop after dropping the kids off. It is good to have some time for yourself.

Shana - posted on 05/21/2011

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I would really like to start finding a little time for myself. My children are getting older now, 12, 8 and 5, but I seem to be getting busier. I have been working 50 plus hours a week. Two nights a week, I get home close to bed time for the younger two. The other days I am running around to whatever sports practices they may have. I work Saturdays too. I am exhausted! I really feel that taking time out for yourself is very important. When my children were younger I didn't work outside the house as much and when I did at times the demands weren't as much. I guess the demands are just different now. I would really like to get back into working out more. Any suggestions how to fit it into my busy day? How do you find 45mins a day to work out?

Paula - posted on 05/21/2011

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I work 40 plus hours with my job. It is so hard to find time for myself because once my 13 month daughter goes to bed, I usually go to bed myself. My husband watches her sometimes but when I ask him to watch her sometimes, he just gets mad because all he wants to do is just play on the computer or watch sports. He always plans on doing things that he wants to do and even like tonight. He went to a sporting event and my daughter was with me all evening. I love spending all my time with her but when I want to go do something myself it just doesn't work out that much. I get so stressed out and he just doesn't seem to understand. So I am hoping that one of these days I can find time for myself.

Cristina - posted on 05/16/2011

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It all sounds great, but I honestly do not know how some moms seem to have all this time to do it all and still rest, I honestly envy them, sigh, also I know some of them have a schedule they follow to the T, I've tried that, and tried to get some time to take a bath witch and always end up taking a 3 minute shower.

Novelet - posted on 05/16/2011

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Thanks so much for this posting. I felt guilty about a very recent decision along this line but now my guilt is gone… I took spring vacation this past April with my kids because I hated being the only one leaving the house in the mornings, leaving the three kids and their dad in bed. The entire week was spent cleaning the house and at the end of the week I realize I have been giving to husband, kids, (kids are ages 8, 13 & 16) church, work, friends and family for the past 20 years, and have not taken much time for myself. At the end of that week, I proudly announced that I will now be taking much needed time, VAC and ME time back. I will be reaching out to my girlfriends and get back to those much loved “Girl Times” for a movie, dinner and a drink that we use to have, I will be leaving home and taking small me time vacation, etc. Yes, I do exercise and take care of my person but this time will be so welcomed again. They will love the new me, they will see…:-)

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