Moms of small kids, don’t you love all the articles that recommend that you take some “me time”? This sounds great in theory: make some time for yourself as a way to ensure you’re fresh and relaxed when dealing with your kids. But when you try to get some “me time” on the schedule, do you find yourself thwarted at every turn? Me too. So here are some outside-the-box ways to sneak some alone time into your day.
- As the children watch their daily 30 minutes of TV, soak upstairs in a relaxing bubble bath. For 45 seconds. At that point, you will hear shrieking and the unmistakable thump of one of your children pushing the other one onto the carpeted floor. Race downstairs, dripping wet, to give time-outs all around. Also field questions about why your naked body “looks weird.”
- While your kids engage quietly in a craft project, bring out your leatherbound journal and write reflectively about your innermost thoughts and feelings. When your three year old begins to shove a crayon into her sister’s ear, dog-ear your page to ensure you’re able to return later to your soul searching. And by later I mean after retirement.
- Put on your favorite music and allow yourself to be mentally transported to— MAMA! NO! BARNEY! BAD MUSIC! BARNEY NOW NOW NOW! MAAAAAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Oh forget it.
- As part of your morning ritual, engage in a few minutes of yoga or stretching to gently awake your body and prepare yourself for your day. While you’re nursing, of course. And pouring cereal.
- When your husband comes home, leave him with the kids as you sit alone in your room and decompress for ten minutes—WHAT? THE SIPPY CUPS ARE WHERE THEY ALWAYS ARE! WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE THAT IS? GODDAMN IT I’LL BE RIGHT DOWN.
- Speaking of your husband, make some time to text him sweet or even sexy messages while the kids occupy themselves for a second. Like, “I can’t wait to see you tonight. The kids are acting up and if you don’t get home on time I’m going to have a nervous breakdown. XOXO”
- Working moms: on your commute, be sure to read for pleasure or listen to an audiobook. After you organize this week’s schedule, catch up on emails, text the sitter, pay preschool tuition online, and find a tie dyed shirt on Amazon for “tie dye day” at preschool. Oh well, maybe you’ll get to read for fun tomorrow. Or next year.
- Light some aromatherapy candles, and– OH MY GOD THE BABY KNOCKED THEM OVER!! QUICK! WHERE IS THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER?
- Catch up with some of your single or child-free friends on the phone, resolving not to let the kids’ screaming force you off the phone for at least ten minutes. Sadly, your friends get off the phone by minute 3, saying the background noise is stressing them out.
- Go outside in the backyard and breathe deeply during the children’s naptime. Start straightening up the patio furniture and outdoor toys as you mentally chastise yourself for not knowing how the hell to relax.
That’s all I have. I have to put my kids to bed and use that downtime to organize the playroom and throw out the moldy vegetables in the fridge. Namaste!