I have uncovered a big lie that is being pushed upon new and veteran moms alike. The lie of finding “me” time.
Me time for moms does not exist.
It's a sham. A joke, really. We are told moms need me time so we chase after it and often find ourselves disappointed. That is until we redefine it. I think I've found it hiding in plain sight, we just aren't recognizing it for what it really is….
Before I became a mom I had loads of time to myself. Time that I wish I could have bottled up for an emergency. I look back and think about how I worked full time outside of the home, spent time with my husband and friends, gamed and basically did whatever the hell I wanted when I wanted. Yet, I had the audacity to think I needed to schedule “me” time back then. What? My whole life was practically “me” time. Yet at work we'd talk about the importance of taking care of ourselves to keep our cups full of happiness.
I often confuse “me” time for “alone” time. And that is where the problem is, I think… as evidenced in this video. Rissa even weighs in on the matter briefly.
Recently I conducted a highly unscientific study using Facebook and Twitter and asked my fans and followers what they did for me time. The small sample that responded gave only a handful of answers – many were the same! Here are the results that are no way an accurate representation of all moms (but I'm willing to bet many of you are nodding your heads in agreement):
Responses to What Do You Do For Me Time?
- What is me time?
- Grocery shop
From those responses it really seems like a lot of moms are struggling with finding me time or what to do with their time. (Like Jenni of Mommynanibooboo.com – you can see that she had no clue how to handle 20 minutes alone in her amusing vlog.) I mean, a shower or a bath? Why should our “me” time be while doing basic hygiene? And sleep? You're not even awake to enjoy it!
So, I've concluded that “me” time as we currently think about it doesn't exist. It is very hard for moms (and dads too!) to take alone time away from our families. I know whenever I DO get alone time I am too full of guilt or thoughts of work getting piled up to even enjoy it properly. Why is it always so much work to take a break?
Anyway, back to my conclusion and proposed solution. It's time to stop thinking of “me” time as “alone” time and just think of it as enjoyment time.
Yes, alone time still is valuable and needed but not as much as enjoyment time, in my non-professional opinion. Enjoyment time can occur while you're alone or with family and friends. For me, that's the main thing. I need time to do something I enjoy – no matter who else is involved. I need activities that are something other than feeding, changing, clothing, diapering, laundry, grocery shopping, work, sleep. It doesn't even have to cost money! You could totally tie in this new definition of “me” time with The Frugalette's Happiness Challenge. Ultimately, I've noticed a difference when I get a chance to do something that *I* enjoy on a regular basis.
What say you? What things do you enjoy doing with or without the family?