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There is nothing more important for a mother than "me" time. T aking time for yourself, away from your partner and kids, allows you to renew and create more reserves of energy. If you have or have had a toddler running around, you know you need all the energy you can get! Taking time for yourself will make you a better parent and partner. You will give your family a chance to miss you and bond with each other. First though, the ever elusive question: How do I create more "me" time?
As a mother and step-mother, I know how difficult it can be to just step away from everyone. I always feel like I need to do everything for everyone. The first step in creating "me" time is to give up control. Delegate tasks to your partner or grandparent or whoever offers to take care of your kids while you take some time for yourself. You aren't the only one that can prepare dinner for your kids and hey, if they just eat chocolate for dinner one night at grandma's house, well then so be it.
When mothers get overtaxed and exhausted, it reflects on the kids. Kids can become agitated, aggressive and our of control reflecting off of our exhaustion. When mothers take a break, they come back refreshed, calmer and with a different mindset. You come back ready to take on parenthood, one sliced grape at a time!!
Uncover a personal passion and pursue it. Do you enjoy exercising? painting? yoga? going to book club? Whatever it is, get back to it. Enjoying life comes from participating in and doing things you are passionate about. If you liek exercising, then coordinate with your partner to stay with the kids three times a week so you can get to the gym for a while. Same goes for anything you are passionate about. It doesn't have to be long but it does need to be consistent. Your family needs to know that a certain day and time of the week is for you and you alone.
It's very important to build a network of people you trust to watch your children. It could be your parents, your partner, a babysitter or friend. You need to have a group of people you can count on for when you need to make your escape! Another good idea is to schedule your "me" time so everyone knows when you will be out. Scheduling is important to run a household so while you are filling out your month on your planner, be sure to add in your "me" time!
Learn to say "NO!" When you don't have a mile long list of social commitments, there are more opportunities for personal time. Learn to say "No" to every request from your friends, your job and/or your child' school. Try not to over-schedule your children's extracurricular activities. Like I mentioned before, schedule your "me" time so you can make sure you don't miss it!
It's so important for your health, well-being and creativity to have some "me" time. Most importantly, it's an important part to keep your stress levels at bay! We all know that a happy, less stressed mom makes happy, less-stressed kids!!