September 8, 2012

Moms Need a Break Too

Working at a children’s formal wear shop has given me time to observe people during their busiest times. It doesn’t matter if they’re trying to find a flower girl dress for their upcoming wedding or a suit for a special church service, the majority of the moms (and some dads) who come in to our store are in somewhat of a hurry to check one more thing off their “to-do” lists. I’m a mom, so I can relate…we’re busy and running errands with our kids is generally the last thing we want to do after we get off work.

I mean, there’s a ton of other things that have to get done before the day is over too. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take some time off just for us too. Have you ever made it a point to give yourself a break and time to do something you really want to do…by yourself? I didn’t used to because I felt like there was just too much to do and it would all pile up on me if I didn’t keep up with it. But, I started to notice how cranky and irritable I was all the time. If something little was added to my agenda, I would feel overwhelmed and stress out about it.

That’s when I had a friend tell me she thought I needed to take a break for myself. This was something she did quite regularly. Her theory is that there will always be things to do, but when we take time for ourselves, the benefits outweigh the negatives (like not getting anything done at home during that time). I decided to give it a try and what I found was that even though I still had things to do when I got home, I was happier doing them. I had more patience for my husband and my kids and small things didn’t stress me out anymore. So, I decided to make time for myself on a regular basis. Here’s how I find time for myself.

1. I rest when my son rests. My son still takes a small nap every day. It’s usually no longer than 1-1 ½ hours and I take that time to rest myself. Sometimes, I lay down and take a nap myself, but other times I opt to sit on the couch and watch some television or curl up in my favorite chair and read. I’ve found that resting when my son rests is the easiest way to make sure I get some “me time” in every day.
2. Schedule lunch with a friend. This is something that happens maybe once or twice a month, at the most. It can be difficult to find time to meet with a friend for lunch, but it makes all the difference to me. Actually being able to sit down with another adult (without my son) and have an adult conversation is actually pretty therapeutic for me.

3. Get my hair and nails done. Finally, I didn’t used to be the type of girl you would find gushing about how much she looked forward to having her hair and nails done, but I am now. It’s not because I think I need to be pampered all the time (this only happens once every 4-6 weeks), but mainly because it gives me time alone where I get to go and relax. Plus, who doesn’t feel better when their hair is cut and styled and their nails are pretty?

If you haven’t made time for yourself lately and are feeling drained, irritable and edgy then make a point to make some time for yourself. You don’t have to do the things I suggested above if you don’t enjoy those things. The point is to find something you like to do (alone) and set aside time in your schedule to do it! You’ll feel better and your family will notice the difference too!