A lot of moms we’ve talked with have a knee-jerk reaction to the thought of taking time for herself: Who, me take a Time-Out? What would I even do? Exactly when am I supposed to take a Time-Out with my crazy schedule? Where would I even go? Why is it so important for me to take time for myself every week?
Even after having all the answers to these questions (which we will address in the coming weeks), the overall question of HOW do I make a Mommy Time-Out happen, still lingers.
There’s schedules to keep, other people’s needs to be met. There’s a rhythm – a pattern – to your daily life. Adding another weekly “thing” feels like you’d be throwing a wrench into a finely tuned piece of machinery.
But your not. Really, you need to see it as adding oil to that awesome machine you’ve got running.
So let’s take a look at these questions, one at a time over the next few weeks, starting with the HOW.
How do you make a Mommy Time-Out happen? Like all great endeavors, one step at a time. And here they are, briefly summarized, to get you going on the path to personal time:
- Lighten Your Load - don’t be afraid to tell people “No” when they ask for your time. And don’t over-volunteer, either. It’s great to be involved in the PTO, neighborhood watch and bake sales, or hosting family and friend celebrations, but you don’t have to be the go-to person each and every time. The same goes with chores and errands around the house. Delegate to your spouse and children (if they are old enough/capable enough) so you aren’t the only one doing the laundry, dishes and dusting. You’ll be teaching your children some great life skills and opening up your schedule for some well-deserved me-time!
- Work backwards – what would you LOVE to do for yourself this week? Once you know what that is, you will know how much time you need and what day you can do it so when you call your trusted sitter you know exactly what to ask for. You will also know what ‘supplies’ you need to bring/purchase (open-toe sandals, paint brushes, candy). Finally, it will give you something to look forward to as you go through your hectic week.
- Ask for help – if it’s another mom at the birthday party or playdate, or a family or friend that you trust to watch your children for a couple hours, pick up the phone and ask. Offer to do the same for them. That way you won’t feel bad for asking and two moms instead of one will get her Time-Out in!
- TAKE your Time-Out! Don’t wait for someone else to offer to make it happen for you, or suggest it. Believe me, it is rare to have someone in your life actually suggest you leave for two hours. And when you say you are going to disappear for two hours? Watch the quiet panic ensue. Don’t let that stop you, though. Take the Time-Out and know it’s as much for them as it is for you.
- Be part of a Mommy Time-Out support group - whether formal or informal. On line or in person. Just talk to other moms and make a pact with each other that you will each make sure the other will have a Time-Out at least once a week.
- Download the Free Forms on our website to help you stay organized. Our goal is to do as much of the work for you as possible so you can concentrate on having a great Time-Out!
These steps should get you started. And remember, whenever you feel like you can’t be bothered with making time for yourself, look at your precious babies and remind yourself why you have to do it.