Spend Time on You

You deserve your time, too.

We as moms spend so much time on everyone else. But what happens when we don’t take any time for ourselves? To reflect. To just sit quietly. To do something we once enjoyed so much.

Are you ok? What can I get you? Yes, let’s wash your snuggle blanket 30 minutes before bedtime, sounds like a great idea. Get in the car, we have to get to soccer practice!

It’s always go, go, go! By the time we get to sit down alone, we can’t even formulate a full sentence. Well, at least I can’t. Just ask my hubby, he’s laughed at my incoherence on more than one occasion.

I miss reading. I miss taking a bath with a good magazine. I miss doing craft projects.

Why can’t there be time!?

Oh, but there is. There is time, it’s just being spent on the mundane, easy to access things. Like, Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram.

Make no mistake, I am on all three of those each day! But do I need to be? Do I need to be planning extravagant black tie parties and decorating imaginary kitchens on Pinterest? Well, yea, sometimes that’s my unwinding time. Should I be so engrossed in the lives of others, that I forget I have a beautiful life of my own?

The simple truth is that we need to unplug. We need to set down social media from time to time and enjoy what is just ours.

Yes, a blogger, is telling you to put your electronics down!

Not forever. Please do come back!

But at least for a good amount of time each day. Remember what it felt like to do something you enjoyed without interruption? No, of course we don’t. We have kids. And cell phones. There is no such thing as no interruption anymore.

What about after bedtime? Here’s how that goes for me. . .

I tip toe out of my son’s room, he’s almost asleep. Time to read stories to the beauty and lay with her for a few minutes to talk about the day.

Stories are over. We’ve shared our favorite and least favorite parts about the day. And I’ve told her something I appreciate about her. She’s falling asleep, it’s 8:12 p.m. so ok, 3 minutes on Pinterest and I’ll creep out and go read.

Crap, it’s 8:36! Ok, 4 more minutes and I’ll go do my nails.

Welp, it’s 9:02, I’ve decorated 2 new homes and redone my wardrobe. Now I’m so tired I don’t want to do anything.

Then the little whiny voice in my head says, ugh there’s just no time for anything anymore! *foot stomp*

Anyone else? Is this anyone else’s nightly routine?

There was almost a full hour of me being awake and excited to go do something for me. But I wasted my opportunity. (Again, I really love Pinterest and IG.)

Plenty of me time before my bed time. Plenty!

What’s the result of this lack of me time?

Resentment. Grumpiness. Occasional unwillingness to do fun things because I’m just too beat down. I’m too busy doing everything that I can’t get any time for me *another foot stomp for effect*

Sounds childish. But it is the truth. When we don’t focus on our own wants, our own needs, it’s not only ourselves that suffer. It’s everyone around us. I’ve told several of my mom friends that have been down in the dumps, to be the best mom you can be, you must be the best you.

This means stepping away from the distractions. Taking a bit of time for yourself. You need to treat yourself like a person, someone with feelings and wants. Not just the hired help. Not just the robot who just has to get things done.

One more load of laundry does not need to be thrown in tonight. Unload the dishwasher in the morning just this once.

For the next week, I have a challenge for us all. I’ll be participating as well.

Unplug from social media at dinner time. No phones or iPads or computers at the table. You can take pictures of those cute spaghetti faces next time. Enjoy the memories. Post a picture of your perfect salmon next week. Instagram will still be there.

Tuck your kids in at bedtime and ask them what their favorite part of the day was. What was yours? Share it with them. Ask them what their least favorite part of the day was. Their answers might surprise you. Shoot, your answers might surprise you!

Sometimes, I’ve been so preoccupied with other things during the day, that I miss moments my children talk about later. That makes me a little sad. It also makes me realize how much I need to disconnect from social media and reengage with my family.

I pause so many of our most memorable times just so I can take the perfect picture.

Take pictures. Take lots, because Mama, those kids grow up faster than you can believe.

Just don’t watch the memories through the screen.

Spending those few little minutes connecting with my kids really gives me a new energy. I feel so happy and peaceful after we’ve played or shared a laugh.

After bedtime, do something for you. What did you used to enjoy doing when you got a moment to yourself?

Read. Craft. Scrapbook. Take a bath.

Listen to your favorite radio station while you cross stitch. Yes, cross stitch. I can cross stitch… and make balloon animals.

Have a conversation with your husband. GASP! A what? Yes, a conversation with the husband. He must be willing to unplug too, though. Because if he’s staring at a screen while you’re talking it’ll make you want to throw his phone into the garage and then stomp on it… Sounds like that’s from experience, doesn’t it?

Or don’t have a conversation with him… do other things with him. Remember when you weren’t too tired for those sorts of extracurricular activities?

Do whatever your big, full, mommy heart desires.

So, for one full week, no more electronics or social media at dinner time and bed time each night.

See how it feels. It’ll feel weird day 1. But it’ll feel great after that.

DON’T FORGET TO COME BACK! Ha!

And tell me all about your challenge. What was the best part? What were 2 things you did for yourself?

Will you do it again?