How to Banish Mom Guilt and Enjoy Your “Me Time”

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Recently I did a survey and asked moms what their biggest challenges as a mom is. Do you know what the most common answer was?

“Getting time for me.”

As much as we absolutely LOVE our children, I think a lot of moms feel like they lose a part of themselves when they have children. Suddenly your universe revolves around a tiny little person who has no regard for your needs or wants. They don’t care if you’re hungry or tired, and we become more of a caregiver for them than for ourselves sometimes.

Does that sound painfully familiar? 

I know I can relate, hands down. I will go out of my way to cook her a balanced breakfast and lunch during the day, all the while I consider the crust off her sandwich part of my lunch, oh and anything else that she doesn’t finish on her plate.

After breakfast, I get her dressed in a cute outfit, brush her hair and she plays. I look in the mirror and see a messy bun, no makeup, a pair of old sweats with a t-shirt. We take care of them but what about ourselves?

If you can relate, you should know that you’re not alone. In fact, you’re probably one of many moms who feel the same way. You love your kids with your whole heart, but you need some time for just you.

Why Moms Don’t Take Time For Themselves

Here are some of the top reasons moms say they don’t get/take time for themselves:

  • There’s not enough time in the day
  • There’s no one to watch the kids
  • They feel guilty taking time for themselves
  • There’s too much to do at home/work
  • They don’t have the funds
  • Insert your reason here…

There are plenty of reasons we don’t take time for us. One of my biggest ones is time, I swear that there just isn’t enough hours in the day. And if I leave for an hour or two, I feel guilty that I should be spending more time with her. It’s a vicious cycle.

What is your reason for not taking time for you? 

Think about it, and give yourself an answer right now. What would you contribute your lack of “me time” to? It’s important to identify the root of your problem, if you’re going to find a solution.

Kick Excuses to the Curb

Now that you’ve addressed WHY it is that you don’t actively take time for yourself. It’s time to get real with yourself and come up with a solution. Let’s tackle the above reasons:

“No time in the day.” — I’ll bet if you really thought hard, you could drop something from your to-do list and replace it with something you enjoy. Do you really need to block out an hour at night to fold laundry, do dishes, or clean up toys? Maybe every other day, but give yourself a chance to put those things aside and focus on something that makes you happy.

“No one to watch the kids.” — I know it’s hard to find someone as qualified as yourself to watch the kids, but if you think hard enough you may be overlooking a few qualified candidates. Think about friends, family, trustworthy neighbors, or even do some research and ask around about a babysitter. Once you have a few options, you’re that much closer!

“I feel guilty.” — I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of feeling guilty for leaving your kids and doing something “selfish” for yourself. But it’s not selfish, it’s actually for their own good! You’re giving yourself a chance to recharge and power up, to be the very best mom for them. There is nothing selfish about that.

“I don’t have the funds.” — There are plenty of things you can do to regroup that don’t cost a dime. Even just window shopping can get you out of the house, and into the fresh air to clear your head of any stressors. Take a stroll, ride your bike, talk with a friend, hang out by the beach (weather willing). I’m sure if you think hard enough, you’ll come up with something wonderful!

How to banish mom guilt and feel good about 'me time'
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Why “Me Time” is Important

We’ve all heard the good old phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup!” and as much as I think it’s cliche, I think it has an accurate statement behind it. You can’t give and give and give until you have nothing left. You need to take some time to refill yourself so that you don’t hit the bottom of an empty glass.

But why? Well a study done by the University of Maryland found that spending a tremendous amount of time with your kids can result in parents (mainly mothers) feeling stressed, sleep-deprived, anxious and guilty.

Feeling stressed all the time means you are more prone to psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, sleep problems, digestive issues, and more. And that doesn’t help anyone!

We feel stressed that we’re not doing a good job as a parent, we feel guilty if we’re not focused on them while they play or not actively playing with them. And while I feel that’s equally important, I also know that they will do great playing alone and gaining imaginative play as well.

A great way to decrease your stress therefore, is to (you guessed it) take time for YOU. Give yourself a break to do something you enjoy, whatever that might be!

How to find time for YOU, and why it's important

Ways to Take Time for You

So now that you know why you need some time to yourself, you’re probably thinking okay, but what do I do with myself? You’re in luck, I have some ideas to consider.

Go thrift shopping Head to a coffee shop
Have coffee with a friend Visit your favorite mall
Check out a fitness class Take a cooking class
Have a paint night out with friends Go for a run
Go to a movie Take a bubble bath
Take a walk with a friend Take a nap
Read a book Start a journal
Start a new Pinterest project Meet a friend for a drink
Get a pedicure or manicure Catch up on your favorite TV shows
Go for a bike ride Hit the beach

What types of things do you do in your “me time”? How do you make time to have time for yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sarah

3 thoughts on “How to Banish Mom Guilt and Enjoy Your “Me Time”

  • April 3, 2017 at 10:46 am
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    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one that feels guilty. My me time usually includes dinner with a girlfriend. As much as I would love it to be dinner with my hubby, night time baby sitters are a little more challenging to find. My hubby and I do have day dates though 🙂

    • April 3, 2017 at 1:27 pm
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      You’re definitely never alone. And day dates are good too! Whatever gets you some alone time, right? 🙂 I love that you get creative like that, sometimes that’s all you can do!

  • April 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm
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    This is something that I have always struggled with since having children, and my oldest is 10 years old. Being only 29 I find that I feel so much older when I go weeks without putting on makeup or finding a reason to actually do my hair nice. It so easy to make excuses for having nothing left for yourself when you spent all morning focusing on everyone else. I now try to have at least one day a week where I get to focus on myself and do things of my choosing.

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