Why You Need Mama Me Time
Many mothers suffer from guilt, especially when it comes to doing something for themselves. They’ll organise everything they think their child needs – buying them more things, chauffeuring them from one activity to another – yet they’d never consider spending that kind of time or money on themselves. Eventually this kind of self-sacrifice leads to frustration, stress, exhaustion and resentment.
If there’s a voice in your head telling you that it’s selfish to focus on yourself, here’s my mini pep talk: it’s better for your child when you’re happy and you look after yourself. It’ll give you more energy to give them and make you calmer and more fun to be around. Imagine what a great role model you’ll be for them. If not for you, do it for them.
Mothers who make time for themselves are happier and more relaxed. And happier, more relaxed mothers = happier, more relaxed kids. If you’re ever feeling a bit guilty about doing something for yourself, remember that you’re doing it for your family too.
Creating some space in your life will allow you to be in better touch with yourself and how you’re feeling. Yet it’s hard when there’s always so much else that needs doing. How can you relax and not think about the growing laundry pile or the fridge that needs refilling again?
Here’s the truth: If you’re running yourself ragged every day without coming up for much air, you’re not going to be your best self. When you’re not being your best self you don’t like yourself much. When you don’t like yourself you create ‘bad weather’ in your home. Your kids feel that and it affects their mood and how they behave.
One way to ensure your whole day doesn’t fly past without any time to yourself is to have it first thing in the morning. If your child is no longer waking you up at ridiculous hours, it’s well worth trying some morning Me Time.
I’d always convinced myself I was not a morning person, yet since I began setting my alarm for fifteen minutes before the kids wake up for school, I’ve never looked back. It was tempting at first to use that time to check emails and social media, or to get going on some jobs around the house, but I committed 100 per cent to using it as sacred Me Time. As my husband leaves for work very early, I stay under the covers and ‘beditate’ to a guided meditation app, then write in my journal. Fifteen minutes no longer feels like enough time, so I now wake up half an hour earlier. Having this morning Me Time ritual is without a doubt the reason I now score my Personal Growth area high on my Project Me Life Wheel every month. It also makes me a much nicer mama on school mornings with my kids. Of course waking up earlier means getting to bed earlier too.
If your day has flown past without doing anything for you, quality Me Time can happen in the evenings by setting a ‘winding down’ alarm and doing something to nurture yourself. I love to have a bath, light some candles, breathe and unwind before cosying up in bed with my journal, an inspiring book or a guided meditation. You don’t have to do this every night, but if you’ve had a rough day, it’ll feel like an indulgent treat and will set you up for a better day tomorrow.
Mama Me Time Action Sheet
I’ve created a special Action Sheet to help you brainstorm a few things that will nourish you and feed your soul. You’ll be more likely to choose a Me Time treat from your list rather than wasting it on social media, TV, tidying up or whatever your default mode is. Keep it somewhere visible as a steady reminder.
Get your Me Time Action Sheet here.
Mama Me Time Inspiration
I asked Project Me Mamas to share their ideas for what they’d love to do when they have some Mama Me Time.
★ 10 mins: Read a magazine (feet up!), sit in a sunny spot with a cup of tea, listen to a guided meditation app, breathe deeply with closed eyes, do some stretches, play music and dance, step outside and get some fresh air, stroke a pet, do some colouring in, read a chapter of a book, read some Project Me blogs, write a gratitude list, watch an inspiring TED Talk, eat a fruit salad – very slowly, appreciating the different colours and flavours.
★ 30 mins: Read a few chapters of a book, take a walk, go for a run, do some more yoga stretches, do a longer meditation, listen to a podcast, journal, fill in a Project Me Action Sheet, do a mini home workout, call a friend for a catch-up, take a bath.
★ An hour: Paint your nails, take a walk in nature, go for a longer run or workout, ride a bike, meet a friend for coffee or a smoothie, read a longer section of your book, sit on a park bench and people-watch, do a full yoga session, scrapbook, bake, Project Me Hot Date With Myself.
★ Half a day/A whole day: Go to the hairdresser, meet a friend for an activity, eat out at a restaurant, get a manicure/pedicure, wander aimlessly, visit a gallery or exhibition, go window shopping, go clothes shopping, visit a yoga centre, attend a workshop, do an online course, get a massage or facial.
In the comments below, share your ideal Mama Me Time treats.
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