Feeling Stressed? Here’s How to Get Quality Me Time
I love being a mom, and how to get quality me time can be a challenge. I was meant to be a mother and remember dreaming about what kind of kids I would have from a very young age. Interestingly, I always thought I’d have three boys, and had names all picked out even before puberty. Two of those names are now the middle names of our oldest boys!
Apparently, I am a bit stuck in my ways.
As you fellow parents know, as fun and rewarding as it is, there are a lot of stresses, frustrations, and aggravations that are part and parcel in this parenting gig. What every mom wants is some quality time to themselves where they can unwind, relax and think about something other than your kids. Being a working Mom of three rambunctious boys you might think that it is near impossible; I want to assure you that not only is it possible, I think it is an absolute must.
I am a better mom, wife, sister, friend and doctor because of my me time. And I don’t feel guilty about that at all.
Taking quality time for you is essential. I wish I could write a prescription for it and give it to every mom or dad that I see. You see, despite the fact that we are parents, this does not mean that is our sole identity, nor our sole purpose. Before we were parents we had lives and friends and interests and I for one was not willing to give this up just because I had a new title of “mom.”
I am an exercise junky. I crave it, desire it, and need it. For me exercise is the key to my sanity and really cures what ails me. Exercise is my fuel, anxiety buster and mood elevator. I am irritable and achy without it. My husband knows this and accepts this. I wish he had the passion and desire like me for exercise, but that’s the topic of another blog all together. For me, he is my enabler, and I am very fortunate to have him.
Despite the fact that we are parents does not mean that is our sole identity, nor sole purpose.
How do I make my addiction work into my life? Routine. I am fortunate to have a flexible job where I can work exercise into my day and work around it. For now, I work out just after the kids are fed and sent to school, then head to work for the day. During med school and residency, I would head to the gym between classes, or at the end of the day if I had to. When Dylan, our eldest, was born, I would feed him at 5AM then run to the gym for a work-out before my husband left for work. I just figure it out and stick with it.
They say that doing something regularly for 3 weeks makes it routine. I have been working-out 5-6 days a week for 15 years. There is no going back.
But for any of you that have not yet become addicted, what should you do? I suggest (I BEG you in fact) – give it 3 weeks. This is not a long time. I promise you can find a mere 30 min (ideally 60min) of space in your busy day to spend some time working on yourself, not just physically but for your brain, creativity and confidence.
Try it out- and let me know how it goes. I hope you feel stronger, smarter and, as I do, better equipped as a mom and partner.