The Weekly Appointment One Mom Will Never Miss

The Weekly Appointment One Mom Will Never Miss

Why spending an hour or more per week on your own thing is essential.

By: Marisa Torrieri Bloom

You might not guess it from my suburban-mom blonde hair or high-end yoga pants, but I used to sing and play guitar for a hard rock band. It’s true -- I’ve been on two national tours, filmed hair-thrashing videos with plenty of stage antics, and have finger callouses from years of playing that no lady would envy.

While I now teach guitar to little kids two evenings a week, I barely have time to play for myself -- let alone create new music -- and I haven’t played a rock show since last year when I was five months pregnant with my second son.

I love my family and my life. But a few weeks ago, my husband noticed that I’d been a bit crankier than usual: My tolerance for hearing football games in the background on Sundays while I played with my kids had whittled down to zero, and I was snapping at my man for little things like leaving a dish in the sink or not taking out my toddler’s diaper pail bag on trash day. When he called me on it, all I could do was agree with him. Though quietly, I wondered, “What’s the deal with me lately?”

Things changed about two weeks ago.

An old friend emailed me about a forming a mom rock band, and asked if I would be interested in playing guitar. We’d have to practice at least one night a week, but the rewards would be worth it -- we’d play great shows and have fun.

Of course, I already had formed the answer to her question in my head: probably not. After all, I have two dudes in diapers, one of whom I’m still nursing. Between 5:30 p.m. when I pick them up at day care and 8 p.m. when I put them to bed, I am 100 percent mom, and no babysitter can do what I do as well as I do it (not to mention, paying $30 a week for a sitter would add up).

More from P&G everyday: 10 Ways Real Moms Sneak in a 'Time-Out' From Parenting

However, just thinking about the mere prospect of forming a band lit a fire in me: I needed to play. And I hadn’t really been playing guitar, save for “The Wheels on The Bus” or “Old MacDonald” for the kids on Sunday mornings after breakfast.

I told my husband that I wanted to play guitar again, and he agreed to help me make it happen. Last Friday, he took the boys to day care and I enjoyed a full hour of strumming and singing. Afterward, the entire day went better. This past weekend, there was much less bickering than there had been for weeks. I credit much of this to my decision to tap into my creativity again and take that hour, guilt free.


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As my boys grow a little older and less needy in the next few months, I’m hoping to add a second hour of playing to my packed schedule.

Everybody needs some kind of outlet. For some moms, that might simply be jogging two days a week, and for others, it could be painting or crafting or making homemade jam over the course of several nights. But when we don’t get to tap into our inner, creative/athletic/holistic selves, we’re going to become pent up, overly wound up, and resentful.

And I’m certainly not alone.

When Rebecca, a Norwalk, Connecticut, mom of two, doesn’t get her 20 minutes of meditation per day, it definitely affects her mood and positive outlook. And for my friend Maxine, a mom of two in Los Angeles, an hour or so of yoga every Saturday morning with her best friend makes all the difference. “Yoga, especially with the right teacher, truly makes me a better mom, wife, person,” she says. “If I miss a Saturday and then don't make it up on Sunday, I don't truly enjoy my life and I am not fully present as a happy wife and mom.”

What’s your favorite, essential way to take time for yourself, away from the family?

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is a freelance writer and guitar teacher who lives with her husband and two young sons in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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