No Time for Yourself?

No Time for Yourself?

We hear you. Try these ideas for finding the hidden me time in your day.

By: Anne-Marie O’Neill

Me Time? What’s That?

Let me guess: When you dropped the kids off at school this year, your Type-A mind immediately started making plans. This year, things would be different. You'd exercise every day. Always cook healthy meals. Find more time for yourself. Yeah, right. Well, we won't tell you to create more time in your day – you already stay up too late – but here are some hints for uncovering the secret time you do have, and using it just for you.

Choose the Longest Line
Stop trying to finish your shopping so fast. The kids are at school, so get in the longest line at the grocery store and catch your favorite celebrity’s engagement or drool over that dreamy kitchen in the home magazine. Breathe, while you're at it. Relax. Same principle applies for other "waiting" situations: Stuck in a traffic jam during your commute? What's the sky look like right now? When was the last time you noticed a sunset? Take the time to enjoy your surroundings – yes, live in the moment – and you might be surprised how enjoyable it can be. If that doesn't work for you, try a book on tape. The idea is to inject some delight into any moment of alone time that you have.


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Trade Playdates
So many of us are reluctant to ask for help. Don't be. That mom you're talking to needs it as much as you do. Now that the kids are back at school, trade playdates that get them out of the house so that you can have some time for yourself. And when you schedule that playdate at your place, ask then and there when you can set the next one at the other mom's place. Talk about it upfront as an exchange. We guarantee she'll want the time just as much as you do. Got multiple kids? Work it multiple times with multiple moms. There will be dividends.

Reclaim Your Breaks
Don't run errands or respond to the teacher or plan tonight's dinner. Plan to do that once a week, and then pick up a book or magazine, leave the building, grab a coffee and enjoy. Moms are always rushing through the day and skipping lunch to get home to the babysitter, spouse or kids. Take this time for you.

Blow Off Bedtime Rituals
It will not damage your children or your relationship with them if you ditch one of your – or their – beloved routines. Turn off the light, and go read something for yourself. Maybe not every night, but at least once a week. Want to know another dirty secret? Children don't need a 20-minute bubble bath every night. Do you get a bubble bath every night? Didn't think so. Just wipe 'em down with a washcloth.

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