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Parents Need to Find Their 'Me' Time

Taking time for yourself away from the kids to refresh is essential to being a good parent.

Every morning, my alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. to remind me that the craziness of day was about to begin, yet again. After feeding the dog, letting the dog out, taking a shower, getting my son up and moving and rushing out the door to take him to school, I I’m halfway to work before I realize I’ve left my laptop at home.

My veins are throbbing in my neck from the stress, and I haven’t even had my first cup of coffee yet.

I trudge through the day, jumping meetings, managing project teams and staying on top of deadlines. My small reprieve comes from my drive home at lunch to let the dog out. But as I walk into the kitchen I see the green “done” light on the dishwasher and I end up unloading and reloading the thing. Then, I start a load of laundry and give my floors a quick sweep. I can’t help it. It’s my multi-tasking mantra, and it’s killing my mojo!

After picking up my son from afterschool care, I speed home to pull together dinner. Then race to soccer practice or scouts and deal with tired kids with a long night of homework ahead. If I’m lucky, I’m walking the dog by 9 p.m., which is followed by folding laundry, picking up the house, signing school agendas, making lunches and finally a shower by 10:30 p.m.

Shaving my legs has become a luxury these days and not so much a necessity (big benefit of being in a long distance relationship). I’ve learned to invest in a lot of pants just to buy myself that extra twenty minutes. 

Sound familiar?

I’m an attentive mother, a hard working professional and an overachiever to a fault. My days tend to blend together, and sometimes I think I’ve lost myself and perhaps my mind in the process. I am not “Super Mom”; I just haven’t learned to say “No!”

By the time Friday rolls around, I’m pretty much brain dead and socially incapable. I want so much to get things done, write my book, cook great food, and actually relax. But I’m mentally and physically freaked.

It’s time to trade in a few moments of mom time for a little bit of “me” time, without feeling guilty. My kids are 14 and almost 11, so it’s taken me a bit longer than others to figure this one out. But it’s important for parents to do things for themselves without their kids. We all need to recharge and by doing so we can become better parents by being refreshed, calm, and eager to participate.

Every parent should discover what it is that revitalizes them. This may be going out to dinner with other adults, treating yourself to a manicure and pedicure, playing poker with the guys, sleeping in a bit longer on the weekends, a day at the beach to read a good book, or going out for a date night with your partner.

I’m beginning to realize that for me it’s not so much about what I can do for myself, but rather what I don’t have to do, that will make a difference in my daily life. Not doing the laundry when a pile beckons me, not finishing all the dishes before going to bed, not running out to get things my kids request, not taking the last shower, not structuring my entire weekend around everyone else’s plans, not bringing work home and not making sack lunches one or two days a week and just letting my kids buy are all sacrifices that will give me the opportunity to have time for me.

So the next time you stop by my house, you may notice a stack of mail that hasn’t been filed, dirty clothes piled in a heap, and dishes needing to be washed.

You may see me out enjoying a nice dinner with my girlfriends, shopping for new clothes without my teenage daughter, or notice I’ve rented all the Brat Pack movies at once so I can have a Molly Ringwald weekend marathon. I assure you that my kids will still be clean and fed, but my toes might look real pretty.

I encourage you to do the same.

Here are some local places in Seminole Heights that will help you find your “me” time:

Denise Preziosi February 24, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Call Pat Collins Babysitting Services and get a 3 or 4 hour break. Experienced sitters 813 837-5874

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