Still Trying To Find The Balance…

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Before I had kids, I had a lot of free time. I would read leisurely in my pajamas all day. I’d go shopping by myself, enjoying the aimless wandering and the ability to spend money like it was not hard to come by. We’d decide to go away for the weekend at the spur of the moment. We took vacations that were enjoyable, not work like they are now.

And sometimes, we would decide to go to a late dinner and I’d have a glass of wine while getting ready and listening to music…not Barney, but my music. That’s back when getting ready meant taking a shower AND shaving AND washing my hair, then blow drying – and if the mood struck me – even curling it, putting on my make up (taking longer than 5 minutes to do it), and leaving the house in clothes that have not been spit on, thrown up on, had a nose wiped on them, or food smeared on them. Ah, those were the days.

Now? I’m lucky if I get a shower everyday! Reading? A thing of the past (unless it’s a blog or blog related). Shopping is never for me anymore, it’s always for the kids, and then it’s trying to get in and out of the store as fast as possible, before somebody starts crying or throwing a tantrum.

I’ve got this mom gig nailed now, and by that I mean I just wing it most of the time and hope for the best. I expect the unexpected and all that. But what I haven’t been able to figure out in these last three years is how to fit “me time” back into the picture.

I used to think that “me time” meant I had to go away from the house – girls night out, coffee with a girlfriend, a mani/pedi…and don’t get me wrong, those are all nice, but more often than not, not doable. My friends and I all have young kids, and trying to find time to get away is tricky.

“Me time” now means making sure I take time everyday to do something just for me, because it’s something I want to do, not have to do, or because somebody else wants to do it. Blogging is great “me time” (but it’s also work, so I don’t always count it). Taking a shower by myself has become “me time”, and I’m serious when I say that. Sometimes it’s getting to watch a TV show all by myself while husband keeps the kids occupied upstairs. Other days it’s sitting down to write or maybe going through old photos of the kids or family. Eating a hidden Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cup and not sharing.

Simple things…I guess that’s how I would describe my “me time” now. Little, simple things. Things that people without kids take for granted.

My goal this year is to take my “me time” back. Getting a mani/pedi AND getting my hair done. Taking a spa day. Maybe even a weekend getaway with just me and Jason. Laughing more, yelling less. Reading one book a month. Meeting a girlfriend for coffee or a glass of wine sans kids. Not counting seeing my friends when we do a play date. Having a date night at least once a month. Getting back into shape. Getting away from the computer!

What are your tips or suggestions for balancing raising kids, working, and “me time”? I need all the help I can get!

Remember, visit http://www.facebook.com/crystallight to learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors. I was selected and paid for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
And so it goes…

Psst! I’m guest posting today over at Scary Mommy’s place! If you’re stopping in from there…hello! Take a look around! Check out “The Cast” page to learn about my husband and kids. Everything else is all about me and me trying to raise kids that aren’t monsters (even though I call them monsters now!).

I’m also guest posting over at This Blogger Makes Fun Of Stuff…remember the Gyro Bowl that I couldn’t wait to get so the kids could try it out? Well, I got it and I am reviewing it over there. If you have been thinking about getting one for your kids, you’re gonna want to read my review first!

Mama's Losin' It
I wrote this post for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop in response to Prompt #2: Finding the balance. How do you manage?

Comments

  1. Lindsay {DesignerWife} says:
    I love this! I totally know what you mean about "getting away from the computer" - it's something I've been trying to work on lately but it seems there's always just "one more thing" I need to do before I put the macbook away....

    It's a vicious cycle. Good luck getting your "me time" back :)
  2. Dominique @Dominique's Desk says:
    I too wrote about this prompt this week.
    For me planning and having a flexible schedule helps a lot.
  3. Not a Perfect Mom says:
    me time? huh? I don't get it...
  4. myevil3yearold says:
    I am working on "me time" too. It was one of my goals for 2011
  5. Life Without Pink says:
    I was just thinking this the other day. How simple things like taking a shower, driving in a car by myself or eating a full meal have now become a luxury. Balancing? Still trying to figure it out, especially working from home...really hard!
  6. great post!! it is true. i think when we become moms there is a great deal of sacrifice. hard to find the balance without stressing out husbands, babysitters, grandparents etc to help.
  7. What a great post. I try to work out 6 days a week, but I need to find more "quiet" me-time, too. I love my husband dearly, but it seems like since I stopped working outside of the home, his share of the parenting is sliding towards fun uncle, and I am on call for the tough stuff 24-7 :)
  8. I couldn't agree with you more. I have 2 lil monsters at my house.. well they aren't little .. 8 and 6.. and it seems I don't have any time for myself anymore either. I relate to your blog a lot. I used to run around and do things alone and now I don't go anywhere alone. I think its great when I get to take a shower, after the kids are fast asleep and my hubby is watching some boring show I dont like. Thats my time! :)
  9. A shower with no kids around is "me time" and I stay up late at night after the kids have gone to bed doing homework so I guess that could also be considered "me time." I hope you find more balance, I know it's hard but balance is important.
  10. I like the post, but I believe you said one thing backwards. You said "I've got this mom gig nailed now." I think you meant to say, "I got nailed and got the mom gig." Or, maybe you were right and I'm wrong...
  11. John and Allie Fields says:
    I'm still trying to figure out why I always thought I was so busy before I had kids. What the heck was I doing? Now I would not know "me" time if it slapped me in the face. It's just a mystery of the past.
  12. I love not internetting on the weekend - only way I actually "see" my family.
  13. @Life Without Pink Driving in the car alone is the best! So rare and so lovely!
  14. I've been so lucky to have some bigger chunks of time to do fun things with friends (Napa!), but it's the day-to-day me time that helps me to survive the inevitable monotony that goes with being a stay-at-home mom.
    I love being here with my kids, but without that me time, I start to feel like I don't exist and that's not healthy for anyone.
    I plan to try that dark chocolate peanut butter cup all to myself idea! ;)
  15. GOOD FOR YOU!!! I think this is a fabulous idea. I can't imagine what it must be like for a mom to be so inundated at all times. Me-time is so, so important. What about setting your alarm for one hour sooner? That could be some prime time for reading or simply enjoying your sweet self.
  16. Love that you sneak a TJ chocolate without sharing! :)
  17. Me time is so important. I have a 6 y/o and twin 2 y/os and just this month I started official "me time". I watched a show. I painted my nails. I did crossword puzzles. It's sad that my "me time" is lame compared to life pre-kids but to me, right now, it's everything.

    I read your Just Doing It guest post. Completely Hysterical. It sounds like a typical day in our home. Every detail from the fights over spoons to the 3 kids seeing who can yell loudest, to the tantrums and then repeat it all over again. This is my life too. Chaotic and entertaining when i can keep my whits about me.
  18. I hope you get to reclaim every last one of those me-time items! :)
  19. JDaniel4's Mom says:
    I am horrible at doing this. Blogging is really the "me" time I take.
  20. It is so hard to still put yourself and your needs first or at least somewhere up there on the priority list!
  21. Yup, I still haven't found that balance yet. But I've learned that spending time by myself (usually means locking myself in the bathroom for 30 minutes with my iPod or a book) is essential to my sanity.
    And I won't lie...today? I went tanning *gasp*...I needed it.
  22. I'm not a mom but still struggle with me time. The most me time I get is my commute on the train, but even then I'm emailing/tweeting/commenting with my phone. I should really learn to put that thing away.
  23. Me time is the best! But so hard to remember to find time for....here's hoping you get more in the new year, Nat!
  24. I am still trying to figure me time out. I have one child and it seems to be elusive. But it's also on my to do list for this year!
  25. Making It Work Mom says:
    I find the older my kids get the harder it is to find me time. I know it seems weird, but there is just so many things that need to be done for/with them and so many places to go. Now we don't go out not because someone will be upset but because someone has a game/pracatice/birthday party/etc.
    It is hard to find "me" time! Good Luck!