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Mom Time - Guilt-Free Getaways

How often do you take time for yourself? How often do you say, “Now it’s my special time” and let nobody interfere with that?

“I make sure to go and have coffee with a friend once a week. I also make time for yoga and sometimes horseback riding,” says Lisa Carriou, mom of one. “It’s good for the soul, so I do it,” Carriou laughs. Moms need time for themselves. It may seem counterintuitive to the new mom who cannot bear to be farther than within an arm’s reach from the new bundle of joy, but more seasoned moms will tell a different story. Taking time for yourself means honoring yourself and teaching your children to honor themselves. It means that your children will have a happy mom and learn the value of taking care of oneself.

Taking time off to rest or go for a walk when the house is all but screaming with chores to do and everyone wants a piece of you may seem selfish. It’s not. Remember how flight attendants instruct you to put your oxygen mask on first and then attend to your children? It’s called survival. But there is no magic happening unless you yourself make it happen. Oftentimes it seems hard enough even with a partner or extended family around but how about when you’re mostly on your own? Here’s how to master the art of making “mom time” and why it is important that you do.

Those early days

There’s a new baby and the joy of holding them makes up for sleep deprivation and that occasional odd feeling of tiredness. One of the things you establish from early on is giving yourself this gift. Be it a nap or resting on the couch, set aside time to replenish your energy.

Nap when the baby naps. No buts, ands and ifs, just do it. Dishes and dust can wait, this is a good time to lower your expectations in order to preserve sanity and be a happy mom.

Accept help. Chances are people will offer to cook for you, take your baby for a short walk or watch them while you take a bath. Graciously accept without feeling guilty. There will be a time when a friend or neighbor will be there, and you’ll be the one to help.

Go to ‘mom and baby’ groups. It’s not time by yourself, but you’ll connect with other moms – it’s a great opportunity to share stories of joy, offer and get encouragement, and learn about good babysitters or plan child care swap opportunities for later on.

As they grow

Babies demand time, toddlers demand your attention, older kids need to be driven places and… well, they’ll still need time with you. Add to that chores, a job and you’ve got yourself a full plate. Yet mom time is a must. Honoring it teaches your children the importance of taking care of oneself and how that makes for happy parents. They’ll learn about self-respect and model it when the time comes, a worthy lesson in itself.

Start with scheduling me time. Be it an hour a week or an afternoon, plan it and make it happen. Here’s how:

Swap. If you have friends with children the same age, swap child care and you’ll each have a slice of time on your own.

No help available? Call a babysitting agency or ask friends for recommendations. If money is a concern, hire teenage babysitters (make sure they have taken the course through the Canadian Red Cross).

Last but not least, put guilt and chores away. Don’t use any mom time to do chores no matter what. You matter more than any clean, orderly house will. As your children grow, engage them into helping so that everyone can enjoy free time once the work is done.


Daniela lives and writes in Vancouver. Her two sons provide the inspiration for many articles, money-related or otherwise. For more information, visit www.thinkofclouds.com.

 

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