Posts Tagged ‘me time’

Oh Yeah, I’m a Mombie

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

mombieI do math every night. It’s a word problem that starts something like this: How many hours of sleep will I get if I go to sleep at X time? I’m tired, so tired. The little ones have colds this week with a cough that keeps them up. And there’s that whole infant, toddler, and preschooler thing happening. Right now, at 9pm on a Wednesday night I should go to sleep. Just one more hour, I say. And then another. The house is quiet. Oh, glorious silence, how this introvert misses you. I know my 5 month old will wake at 5am to eat. And then the other children will be up by the time I could fall back asleep. So 5am is the latest time when my day life kicks off.

But my nightlife is all mine. It’s a rockin’ good time with dim house lights and a roarin’ good show on the stage of my TV stand. Sometimes a documentary, other times a Netflix rerun because at the end of a day with a zombie mind the highest I can process is some Parks and Recreation. Sometimes I’m actually getting “things” done, like bills, blogs, diapers and other laundry, or the little stuff that makes up life. Often I’m getting very necessary things done like “me time,” and that’s why it’s hard to give up.

There’s even a term floating around the Internet: I’m a mombie, part zombie and part mom. I lurk in the night because for 16 or more hours of the day I am drained of my life energy. Like many parents I don’t get many moments to myself. It is amplified by the stay-at-home-with-young-ones aspects of life.  I do not mean to say others who work and have kids of varying ages don’t also suffer from mombie (or dadbie?) inclinations, but the whole “mom, mom, mom, hold me mom, let me sit on top of you, mom, mom, mom, lunch mom, snack mom, I had an accident, mom, mom, mom” all day long wears on this introverted mama. I also recognize there are those who would love to stay home if they could. I’m not complaining about my life so much as just claiming what I need— time to myself.

So every night I start the math problem. How many hours of sleep will I get if I stay up until X? I feel disheartened when I realize if I want 8 hours of sleep I must go to sleep shortly after the kids, immediately after my husband. And that equation only works if I don’t factor in the likelihood of my children waking in the night. So I stay up instead. I crave alone time all of the time. It isn’t a slight against all the wonderful people and things in my life. It’s that I want some one-on-one time with myself just as much as I want that time together with my family.

Great joy exists in uninterrupted silence, or uninterrupted anything for that matter. It’s also critical as so much of my day is filled with meeting everyone else’s needs. It is entirely possible to “lose myself” in being mom, daughter, spouse, neighbor, friend, etc. So it’s at night those parts of me that I’ve put on hold—the book lover, academic, fashionista, theologian, sociologist, animal-lover, health conscious, organizer, game player, baker, and more—come to life again. I’m not so keen on calling myself a mombie but I fit the bill. I like to think of it more as I tend to my roots after dark so in the day I can flourish.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 5 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Training When You Have Toddlers at Home

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

training with toddlersI just finished my first marathon. I can’t tell you how many moms asked me, how did you do it with kids at home?

Certainly, for anyone who has trained for a major event before having kids, it must seem impossible. I regularly trained for half marathons before and after having kids, and I can tell you it’s a very different experience. But it is possible.

First, it’s ideal to be done nursing before you attempt training like this. For one, your body must be completely recovered from childbirth. Two, training at an intense level will affect your milk supply. Three, you put yourself at risk for conditions like thrush, mastitis and fungal infections if you are not vigilant. If you can handle training while nursing, that’s great. Either way, talk to your health care provider first and make sure you are ready to take this on.

Once you have a goal in mind, like a race, find a training plan. You can’t come at this without one, no matter what your distance, from marathon to your first 5k. You’ll need something to stick to and something you can make a part of your routine. After you have a plan, you have to have great communication with your partner. If you’re getting up early to run, you might need your partner to jump in and get the kids up if that’s something you normally handle. Evening training might mean additional help needed at bedtime.

Having a running group was also crucial to me. I don’t get great sleep, so it’s really hard to commit to getting up early on the weekends to do long runs, especially since I know I won’t get to nap later. But having a running group was so motivational. Check out your local running club or a group like Moms Run this Town to find runners of your pace and distance. It was great to know I would get kid-free time with grown-ups every week with no mom guilt attached!

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 12.03.31 PMI love having a jogging stroller available to me, but I don’t always use it. Some days, the jogging stroller and a 7-mile run was my only escape from a grumpy toddler who wanted nothing but to whine all morning. Other times, leaving the house on my own and letting my husband do bedtime was a welcome escape. Change things up to help motivate you to get out and get your training in.

Don’t allow your goal to overwhelm you. Just like you can’t think about graduation day when you’re bringing a newborn home from the hospital, you have to take training one day or week at a time. Look at your schedule at the beginning of the week and figure out how it’s going to get done. Try to use a plan that gives you at least one or two days off so you can adjust your schedule as needed if something comes up. And if you don’t get all your training in, don’t beat yourself up. Let it go and move on to the next week.

The real benefit of training for an event when you have small children isn’t the event itself. The benefit is in caring for yourself and your health, giving yourself goals, nurturing interests that don’t have to do with children, and letting your family see you working toward a goal and accomplishing it. Your kids may be small, but they will understand it when they are older. Hopefully you can inspire them to accomplish more than they thought possible, too.

Erin Burt is a first-time marathoner, freelance writer, and mother of three girls. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City. 

Mommy Play Dates

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Mommy Play Dates

Life with a toddler is one big adventure. Toddlers find awe in the little things and it doesn’t take much to excite them. However, as moms, we all need a little excitement, too. It’s important to schedule some play dates for mommy as well as for your little one. Here are some great ideas for mommy play dates.

Girl Time at a Friend’s House
The easiest way to spend quality time with other moms is in a setting where your little ones can also be interacting. Getting together with friends at your home or theirs where there are snacks and toys is a great way to get some mommy time. Scheduling time during the play date for mommy activities is fun, too. Find someone to be the designated baby sitter while the moms in your group indulge in a spa date, complete with manicures and pedicures. Have a mommy play date where you cook a new recipe with friends and get the little ones involved. Someone’s house serves as a safe and comfortable location for lots of fun.

Coffee Date
These are my favorite. Coffee shops today are starting to see the need for mom-friendly venues. We have two local coffee shops that provide a play area for kids. Moms can sit and relax while their little ones enjoy tons of toys and interaction with other kids. Sometimes it just takes an hour or so to refresh your soul and perspective. Good coffee doesn’t hurt, either.

Outside Play Dates
With the beautiful fall weather upon us, it’s time to get outside. Schedule a play date with other moms where you go for a stroller walk or check out a local park. Better yet, do both in one play date! Your kids will be interested in each other and their surroundings while you catch up on adult conversation. Do a fun craft outside with other moms.

When Daddy Can Babysit
Obviously, these are the best mommy play dates. My favorite thing to do for myself is schedule a dinner date with some of my close friends, no kids allowed. We don’t get to do this very often, but when we do, it’s so much fun. We can eat slowly and don’t have to worry about feeding others. (Don’t get me wrong, we still chat about our kids the whole time!) Schedule a night where you can go to the movies with other moms. Splurge on popcorn. Make a Saturday afternoon shopping trip a play date at your local Target or check out local craft and art classes. Use the babysitting time as an opportunity to do something you don’t get to do all of the time.

It’s vital for moms to have “me time.” Include your kids when you can and try to confide in trusted adults to watch your little ones so you can still enjoy kid-free time. Play dates are fun—both kid ones and mommy ones!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana. Her favorite mommy play date right now is going to a local coffee shop and getting a banana hazelnut latte. Yum!

Pregnancy Week 36: Making Time for Me Before Baby Arrives

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Pregnancy Week 36: Making Time for Me Before Baby ArrivesWith just four short weeks before my due date, I am trying to check off everything on my many lists. Even though this is my second child, I still feel the need to have a spotless house, clean and shampooed hair, and a nursery ready to go before my little man makes his debut. It’s important, however, to slow down a little bit and take the time for myself before this little miracle is brought into the world.

With a 22 month old in the house, time for myself is limited. Naptime is usually my time. At the beginning of my pregnancy, naptime was a time to nap. As I progressed, it was a time to sneak snacks in that she didn’t need to see me eat. Later, it became a time for me to surf the internet and look for amazing baby things and ideas for the nursery. Now, I use naptime in a variety of ways. I clean. I surf the internet. I sometimes nap.

Here are some tips on how to make time for yourself before welcoming a new member of your family. What worked for you, momma?

Nap

This seems easy, but with sleep becoming something that is hard to attain comfortably lately, it is not. A good nap will do any pregnant woman good. Try to make the time to sleep. When I do lay down, I usually aim for a 30 min. – 1 hr. nap. Any more than that, and I am ready to stay in bed for the rest of the day. Find a place that is comfortable and relaxing for you. I prefer to nap in my bed with a fort of pillows surrounding me. Play soothing music, dim the lights, relax.

Friends

It seems simple, but make time for your friends before baby arrives. Living in different places has caused me to forge friendships. I cherish the time I get to spend with my few girlfriends. Most of the time, we are chasing our toddlers, but it is a great release to have some adult conversation. Talk to your spouse and schedule a night where you can go to dinner or catch a movie with a girlfriend. Invest in these friendships now, before you are covered in spit-up and much more busy.

Date Night

My husband and I rarely ever go on dates unless we are home visiting our family. I am very excited to say, however, that we have a date planned for next weekend. (Insert loud applause!) Make the time to have some quality time with your spouse. It’s easy to forget that they are about to have their lives changed, as well. Take the time to hold hands, share your fears and dreams, and just enjoy each other. It’s nice to have a date outside of the living room sometimes.

Beautify Yourself

Many women like to get a pre-baby pedicure. While I prefer to tackle my toes myself, I do plan on getting another pregnancy massage before my little man arrives. Schedule a visit to the salon and get a new haircut or update your current one while you have the time. I am looking forward to getting my eyebrows waxed in a few weeks. It’s the little things!

Make Time for Other Children

I made a commitment to myself this summer to do as many fun activities with my 22 month old as I can since it will not be just the two of us much longer. We’ve tackled swim lessons and vacation bible school so far. Make sure your other children know they are loved and give them some extra attention when you can.

So, what did you do for yourself before baby arrived? I sometimes forget that life will still go on as usual once my son arrives. There will be time to paint my toes and take long showers, but I still love making time for me during this season.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way. She loves having a little “me time.”

Finding “Me Time”

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Finding Me TimeChanging diapers. Making baby food. Wiping away tears. Wiping up spit up. Nursing on demand. Playing with your baby.

These are just some of the daily tasks we all do as moms. With such a busy schedule, how do we still make time for ourselves? This is hard, even for stay-at-home moms, who do not have the demands of a daily job. Here are a few ideas for getting much-needed “me time.”

Find Support

I don’t know what I would do without my husband. He never complains about taking over so I can have a few hours to myself. Make sure you have support. It doesn’t have to be a spouse. It can be a friend, family member, or even neighbor. Explain your concerns, frustrations, and needs. Be sure to return the support, as well. Fellow moms work great! Trade off time to get a break.

Find Your “Happy Place”

What did you like to do with your free time before you were a mom? Starbucks, taking your time in Target, reading a good book, going to dinner with a friend? Find something that makes you feel like “you” again. It may sound silly, but going to the grocery store alone weekly is a good time for me. I try to make time to catch up with friends occasionally and always stop at Starbucks if I am alone in the car. Do what makes you happy. It doesn’t have to take a long time, just make it quality time for you.

Make the Time

If you have multiple children or not a lot of support, it may mean you have to make a bigger effort to get your “me time.” Try waking up an hour before your kids to have a little time in the mornings. Drink coffee and catch up on the news. Do whatever will relax you. If your kids go to bed early, take a little bit of time each night before bed to focus on yourself and what you would like to do. Once again, this doesn’t have to be a long period of time. At home, you could simply make the time for a nice hot bath or drink some nice hot tea. Buy a new nail polish and give yourself a pedicure at home if you can’t make it to the nail salon. If you enjoy cooking, schedule your “me time” by trying a new dish and have your spouse or a trusted friend watch your kids while you cook.

It’s important as moms that we still remember we are women, too. Whatever makes you happy, make sure you schedule some time for it. Of course, you want to meet the needs of your kids and family, but don’t forget to take care of yourself, too, momma!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a stay-at-home mom who loves to go for rides, get coffee, and grocery shop alone.