You Just Have to Pencil Yourself In
Sometimes it’s hard to remember there was a time in my life I could jump in the car and run up to the store just to buy something trivial, like a slice of cake…. just because. The whole ordeal wouldn’t take much longer than 10 minutes, and then I’d be back in front of my TV, watching my favorite show and noshing on exactly what I’d been craving all week.
These days, any trip requires at least 10 minutes just to get shoes on me and the toddler, the diaper bag packed, the special book found so that he will be entertained in the car (momentarily, at least), and then there’s the struggle of getting everyone and everything out of the house and into appropriate seats and buckles. Ugh. I’m exhausted just typing that.
So, yeah… “quick” trips to the store for trivial things don’t happen very often anymore. Everything has to be thought out and planned for, it seems.
And that’s pretty much the way it is with any sort of “me” time these days. When my son was a baby, “me” time just didn’t happen. I couldn’t spontaneously leave him whenever I got the urge. Even if my husband was home to watch him, the chances that he would want to eat while I was gone meant that I had to worry about whether or not he’d take a bottle and if I had enough precious pumped milk in the freezer.
For a while I was fine with it, sacrificing time alone to be with my son every waking moment. Until one day, well, I just wasn’t. I NEEDED to get out, to be a single entity again, to know what it’s like to miss my baby, to remember what it was like to just be me. I learned that the key to regaining “me” time was scheduling it. It was such a strange concept at first, having to pencil in time to be alone, but now I don’t know how else I’d accomplish it.
I started by signing up for a bootcamp. Strange as it may seem, I looked forward to getting my butt kicked twice a week. Then last year I dedicated myself to training for a marathon. I never enjoyed working out at much as I do now that I’m a mom. It’s something I have to do by myself, and I come home reminded how strong I am. Not to mention, the extra boost to my self esteem as I start to fit back into smaller jeans doesn’t hurt, either.
While I can’t just decide on a whim that I’m ready for a run and head out the door (unless I want to push the jogging stroller and an extra 35 lbs), I have adapted to scheduling these “me” times (and taking turns) with my husband. And sometimes I skip the run altogether and just take off for some retail therapy if I feel like my wallet’s getting a little too chubby, which might be crazy because my wallet probably gets about as chubby as Paris Hilton.
What about you? How do you get “me” time in? What do you do?
Jill Krause is a BornFree Panel member and blogger.