• Wed, Sep 8 2010

How to Find ‘Me Time’ (Especially When You Have a Kid)

Just like millions of women everywhere, like Oprah and Jessica Pauline Ogilvie, I have trouble finding a little time for myself.  And for those of you who have this problem, there is a lot of advice about how to make time for yourself.  Seriously, those are all separate links.  There’s LOTS of advice out there.  And most of it tells us to do things like, “Put it on Your Calendar.”  Or “Know When to Say No.” My favorite is “Learn to Delegate.”  Now, this is all great advice and I’m sure it works.  For some wonderful, magical women out there, delegating works really well to get alone time.  I’m assuming it’s because those imaginary ladies have people to delegate to.  And calendars to put things on, calendars that everyone actually follows.

This weekend, I realized just how important Me Time is.  This weekend was my grandparents’ 60th anniversary, which was very special.  Unfortunately, my husband had to work and couldn’t make the trek up to Michigan with my daughter and me.  And on that 3 hour drive, as my daughter was screaming for the plastic leopard she had dropped on the floor, I was insanely jealous that my husband got to spend the whole weekend alone at home.  I sat at dinner as my beautiful little girl was scooping ketchup into her mouth by the handful and I was angry that he was sitting at home with pizza rolls and a Bud Light.  That jealousy and anger was a little uncalled for, and it makes me think that I need some Me Time.  So here’s what I’m going to do this week…  Side note, it won’t involve delegation.

1. Online Shoe Shopping.

Only the most serious problems persist through an hour on Zappos.  Shoe shopping never involves trying on size 8 clothes that should fit, but don’t.  I can do it from my office, as I pretend to be working.  Shoes are always happy to see me.  One hour of shoe shopping is kind of like a trip to the spa.

2. Read People magazine while my daughter takes a bath.

Thankfully, Brenna loves bath time.  She’ll play for hours.  And while I need to make sure she’s ok, I can do that and catch up on Jen and John’s reconciliation.  This is also a great time to paint my toe nails.  And some extra bubble bath means that I’ll have time for both!

3. Watch Project Runway.

Or America’s Next Top Model.  Or Real Housewives.  Anything super girly that guarantees my husband will leave the room immediately.  I’m pretty sure my husband is employing this same trick every time he turns on South Park.

4.  Buy Brenna a New Toy.

I am not too proud to admit it.  After a busy week at work, an anniversary party to plan for my parents and four days of monitoring my dog’s shit (because he swallowed a rock bigger than my fist), I have no problem buying my daughter a new toy that will occupy her for a couple hours.  Better yet, finding a movie she’ll sit and watch.  Then, I don’t have to worry that she’s breaking something as she plays in her room.  And those hours where she’s entertained and I can relax are definitely worth my $20 Disney movie.

5. Run Errands.

While some people might find errands to be just another item on their to-do list, I recognize them for what they truly are: a justifiable excuse to leave the house by myself.  Grocery store, dry cleaners, pharmacy.  No one wants to drag their kids around to all these places and my husband doesn’t even want to drag himself to these places.  So I feel no guilt in leaving him in charge while I crank up the Missy Higgins in my car, loiter in the cosmetics aisle, hit the Starbucks drive through and grab some books from the library.  I’ll probably never even get to read them, but I’ll feel better having gotten them.

Everyone has their own way of getting Me Time.  The only important thing is that you find something that makes you happy and lets you forget about the obnoxious and draining details stressing you out.  Sure, delegating the 30 minute drive to and from my day care every day would be nice.  But if I could afford someone to drive my daughter, she wouldn’t have to be in daycare on the other side of town.  And yes, penciling in a pedicure onto my calendar at work would be fun.  But I spent all my vacation days when my daughter had strep throat in January.  So for me, these little things will have to do.  And hopefully, I’ll stop feeling jealous of every second my husband spends in the house alone.

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  • Jillian

    Give yourself a pedicure! Seriously, Ped Egg, foot lotion and all. You’ll feel so clean and content and you can do it while watching ANTM re-runs.

    • Lindsay Cross

      That sounds like the perfect evening to me!

  • Killian

    My kids are older now, so “me time” is easier to obtain. But if you ever get to the point where you’re looking for the clown suit and the uzi, teach Brenna what “20 minutes” means. You set the kitchen timer, and you explain that she is to play with her toys while you go in your room with the door shut. Unless something is on fire or she cannot stop the bleeding, she is not to approach the door until the bell rings. Works wonders. =)

  • Iliana

    Kilian i agree with you. I have a child, she has 3 years and i tall her i need ny space, and she needs to draw or play while i have to relax.. Obviusly just for a moment.. And it works!