Going out with girlfriends, going to the gym, going out of town for the weekend. These were all things we do BC (before children), the trick is doing them AC (after children). It’s hard to keep up those connections and take time for yourself. I think a lot of Mom’s would agree that “me” time often consists of being able to go to the bathroom alone. Sad but true. Most days we are too tired from taking care of our children all day that we don’t have the energy to do something for ourselves. At some point we have to say enough is enough and make a conscious effort to get out of the house. The key to that though is having a supportive spouse or family member who recognizes your need and helps you achieve it. If you are a stay at home mom that generally means your husband is working to support the family. After working all day the last thing you want to ask him is to help you with the children. I feel that way a lot. But the fact is they are our kids, not just mine, so I ask him to help out. You may not be earning a paycheck, but you worked just as hard all day long. Telling your spouse you need a break is perfectly acceptable. Get out of the house. Go walk around Target for an hour. Go buy groceries, by yourself! Call a girlfriend and meet her for dinner. Find a Yoga class once a week. Do something, do anything!
For me, I have a lot of things I have gotten involved in just so I can stay sane and mentally healthy. I am taking a Leadership Advocacy class through the Arc of Spokane, I am on the Board of Directors at the Spokane Guild School, I go out to dinner and a movie with girlfriends occasionally, I bought a treadmill (so I can work out after the kid goes to bed), and in the past 2 months I have traveled over to our State Capitol 3 times to speak to my legislators about disability legislation that affects my family. I couldn’t do all this without the support of my husband, who is wonderful and understands I need to do things for myself, to keep my world wide and wonderful. Dylan Thomas said “Somebody’s boring me. I think it’s me.” If you’re boring yourself, stop doing it. Find something that excites you, something that gives your life meaning, something that takes you away from being a mom for a while. It’s hard to do, but if you don’t make that effort to expand your world, well you won’t have much of one.
Read more about Stacey and her family at http://lifeonmysterylane.blogspot.com/.