If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am lucky to have #mommytime almost daily. This is not because I feel I have earned it or I save up points to barter with for mommy time. It’s because I’m a stay-at-home mom who needs alone time for a few minutes a day in order to survive. I think a lot of moms fall into the trap of “I’m the mom, so without my 24/7 attention the kids, the house, the pets, and the husband would all cease to function.” Here’s a newsflash, although what you do is important, it’s not going to change much if you take a few mom minutes away from it all.
I’m not talking about locking your kids in their bedrooms while you sip on a margarita and watch soap operas (although I’m not saying you can’t do this). What I am suggesting is that you ask your partner, parents, or babysitter to watch the dang kids for an hour so you can lock yourself in your room and read a romance novel (or in my case a grusome murder thriller). Here are some ways to achieve the greatness that is #mommytime:
- Ask family because believe me, grandparents love it when you do this. If I ever need a babysitter, I’m pretty sure my parents would all but strangle me if I asked someone before them to watch my son. This is because they live 20 minutes away and are always willing to drive the short distance to make it happen. Not all of you have that, so this wouldn’t be an option. I know we are lucky in this sense.
- Trade babysitting with friends or neighbors. Trust me, you’re not the only mom wanting time alone. Talk to your mommy friends, and team up against your children (haha okay, not against them, but maybe). Find times that you watch her children and your’s while she goes to Target alone. Yes, this might seem like the opposite of #mommytime because it is. But remember that you get a turn too. Drop your kids off (or whatever you arrange) and get the hell out of dodge because in this case, you did earn it.
- Hire a babysitter because they’re not just for date nights. There are plenty of babysitters who would take on a weekday on a regular schedule so that you can have childfree fun (probably running errands, but still that’s mommy time to a lot of people). There’s no shame in this.
- Mom’s day out programs are lifesavers for many moms I know. Again, no shame in this. These programs are mutually beneficial. Your kids get time with other kids in a safe and school-like environment, while, once again, you get the hell out of dodge. I can only dream about all that I would accomplish with just two days a week of total freedom.
- Nap time because if all of the stuff above just won’t work for you, there’s [sometimes] always nap time. I live for nap time. 1:00 p.m. rolls around, and I don’t care who you are or what you want from me, it’s nap time so I’m putting my guy down and partying like I’m avoiding a noise complaint. Nap time is rarely for folding laundry or doing dishes. I hardly ever sit down to pay bills or meal plan during this time. This is MY time. I watch trashy TV or read a novel. Sometimes I even take a bubble bath (gasp!) in the middle of the afternoon. There’s no stopping me at this time. Then when my little guy wakes up, I am ready to take on the second half of the day.
- Let Daddy take over because some unlucky moms don’t get nap time anymore- I know the day is coming when my guy doesn’t take naps anymore, and I’m just avoiding that thought altogether. But when Daddy gets home, you ask him to take over for an hour. And guess what, he will do it, not because he just spent the whole day having adult conversations and worrying about things other than how to get that poop stain out of the carseat or how he could make it to the store before the applesauce was all gone. He will do it because he loves his kids, and he’s their parent too. If he’s smart, he will really do it because he doesn’t want his wife to go cray cray.
- Put kids to bed early because if all else fails, your kids have to sleep at some point. So what if you’re too exhausted to stay up past their bedtime. Sometimes the best mommy time is sleep.
There they are: seven actual ways to achieve the #mommytime status of your dreams. If you’re a superhero, you could even implore ALL of them. Not even I have reached that level of super powers.
But in all seriousness, mommy time is so important. There is no Guinness Record for number of consecutive hours spent taking care of children and home without rest. You won’t receive a medal for this. The dishes in the sink aren’t praising you for putting them in the dishwasher right at this moment. The clothes aren’t disintegrating in the hamper; you have time for all those chores. Prioritize yourself sometimes.
- Springlike weather we are having in Texas
- Getting our heater fixed!
- Connecting with an old friend