I know the idea of “me time” may seem like a joke to many of you — I know it is to me. And yet, I also know that it’s important. Sure, you and I may not get as much “me time” as our other mom friends (who already don’t get much, either) since we are also pursuing our degrees, but it’s still important. I didn’t realize just how valuable it was until I took a short road trip to San Francisco for work and found myself all alone in the car: my choice in music, air-conditioning, and where I stopped to eat. It was fantastic!
First off, if you’ve never taken a road trip by yourself — seriously, do it. Second, this “me time,” while devoted to driving, was exactly what I needed. On the way to San Francisco I actually stopped on Route 46 and got out, breathed in the fresh air, shouted, and just admired the scenery. Something about being in this open space really settled the nervousness and anxiety I usually face on a day-to-day basis. For a brief time, I didn’t have to think about upcoming assignments, I didn’t have to make or be at a doctor or school appointment, and I didn’t have to worry about being late to something. Then, for those few days in San Francisco, I got some sleep, ate amazing food (see below), and spent time collaborating with my wonderful coworkers!
As moms, we end up feeling guilty if we aren’t constantly doing something and that mindset is ridiculous! When you add in the need to do homework/assignments, it’s even worse. We. Are. Human. We have to stop just like everyone else and let our minds and bodies relax. I am certain that aside from the biological factors set against me, the many roles I take on only encouraged postpartum depression. It can do the same to you; the lack of “me time” can push you in directions you don’t want to go.
So, find what you love to do (aside from being with your kids, we know you love that and doing something else doesn’t make you a “bad” mom!), and commit to doing it — do you enjoy painting? Paint. Do you prefer to hike or climb? Go! Read a good book? Pick that book up and read. I know you might be saying “I don’t have time” but I know (and you know) you do. I hope you can find peace while enjoying some “me time.”