Relax and Take Time for Yourself

sit back, relax, have a cup of joe

Today at MOPS the topic was separation anxiety.  At the start of her presentation, our speaker asked how many of us regularly make time for ourselves.  I raised my hand.  I was one of few.

I am neither a zen junkie nor do I lead an ultra-cushy life.  In the beginning, when Ikaika was small, I struggled with this.  I felt guilty taking time for myself and therefore, I not only didn't get any personal time I also began to deeply resent Mr A for his personal time.  (How dare he go golfing!  I never get out of this house!)  It seems like anything short of nun-in-a-slum selflessness is viewed as selfishness when you're a mom.

Besides guilt, the other obstacle was my belief that "time for myself" needed to be some large, orchestrated event.  Now I know the truth.  Relaxing and taking time for myself is as easy as letting the TV watch my kids while I take a bath.  Or read a book.  Or blog - like I'm doing now.  In fact, I was surprised more women didn't raise their hand because some of my me-time is at various parties they host!

Just to clarify - I let my dishes pile up all day and sift through mountains of unfolded laundry when I dress my kids in the morning (usually in mismatched garb).  I feel fleeting moments of sadness for that book that isn't finished or that fulfilling career I haven't found yet.  I might be able to relax, but I certainly pay for it in other ways.  No one can do it all.

I realized today that its all about perspective.  For example, my husband and I play cards almost every night after dinner.  I was all sad because we used to play in organized card games 3-4 nights a week and now we just play a few games by ourselves.  And we probably only do it because we don't have TV.  But that is quality time, me-time, us-time.  It requires almost no planning and only takes a half hour.  Its something we can do even when I work late on weekdays.  Most importantly, I like doing it and it makes me happy.

Taking a relaxing moment for yourself as a mom isn't as impossible or mysterious as it seems.  You just have to 1) be willing to take it (not ask for it - take it!) and 2) appreciate it for what it is. 


  1. nice! card games with your husband...that's so sweet! on a different note, what happened to the tv?

  2. We got rid of cable and, as a result, only get 3 channels (PBS, Spike, and the korean channel). We still watch movies.