Let’s face it: we moms deserve a break once in a while. I remember the first few times I scheduled a “mommy-moment” to relax and unwind. I definitely felt good the first few hours only to find myself feeling anxious the rest of the day. All I could think of was what I left behind at home. There were also times I wished they were with me instead of being on my own.
But of course, the reality is that I need my “me-time”. I tend to be a better person when I am more relaxed and emotionally healthy. Be it a day of pampering, coffee with girlfriends, an out-of-town trip with hubby, or simply reading a good book in a coffee place, a few moments away from our mom responsibilities every now and then can be beneficial to our well-being.
So go on… take time off minus the guilt! Here are 8 ways to enjoy a guilt-free alone time:
1. Get used to the idea of “loving yourself”. Knowing how to love yourself is extremely important. Self-love is an essential element of our well-being. Feeling good about ourselves improve our ability to create and enjoy the kind of life we want.
Whenever you decide to take time off, do not allow guilt to take over; instead, affirm yourself for a job-well done. Be convinced that it is not about running away from the stress and responsibilities at home but a chance to reward yourself for striving to be the best mom you can be.
2. Plan ahead. It is important to plan ahead of time in order to avoid the unnecessary worries you may encounter while you are away. List down all the things you need to prepare for the kids before you leave. Make sure to brief every member of the family, most especially your husband, parents or nannies on all the basic needs of the children.
You can also schedule activities for the kids while you are away, like play dates with their friends, movie date with daddy, arts and crafts time, etc. This way they have something to look forward to as well while you are enjoying your mommy getaway.
3. Get hubby’s support and understanding. If you feel that there is a need to make your husband understand why you have to take time off, find the time to talk to him. Make sure to explain your emotional needs properly. Assure him that you will make sure the basic family needs are taken care of before you leave. Affirm him as well that you trust in his capacity to be responsible for the family while you are away. Encourage him to make the most of this opportunity to bond with the kids.
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4. Talk to your kids. If you will be away for more than a day, share your plans and schedule with the kids. Tell them why mommy has to go, careful not to imply that you are burdened by your responsibilities with them. Assure them that you’ll be thinking about them while you are away. Create a visual timetable for them to explain where you will be going, your activities and times during the day you will call to check on them.
5. Leave the kids with someone you completely trust. Most especially if you’re a single mom, make sure you get a trusted friend, a relative or a referred caretaker to look after your kids while you’re away.
Come up with a “to-do” list or “priority list” for them, which they can refer to as guide on the basic needs and routine of your kids. Keep your list simple, making sure they are easy to follow but taking note not to forget all the important details.
6. Share “pre” and “post” getaway moments with your family. Do something special for your family before and after your mommy moment. Before you leave, it is important to assure them that they continue to be an important part of your life. Cook a special dinner treat for them or find time for quality moments with them.
Upon your return, if possible, get them simple tokens from your trip. Or bring home a really good treat for the family once you get home.
7. Write notes. Leave sweet notes of love for each member of your family which they can read while you are away. Assure them through those letters that even if you need time on your own, it will never be the same without them of course.
8. Have a fixed schedule. If possible, come up with an annual plan for your getaway and schedule it during the most appropriate time of the year you can afford to be away. Share this with your kids so that they will know, and will learn to adjust early on.
For most of us, our children become our life and our family becomes our world the day we become a mom. Though this may be true, it doesn’t mean that we should let go of having a balanced lifestyle. Motherhood changed our lives -- that’s the reality -- but it should not deprive us of the things we need and want as a woman. For as long as it will help us become a better person and benefit our emotional well-being, then there’s no reason to feel guilty about wanting “me-time”.