Do you make time for “me time” activities? I bet if your answer is no, you probably have a lot of responsibilities (like kids!). And your reason might have something to do with feeling guilty for taking time away from your responsibilities. If this is you, and carving out “me time” makes you feel guilty, read on to learn how to overcome this feeling of guilt.
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Self-care (caring for your mind, body, and soul) is something I strongly advocate for all women. I believe that having a morning and an evening self-care routine should be an essential part of your personal health and wellness plan. I even created a Daily Self-Care Planner to help women make daily self-care a priority.
While I do consider “me time” activities to fall under the broader definition of self-care, when I talk about “me time” activities, I’m specifically talking about carving out time to do an activity designed solely to bring you pleasure.
For some, this may be reading a novel at a coffee shop while sipping a caramel macchiato, getting a pedicure, or having a glass of wine while watching your favorite movie. For more adventurous moms, it might mean taking a hike, going on a yoga retreat, or training for a marathon.
A Happy Mom Is A Better Mom
What all of these activities have in common is that they are done for your happiness, and on your own time. This means that you may have to find a babysitter, skip doing the laundry, or put dad in charge of the nighttime routine.
And this is where many moms get stuck. Those feelings of mom guilt start to creep in.
Let’s be real here. Mom guilt is no joke.
It’s difficult to take time for you when you have a screaming toddler at home who doesn’t want mommy out of her sight. As moms, we worry that we’re disappointing our kids or our husband when we take time away from them to do something just for us because, well, they need us, right?
But the truth is that when we take the time to invest in our happiness, we are investing in the happiness of our families. A happy mom is a better mom.
If you’re someone who has a hard time making time for you, here are some tips to help you overcome mom guilt.
Give Yourself A Permission Slip
I love how author Brené Brown in her book, Rising Strong, talks about the importance of giving ourselves permission to do something we are fearful of doing. She goes even a step further and encourages writing out a permission slip to ourselves.
What a fabulous idea!
When those feelings of mom guilt start taking over, give yourself permission to have a little fun.
Write out a permission slip that says, “I give myself permission to (fill in the blank).” Then stick that permission slip in your purse and go out and have a good time.
Let Go Of Perfection
Another way to let go of mommy guilt is to let go of perfection.
I can vividly recall the first time I went out for a mommy’s night out.
My plan was to meet some moms from my mom’s group at a restaurant for dinner. Now, my son has never been a good sleeper. And, the only way I could get him to sleep was to nurse him to sleep.
So that night I nursed him to sleep, kissed him on the forehead, and attempted to leave the house quietly.
Well, as soon as I made it to the door, he woke up screaming. So, what did I do?
What I should have done was to walk out the door and let my husband rock him back to sleep. But mom guilt wouldn’t allow me to leave him crying. So, like any good mom, I took him in my arms and nursed him until he fell asleep.
This meant that I showed up a half hour late to the restaurant. I spent the entire night feeling completely guilty about leaving him at home.
I mean, really, what kind of a mom was I to leave my infant at home so I could have a good time with friends?
All You Can Do Is Be The Best You
Like many moms, I was holding myself to an unattainable standard of what I believed a good mother would do. I desperately wanted to be a perfect mom.
What I’ve learned since then is that there is no such thing as a perfect mom. Motherhood is not a test. You cannot achieve a 100%.
All you can do is be the best mother you can be.
And, sometimes, that means accepting yourself just as you are, imperfections and all.
When it comes to “me time” activities, please don’t deny yourself the right to pursue activities that make you happy. By taking the time to invest in your happiness, you are gifting your family a healthier and happier you.
Do you have any other ideas for letting go of mom guilt? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.
With Love and Joy,