As a parent with a toddler, you no doubt gain some relief when your child goes to kindergarten. Those few hours alone allow you to enjoy some much needed, not to mention deserved, "me time". While your child enjoys playing with other children, playing games and generally being creative, you can finally focus on yourself and do something that you want to do.
Being a parent is stressful regardless of your children's age, but it is generally accepted as being harder with toddlers. If you had trouble conceiving and had to get some help from a fertility clinic such as First Fertility, you will have undergone a great deal of stress before your child was even born. If you fit into this category, then you, especially, will need to take some time out and recharge your batteries. You will find that this is not only beneficial for you but also your family, so don't feel that you are being selfish.
What is "me time"?
"Me time" is an essential time that you need to relax. You might like to spend your time at the gym, going to be pampered or just time to read a book and not have a care in the world. It is vital that you make time for yourself, and when your child is at kindergarten is the perfect opportunity as there will be fewer distractions. Ideally, you should try and do this every day, but we do appreciate that this is not also possible or practical.
Relaxing is essential for your overall wellbeing, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. It is about focusing on yourself, and your needs as sometimes being a mom can take over your whole life. It is impossible to carry out any roles to your optimum level if you are suffering from stress or too tired to function properly.
Here are our tips for getting the most out of your "me time".
Relaxing is a point that we keep reiterating, but it is essential. Some people find relaxing difficult while others find it something that comes naturally. If you do find it difficult, you could consider taking up meditation or something else that genuinely helps you to relax. For this short period, focus purely on you, not your family or other stresses in the world. Everybody has problems, and when you are relaxed, you will find yourself in a better position to deal with them and make sound decisions.
2. Concentrate on the here and now
It is natural that we start to think about things that have already happened or may happen in the future. However, for the time being at least put this out of your mind and focus on the moment. What is important to YOU at this moment in time, not when your child comes home and not when your partner returns. By focusing entirely on yourself, you will feel the stress slip away, and your energy return, so don't feel guilty! After all, it is what everyone else does, so why not you?
3. Enjoyment is the key
One of the best ways to relax is by doing something that you enjoy. It doesn't mean cleaning the house, worrying about paying bills or deciding what you are going to do with your child when they return from kindergarten. "Me time" is about getting some enjoyment so you should be doing things that you enjoy. It could be alone or with friends, whatever makes you happy and smile is what you should be focusing on doing at this moment.
4. Remember who YOU are
As a mother, it is easy to forget who the real you is. What did you use to enjoy before you had to worry about kids, is there anything that you have always wanted to try or perhaps you want to discover something completely new about yourself? Often people are quite surprised and find that they enjoy doing something that would usually be classed as out of character. Don't forget to test yourself and learn where you feel you should draw the line. Most importantly, don't be overly influenced by others.
5. Be comfortable in your own skin
Connected to the point about remembering who you are, it is vital to be comfortable with who you are too. Deep down, you will know your strengths and weaknesses, so try to be proud of your strengths and focus on them and learn to accept your shortcomings. Nobody is perfect, and everybody has self-doubt. Just learn to understand when self-doubt is justified, and more importantly, needs to be addressed, and when it is just something that you should accept as it doesn't really matter! Learn to like yourself, and this will help you to relax.
6. A good old fashioned pampering
There is nothing that a woman prefers more than a good old fashioned pampering. It makes you feel special, a feeling that can often go overlooked when you have children. We keep emphasising the point, but it is crucial to understand that "me time" is about you, and only you! As mothers, we often focus on what we need rather than what we want, so now is a time to make up for that and surpass your needs and wants and do something a little more extravagant. OK, you might not be able to do this every time, but once in a while won't hurt.
7. Take time out to take stock of your own life
All too often, our lives become overwhelmed with regrets. Some of these regrets are normal, while others should just be left in the past. Try to keep regrets to a minimum and if there is something that you want to do or feel you should do, do it! Life is too short for regrets, and they can seriously impinge on your life. Be proud of what you have achieved and be grateful for everything that you have – not least, your child at kindergarten!