Me time

I suck at me time.

It’s not that I don’t get any; I steal moments here and there throughout the day. But they are inconsequential minutes. A stolen cookie. A little Facebook while the kids are otherwise occupied. A 2-minute yoga session while making a cup of tea.

I need more. I need a 3-mile walk, 30 minutes of yoga. I need 10 minutes of meditation. A long drive. I need time to read books, time to daydream, time to game. Time to recharge. Or just time to fix my hair and put on makeup.

Some moms are good about taking that time, so that they return to their offspring refreshed. I am not that kind of mom. I feel too guilty.

But I am working on it. Because I have seen the difference my me time has on my children. They may protest in the moment, but they are happier when I’ve had time to myself. Because I am happier. It’s true what they say: When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

So I am shooting for a balance. Spending quality time with the kids — not staring at Netflix for hours on end, but watching an episode or two of Reading Rainbow while cuddling and talking about what we see. Getting down on the floor with Kai for half an hour and looking at the world from his angle. Instead of insisting on a 3-mile power walk* every day, mixing it up with yoga or Wii Fit games that she (and even baby Kai!) can participate in. Taking the time for a mani-pedi session with Anya.

Such intense togetherness satisfies their need for me far better than hours of less hands-on attention. And with the time I have left over, I can do something for me. (In theory. I haven’t actually managed that yet. Usually I just clean, or go to bed early.)

*Walking is the only true alone time I ever get. I pop the earbuds in, crank the music, and walk until my calves start shaking. It is my drug, my forbidden fruit. I feel strange just thinking that, but it’s true. 

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