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When the conversation around self care in motherhood starts, at some point or anther the topic of carving out me time as a mom will come to the table. “You just gotta set time aside for yourself.” or “Moms need me time to recharge.”
Okay great, but how do we do that?? It already feels like we’re stretched too thin and it’s not like we can all afford Kardashian level nannies. So how can we get some time to ourselves without letting anyone else down?
I’m so glad you asked! This is my specialty. Let me show you how to carve out me time as a mom every day without feeling like a self-centered influencer. We have 24 hours in a day, let’s make them work for us.
If you’d rather listen to these tips, check out my podcast episode below where I give you all the info you need. in audio form.
Waking Up Early to Get “Me Time” as a Mom
Let’s start out with the least desirable method of finding time for yourself, waking up early. Look, I get it. You’re tired AF and the last thing you want to do is to wake up early to “relax’. But doing so will give you an exponential return on your time investment.
Waking up even thirty minutes earlier can give you time to drink some coffee, make a loose plan for the day and maybe even journal for a few minutes. Zero pressure on that last one but it can be another great area of self care to pursue when you’re ready.
Making this happens does require you to go to bed earlier because the alternative is being exhausted and grouchy all day and that doesn’t do anybody a lick of good. My recommendation would be to go to bed 10 minutes earlier every few nights for a few weeks until you’re in bed an hour before your normal bedtime.
Using sleep aids such as melatonin, diffusing lavender oil and drinking some Valarian root tea 30 minutes before bed can help you fall asleep faster so you can get more sleep easier.
Naptime is My Time
Naptime tends to be the easiest way to carve out me time as a mom. It’s built right into the middle of the day, usually right when we need it most. However, I’ve found that some of my clients find it hard to relax during naptime and they feel as if they should be productive and get household chores done during that time.
I’m here to tell you to not view rest and relaxation as an optional activity. Resting and unwinding is vital to the success of being a happy and satisfied SAHM and it should be viewed as a priority.
Personally, I rarely do household chores during naptime. I get those done while the kids are awake and Sean helps out a ton after work. Deep cleaning tasks get done on the weekends and laundry is basically constantly being run.
If you have a task or two that you like to do every day and seriously dread doing when the kids are awake, limit yourself to 15 minutes of naptime to do them. Maybe it’s doing a quick Swiffer of the floor because no one is around to walk on it. Maybe vacuuming the living room because the baby is terrified of the sound. That’s fine, do it quickly and then go relax!
However, if you’re the type of person who cannot stop once you get started, I urge you to leave the naptime cleaning tasks until the end of naptime. If your kids usually go to sleep at 1pm and sleep until 3pm, don’t pull out that vacuum until 2:45pm. If they wake up early, skip a day! That’s life.
Partner Taking Over After a Long Day
As a stay-at-home-mom, it can be really hard to know when the day starts and ends. With middle of the night wake-ups, evening cleaning routines and packing lunches and running a load of laundry right before bed, it can feel like were on the clock 24/7.
That’s why I implemented a hard 5:30pm end time for myself as a mom. Sean walks in the door at 5:15pm, we debrief on the day and I tell him and pertinent info. Maybe Cillian took a crappy nap and should go down a little early or Georgia definitely needs a bath tonight because she has Picture Day tomorrow.
Then I do something that shocks some people. I go away. Usually, I take my dinner downstairs and watch Netflix while I eat in peace. Other nights I meet up with a friend for dinner or take a solo spin around Home Goods. When the weather is nice, I try to take a 30 minute bike ride.
Point is, I’m done with mothering for the day and I focus on myself. I get away from the household noise and let myself relax. Sean comes home ready to finish out the last 90 minutes of the day. He bathes them and gets them to bed. At 7/7:30pm we reconvene and either chat, watch a movie or play cards together.
Do What Work for Your Family
Now, we do it this way because I handle the morning routine every morning. Sean sleeps until his alarm wakes him up for work, about 90 minutes after I’ve already been up with the kids. It works for us because I’m a morning person and Sean is a night owl. We both get to parent when we’re at our best and that works for us.
However, all families are different. Maybe you and your partner are both night owls so you take turns waking up with the kids and do bedtime together. Or maybe your partner has a non-traditional schedule so you have to get more creative.
Whatever the case maybe in your house, take the time to think about how you could improve things and get that me time throughout the week. Ask for help from a nearby family member if your partners schedule is unpredictable and chaotic. Maybe look in the budget for a mother’s helper to come and play with the kids from 4pm-6pm a few nights a week. Get creative.
Scheduling “Me Time” on the Weekends
For most stay-at-home-moms, the weekends are great because you have an extra set of hands. This is a great time to schedule some me time for mom. To be successful with this, don’t over schedule your weekends!
Keeping white space on your weekend calendar can seem tricky. There always seem to be lots of extracurricular activities, party invites and catching up that gets in the way. But in order to recharge and decompress from the week, you need to say yes to less.
Before committing to another sport or your cousins baby shower, take stock of your current schedule. It is absolutely okay to RSVP with regrets and send a gift when you’re life is hectic. Having your kids chose only one or tow activities at a time is a great way to keep your weekends from filling up with meets and tournaments all year.
If your kids are older and can get themselves to practice or you can organize a carpool, do it! Also, you don’t have to go to every game or performance. Gasp! I said it. I’m serious though. If your daughter performs with the community symphony every weekend during the summer, commit to a few and ask the rest of the family if they’d like to go support her.
More White Space equals More Me Time for Mom
Once you’ve put a few boundaries in place for the weekends, you’ll realize how much me time you can actually get. This is your one wild and precious life. don’t waste it on stuff you hate doing.
Alternate with your husband for who gets up with the kids on the weekends of you like sleeping in. Look in the budget for babysitting money and hire one occasionally to watch the kids on a Sunday afternoon. Go see a matinee with your partner and enjoy each other’s company without shouting over the kids during daylight hours.
Make sure you and your partner are on board for the weekend plans ahead of time. Just because they aren’t home with kids all week doesn’t mean they don’t need a break. Work on a plan that satisfies both of your number one need for the weekend. Compromise and communicate with your partner.
Prioritize Your “Me Time” Throughout the Week
Ultimately, carving out me time for mom boils down to prioritizing it. Planning ahead so you can scatter it through your daily and weekly life. Me time is not a luxury, it is a necessity. If that’s a hard concept for your partner to get on board with, check out this podcast episode.
If you struggle with believing you deserve time to yourself as a mom, come find me on Instagram and let’s chat in the DMs. Or book a FREE 30-minute discovery call with me and let’s chat about why you feel that way and make a plan to reframe those ideas.
Taran is a self-proclaimed undomestic mom. She thrives as a stay-at-home-mom by consistently carving out time for herself and practicing realistic self-care. As a busy mom of 3, she knows that if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy! With a focus on how SAHMs can carve out time for themselves everyday, she teaches fellow SAHMs how they can do the same.