Welcome to your mental lifesaver: Mommy micro-vacations.
The world expects you to do it all: you need to have a solid career, raise kids, run the house, be a stand up wife and do it all with a smile on your face. What’s that saying about Ginger Rogers again? “She did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.”
A 2014 study in the UK says the average mom has about 17 minutes of “me” time to herself1. If you are laughing right now it’s because that probably seems like a lot to you if you are currently a working mom. And if that is you, you probably laugh when people say, “you just need more ‘you’ time!”
Well, you do, but that probably feels impossible with the breakneck speed of life at its current pace. However, with the holidays quickly approaching, consider the concept of micro-breaks that you can book in advance. Here are some pointers to get that well-deserved downtime away from work and kids.
- Put your foot down. Before you do anything else and before that cracking, high-pitched tone comes into your voice, tell everyone you need a break and you are going to take it. Dishes be damned, you need a micro-vacation. Give them notice, plan it out but make everyone understand that while you are gone there will be no calls, no change of plans and they are on their own. The ship will not sink for the next three hours.
- Schedule it in. Think about little blocks of time when you can do something that feeds your soul. Mark it on the calendar and give yourself permission to use that time as you need it.
- Go for a walk. Even 15-20 minutes is a huge refresher that doesn’t involve driving, talking, or any other kind of processing. Listen to music or just the sound of birds in the park.
- Catch a movie. Not Angry Birds, either. Go to a rom com, a classic or a thriller.
- Day spa. A good soak in the tub and a massage will do wonders for your piece of mind.
- Start a new book. You know you are an adult when your idea of a good time is grabbing a latte and reading in a café. That’s a luxury you can afford in terms of time and money.
- Hit the flea market. Most towns have a weekly rummage sale where all kinds of fascinating bit and bobs turn up. If you have a project at home that is collecting dust, some nifty fixtures might be the perfect inspiration for cleaning up that old dresser.
- Take a yoga class. You never walk out of a yoga class and think: that was a waste of time. There are so many styles out there that you can find one for your level. Hint: Nidra is a super-mellow relaxing style that is practiced mostly lying down. You feel absolutely dreamy afterwards.
- Get an ice cream. Sometimes you just need a sweet treat. Go to the bakery or get some of that gourmet ice ream that is all the rage these days.
The point is that there are little but important choices that you can make to get that me time in. And if you don’t make the time, the strain of juggling so many different aspects of life can really sink you. It’s so hard for moms who always put themselves first, but really, the dishes will get done, the laundry will get folded, the deliverables will make it to the right desk. So go on, take the time. You deserve it, Mom.