The. Divorce. Is. Final. You’ve got custody of the kids. You spend every waking moment on the go. You work while the kids are at school. The rest of the day is spent driving them to after school activities, shopping, cleaning, cooking and helping with homework.
When the kids are finally in bed, you relax on the couch, closing your eyes for just a minute but end up falling asleep. This routine happens five days a week.
You secretly look forward to every other weekend when your ex will have the kids.
He picks them up two hours late Saturday morning, telling you he has to bring them home at noon, five hours early on Sunday because he has plans. You grit your teeth as you realize that only gives you 26 hours to relax.
Then you look around and shake your head because the dishes need to be washed. The beds need to be made. There are at least three loads of laundry to wash, dry, fold and put away. The kitchen floor needs to be swept and mopped.
By the time you finish the chores, you’re so tired that you sit on the couch and close your eyes for just a moment, waking up three hours later. With a sigh of frustration, you think how unfair it is that you never have any time for yourself.
You can’t keep trying to be super-mom because the stress is eventually going to cause you to pop a cork. There are ways to make time for yourself.
Here are some suggestions…
10 ways to find some “me time:”
1. Involve the kids in helping you with the chores each evening, even if its only for 15 minutes.
2. Take turns with a friend one evening each week watching each others kids for an hour or two.
3. During the weekends that your ex has the kids use that time to get a manicure or massage if you can afford it. If not go on a walk, read a book or take up a hobby like crocheting or knitting. I’ve heard it’s very relaxing.
4. Invite a friend to dinner and a movie
5. Most important, don’t sweat the small stuff. The dirty dishes and laundry will still be there tomorrow.
6. Save a little money, go shopping and buy yourself something nice. Shopping can be very therapeutic.
7. Call a friend or relative you’ve lost touch with. A long conversation talking and laughing about the past will help lift the weight of the world off your shoulders.
8. Start a journal and write in it every day. Write about anything and everything.
9. If you’re still too anxious to enjoy some “me time,” get an appointment with your doctor to see if some anti-anxiety medication might help. Believe me it helps make those mountains feel like mole hills.
10. If taking “me time” makes you feel guilty, one hour a week recruit the kids to help you volunteer at the library or a nursing home, reading to the residents.
Life won’t end if you wait to do the chores. Take the time to enjoy life. Savor the time with your children. Don’t let life pass you by while you’re running around trying to take care of ten things at the same time.
Multitasking is a good thing but only if you remember to take care of yourself, too. In order to do that you have to take a step back and give yourself a break. Constant stress ages us and chips away at our health.
Yes, there may be a hundred things you need to get done today but how long can you go on before mental exhaustion or worse happens. Your kids need you to be their rock but most of all they need you to be their Mom.