One of my biggest challenges as a parent has been carving out “me” time. It’s an ironic struggle, because as an introvert and a manager of a very busy, very social team at work, wind-down time has always been an essential component of my daily routine and I definitely felt less healthy if I didn’t get that time to decompress from a very social day. Before becoming a mom, I swore that I would make that time a priority when baby arrived. And then I became a mom and reality set in.
Much of this challenge is admittedly self inflicted. Mr. Carrot is ready and willing to manage the kiddo on his own any time I so choose, and we have a set enough routine that I could reasonably take certain evenings or time on weekends to do my own thing and he could step in. I just choose not to. After a full day at work, and a long metro area commute there and back, we only really have about an hour of time in the morning and an hour in the evening with our daughter, and the idea of skipping dinner together and cuddle/reading time before her bedtime doesn’t sit well with me. There are times when I have to travel for work, or my best friends, who live hours away, set a day for us to spend together, but nearly every day, you’ll find me at home, putting baby to bed, grabbing a quick dinner that Mr. Carrot usually makes while I put baby to bed, and squeezing in some couple TV time and a little reading before my own bedtime.
Lately, I’ve been realizing that no matter how much I don’t want to miss time with my daughter, I’m doing myself a disservice by not giving myself some time to do my own thing. I no longer exercise because I won’t pull myself away from home a few nights a week to go to kickboxing or Zumba. I am not nearly as connected with my friends and especially my coworkers because I skip happy hours and evening outings. I no longer follow social media as closely as I used to, which keeps me from being as current on work-related developments and my own personal interests that I hope to turn into professional ones as I could be. Some of these things were always going to give once I became a parent, but dropping them almost entirely is not benefiting my physical or mental health. Studies show that a little selfishness can be a very good thing, in many aspects, and my immediate goal is to figure out how to start making myself a bigger priority than I have been.
What are your “me” time routines and suggestions for carving out “me” time from a busy day?