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Have you ever asked yourself “Can I just have 5 minutes of peace?” You’re not alone. As a busy special needs mom, you have people around 24/7.
You’re at the hospital with your child.
You have to schedule appointments.
You have to answer approximately 5 million questions about your child with special needs every single week.
You have to do this and do that. You can’t even go to the bathroom without a kid knocking on the door calling, “Mama”. When is it time to stop and catch a break?
If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or burnout, you probably need some me time.
- Stop Doubting Your Mothering Skills
- Importance of Showing Yourself Grace
- Why You Need to Make Time for Self-Care
What is me-time?
Me-time (according to Google) is time spent relaxing on one's own as opposed to working or doing things for others, seen as an opportunity to reduce stress or restore energy.
Me-time is when you’re alone doing what you want (or need) to do. You get to choose how you spend your me-time.
Why me-time is important for special needs moms
Allows you time to unwind and relax
As a special needs mom, you experience a level of stress like no other. It’s so important for you to decompress, relax, and unwind on a regular basis.
You need time to just be you and not have to worry about schedules, cleaning the house, and doing all the things.
It’s good for your health
Having me time and unwinding helps lower your stress levels which are good for your health.
Stress leads to being overweight, poor judgment, low energy, inability to focus, and might even affect your blood pressure, among other things.
Makes your relationships better
When you have time to decompress and take time for yourself, it makes you a better wife and mom.
When you have me-time, you are able to relax and decompress which naturally makes you more patience and less easily frustrated.
Makes you more patient
When you have me-time, you’re more relaxed and therefore more patient with your family. They don’t easily irritate you as opposed to when you need to take a break.
It’s like when you have a long day and come home the things you’re normally patient about, you stop overlooking and start yelling at people and getting cranky.
Be able to focus better
When you have me-time, you’ll be able to focus better. You will be well-rested and won’t be so easily distracted.
When you don’t have me-time and you’re stressed, it takes way more concentration to do things.
You just need it
You just need time where you’re not a wife, mom, or employee, or any other title other than you. You need to get a break without people asking for your opinion or to help you find the kid’s cup that’s always missing or for people to ask you how to use the washing machine, etc.
You just need some time to be able to exist without someone needed something from you. It helps you remember that you’re a person too. You’re not your titles. You’re a person first.
How to make time for me time
I know what you’re thinking. You’ve convinced me that I need me-time (it didn’t take much did it?), but how on earth can I find the time to have me-time?
Put it on the calendar. Create an appointment with yourself. I believe you need to always plan your priorities first so you can spend time on the things you want to spend time on first and then fill in with lesser priority items.
When you put it on the schedule, you know it’s happening.
It doesn’t have to take much time either. When you’re not used to getting me-time, start small. Start scheduling 15 minutes a night after the children go to be.
You can’t go from not ever doing something and then be an expert at it overnight.
If you want to run a marathon and you’re not even used to exercising, you start learning to be consistent with walking first. Then you add on running short distances. Then you increase your distance.
You can’t go from not exercising to being able to run a marathon overnight.
Take pockets of time where you can
Instead of chatting with your co-workers on your lunch break, go sit in your car (or whatever you want to do). Use that time for me time.
- Use the time on the way to work to listen to that audiobook you’ve been putting off for months.
- While you’re folding laundry, listen to a podcast.
- Take 15 minutes to yourself after the kids go to bed.
Wake up 10 minutes earlier than everyone else to get some time to yourself.
Give yourself permission to relax.
As a special needs mom, you’re no stranger to the busy go go go lifestyle. You don’t have to be doing something 24/7.
You need to realize it’s okay to take a break and relax. It doesn’t make you lazy or not worthy as a person. It’s okay to have downtime.
You’re still worthy even when you take a break and have downtime.
Make it a non-negotiable
Start making yourself a priority. You make time for everything else (like going to work, cooking dinner, taking your child to appointments, etc).
Make yourself a priority too.
You’re a person first. Take care of yourself.
How often do you need to make time for me-time?
How often do you need to make time for me-time? Well, that depends. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? If you’re an introvert, you might need to take a little bit more alone time to recharge.
If you’re an extrovert, you might not need as much alone time. Regardless of your personality type, you need me time.
You should be taking at least 30 minutes a day of me-time. It doesn’t have to be taken all at one time. You can take pockets of time here and there to add up to 30 minutes (or more).
You can also schedule some longer time during the weekend when you have more time to spare.
Signs you’re not getting enough me-time
Irritability is a huge sign you need some me-time. You’re usually more irritable when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, or burned out.
That’s a huge sign you need me time.
You’re resentful when you do daily things you don’t normally get resentful over. Like angrily doing laundry cause you’re family had the nerve to wear different clothes every day.
Or angry that you’re the only one that cooks, but your husband gets home late. Or anything that causes you to be resentful of normal day-to-day activities.
You haven’t had it in a while
You should be having me-time daily (even if fit just a little), and you should have even more time on the weekend. If you haven’t scheduled it in a while or can’t remember the last time it happened, it’s time.
Your give a crap is busted
If you are so exhausted, you stop caring about anything, it’s time to schedule some me-time. This is a sign of burnout which can be helped with me-time.
How to not have guilt over me-time
Realize that needing (and wanting) me-time makes you human. There’s no need to feel mom guilt over being human, right?
You’re a human and you deserve time to yourself. Having time to yourself makes you a better person, wife, mom, best friend, etc. It makes you better.
You need me time to recharge, rest, and relax.
You shouldn’t feel guilty about that.
Take a break Mama, you deserve it.
Side note: Dads don’t feel guilty for taking time to themselves. I am not saying that because I think Dads are bad (I don’t), I’m just saying it because they don’t think it’s a problem to take me time. And it’s not. So stop worrying about it.
Ideas for me time
This is a list of ideas for me-time to get your creative juices flowing. When we become moms, we kind of lose our own identity a little bit. We change as a person. That’s totally normal, but we don’t give ourselves the time and permission to really know ourselves like we did as teenagers or before we became moms.
If you’re not sure what to do for me time, just try some things and see what you like. If you don’t like something, you don’t have to do it again. You might surprise yourself.
- Listen to podcast
- Listen to to-read a book
- Get a maniucre/pedicure
- Listen to music
- Take a longer than normal shower
- Do a longer skincare routine
- Take a bubble bath
- Watch your favorite movie
- Sit at the coffee house by yourself
- Go to be 20 minutes before your husband
- Get up 20 minutes earlier than your family
- Go for a walk
- Start a hobby
- Sit in the quiet
- Write out journal prompts
- Write in your gratitude journal
- Take a nap
- Have a spa day
- Go to lunch by yourself
- Get your hair done
Self-discovery Questions to Figure Out What You Like Doing
These questions will help you figure out what you want to do for your me-time.
- What do you enjoy doing?
- If you had to pick a hobby, what would it be?
- What’s one thing you’ve stopped doing that you’d like to try again?
- What’s one thing you always want to do but don’t make the time for?
- What do you like to do for fun?
You can (and should) find time for me time. Me time helps you rejuvenate and recharge which you need more of as a busy special needs mom. It’s okay to take time for yourself without feeling guilty about it.