It’s 6:00 a.m. and after I’ve gotten a few hours of sleep, one of my twin toddlers starts stirring. Like a lightening bolt, I get up and scurry to the kitchen to prepare their morning smoothie before they are both fully awake. With one eye open I blend the smoothie, put the tater tots in the toaster oven, and fill two sippy cups with water. Then I feed them, change diapers, brush teeth, get tons of hugs and kisses, comb hair and set up playtime. After about an hour of playtime (in which I play referee because of the constant fighting), I then prepare two sandwiches with snacks. Then we go to a playground or have some kind of outing. After that, it’s naptime and during naptime I start to prepare their dinner and clean up the house. They wake up from their nap, eat, play, give more hugs and kisses, watch cartoons and it’s almost time for bed and time to do it all over again.
Now, lets be clear here, this is not about complaining because I love being a mother and adore my children because I fully commit my mind, body and soul to raising twin toddlers 24/7. But I think it’s safe to say that I deserve a break for an hour or two once a week.
I once had an issue asking for a little help because society has a tendency to make us think that if you’re a mom you are just supposed to have it all together. It’s thought that asking for help or having the mommy blues is a sign of weakness as a mother. Well, now I know that’s not true…this is not an easy job and it’s ok to say it.
Stop Worrying About What Others Think
You and only you know that your break away from your kids is not an attempt to escape to a beach and put your feet up, it’s merely the desire to feel like a human being with your own thoughts for an hour or two. One way to help you feel more comfortable that you are not alone is to find stories online of moms who tell their crazy, funny kid stories. A good laugh once a day will help you lighten up and realize that all moms go through the same things whether they want to admit it or not.
Set A Specific Amount Of Time
Ok, so when people suggest that moms need to set a certain day and time for themselves it’s completely unrealistic because when you have kids, random things come up all the time. All that will do is lead to disappointment when you have to keep canceling your “mommy” time. So instead, set an amount of time–like an hour or half an hour–that you want once a week of pure, uninterrupted time.
Have a conversation with your significant other, mother or maybe even a girlfriend you trust letting them know that you really need a break on a weekly basis and ask if they help you out. If no one is available, then maybe you can have your break when your little one goes on a play date over a friend’s house.
Change Your Perspective
If you allow your outlook to be negative about not having enough time to yourself, it will consume you. Instead of feeling bad, make the best out of the little breaks you do have. If they take a two hour nap, don’t spend the whole time cleaning up around the house. Instead, make their food and then take an hour to yourself to watch a show, read a book or just be still.
Yes I said it, learn how to say no. Your mother just called and needs yarn for her knitting group, the school just called and wants to know if you can head up the bake sale again, and your husband says he can’t watch the kids as promised because it’s ‘guys night’ again. The answer to all of these needs to be ‘no.’ And please don’t feel bad about it. You probably do for these people all the time and say yes most of the year, so it’s ok to listen to your inner self and say no just because it’s too much and your sanity is more important.