Women in this day and age may be able to do it all -- juggling work and family -- but that doesn't mean they don't need a little time to themselves on occasion. Because as the moms on Parent Soup say, "a stressed out mom is not a good mom." So how do you manage to carve out enough time to relax and recharge? It's not as impossible as it seems. Below are some proven tips from the working moms of Parent Soup on finding that elusive "me time." So you can make more of the time you do spend with your kids time that everyone enjoys.
Super Slumber Parties
"Fortunately, my daughter is now old enough for slumber parties! Occasionally, all the girls in her circle of friends are at my house overnight, but some nights, they're all at the other girls' houses and I have all evening and part of the next day to myself. My daughter is happy since she's being allowed to go to a fun event with her friends and I feel good because she's supervised by parents. I know she's safe, and I can relax and enjoy my solitude for the evening."
Trading for Time
"Try trading off an afternoon of babysitting with someone you know and trust. You watch their children for an afternoon while they get a little free time, and then on another afternoon they watch your child. One of my best friends and I did this for years right before Christmas -- a day each so that the other could do some shopping and get out for a nice relaxing holiday breather. That was our Christmas present to the other. And it was probably the best present in the world!"
"I can relate to hectic lifestyles: I own my own business and take care of an elderly aunt. My free time is spent running our children and their friends around. But I have found some things that free up time. You can set the breakfast table at night before you go to bed. Set out the bowls, glasses, silverware and cereal boxes that night. Then, all the kids have to do in the morning is take out the milk and orange juice and help themselves. Another thing that has helped is preparing double recipes. We eat one and freeze one. And finally, I use the cordless phone to talk with friends while I'm cleaning the house or ironing clothes. Before I know it the dusting is done and dishes are in the dishwasher."
"Recently I did something I've never done. The kids stayed with friends for the weekend. Dad stayed home. And I took off to the mountains (only an hour away) for the weekend. I rented a cabin and just sat and thought. You wouldn't believe how much good it did me."
A Group Outing
"Sometimes you have to give in a little bit and decide that all the things that you had planned on getting done are not important and do something different. I have four kids and when they are all driving me nuts, I take a deep breath and call them out to the kitchen and put them in the car and take them to the park. Sometimes kids just need to run around without many restrictions to get out their pent up energy. It helps me too because I take a book with me and I get a few moments of peace."
Money Well Spent
"If you have the money, one way to get time and feel special is to hire a maid service to come in once a month to do the heavy cleaning. Last year I felt I was not being appreciated much. I thought is this worth a fight? No! I decided to take a day's pay and treat myself every month. I tell you when I come home from work after the maid service has been there I enjoy my house so much and feel like a queen."