If there’s one thing we’re encouraged to do as moms, it’s to take some “me time.”
The “Me Time” topic is a staple of women’s magazines and TV channels and Web sites. Get a manicure! they all tell us. Go on a spa retreat! Get a massage! Have a Girls Night Out! Read a good book! Go shopping! Give yourself a facial! Get your hair did! Go see a matinee, all by yourself!
Of course! Because it’s all about me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Meeeeeeeeee!
Consequently, “Me Time” is a really common topic among middle class moms. We use it to justify all kinds of things, from the mornings when we drive our kids to school and then go back to bed for four hours, to the night we stay out with our girlfriends until 2 a.m. “I just needed some ‘Me Time,’” we’ll sigh to our friends, patting our hair as all the other moms murmur in agreement.
Personally, I have nothing against “Me Time.” I try to do something just for “Me” about once a month, whether it’s dinner with friends or a haircut or a solo shopping trip. But a lot of experts would tell me that’s not enough. I can’t be a good mom, they claim, unless I take more “Me time!” I need to meditate more! Take more bubble baths! Have coffee and read magazines more often at Starbucks!
I beg to differ.
Sure, it would be nice to have more time to myself that’s not spent working or cleaning house, time to finish a book in under six months, time to watch some of the shows on TV that I hear people talking about, time to do a crossword, time to go shopping for something I’ve been wanting.
But the thing is, that time will come all too soon.
Right now my children want every second of my time that I can give them. They want me to play with them, read to them, dress them, feed them, bathe them, talk to them, sing with them, run with them, nap with them. They want me around 24/7.
I’m lucky enough to know from experience as a stepmom that as each year goes by, I’ll have a little more “me time.” Each year, my children will need me a little less.
Eventually, they won’t need me at all, and I’ll be left with about all the “me time” I can stand.
I don’t think I’ll look back at that point and wish I’d spent more time doing things for myself when my children were small. I won’t wish I’d gotten more manicures or figured out Sudoku sooner.
But I’m betting I will wish I’d had even more time to spend with my kids.
So you know what, experts?
The “Me Time” can wait. I want to give my children every spare second I can possibly muster
—for as long as they want me around.