Although I have always liked kids, it was never my top priority to have kids.....I wanted to travel, work on achieving my goals, and just enjoy life. So after being married for over seven years my husband and I decided that it's time to try. When I found out that I was pregnant, I was beyond happy - I was excited about going through the experience of being pregnant, and I was even more excited to meet our son or daughter (I didn't want to know what we are having).
But let's face it - I had no idea what to expect once the baby was born! Obviously with a new born life changes, but one thing that my husband and I were very clear on is that we don't want to change our lifestyle too much, and we want to experience everything as a family. Meanwhile our kids are four and two, and so far there is not much that we were not able to do because of our kids. We continue to do the things that we enjoy and the kids are always with us - travelling, hiking, mountain biking, time with friends, and they love being a part of everything! Of course we had to adapt a few things, but it is great to be able to make all these experiences together as a family!
So far our kids have been great in adapting to our lifestyle. And as nice as it is it to experience everything as a family, there are times when it is simply frustrating, difficult and nerve-racking, and I just wish to be alone for 15minutes where I can cool down! I think that every mom or parent knows what I am talking about:) Being a parent is probably the hardest thing I will ever have to do, and I have learned so much in the past four years - not only about how to raise children, but also about myself!
One thing that I have learned is the importance of "me" time! It is not about being selfish, or not loving our kids, it is about wanting to be the best parent I can possibly be! For me personally there are a few reasons why "me" time is so important:
- it gives me the opportunity to reflect on the day, the situation, what I did right or wrong, and what I can learn from each situation so next time I can make it better! "Me" time gives me the opportunity to become a better mother and wife!
- just because we have kids, that doesn't mean that my life has stopped - I still have hobbies, goals, and things that I want to achieve. So for me it is important to pursue also these goals. Of course it is not always easy to balance everything, but I feel like this will teach and empower our kids to go after their goals, to not be afraid to dream big, and that with the proper time management and planning everything is manageable
- let's face it, very soon our kids won't need us as much, and soon after that they will be out of the house - what do I do then???? I need to balance life in a way that my priority is our kids, but at the same time I continue enjoying my hobbies, and pursue my goals, so once they don't need me as much I will not be lost
- when I am away from our kids, I truly miss them - I guess that they feel the same way, so it is nice to have a little distance just for that excitement of being with my kids to kick in. I heard someone saying that "the distance makes the heart grow fonder"
- I have realized that the days I can't afford a "me" time, I feel much more exhausted, tired, irritated and out of patience - all these usually are not a good combination when you have kids around
- I simply want to make them proud of me - for wanting and trying to be a better mother then I was yesterday, for being ambitious, and for working hard
A lot of times people feel like taking "me" time when they have kids is selfish, and somehow this will impact the kids in negative way. But even experts talk about the importance of "me" time, especially for women as we usually try to "have it all" www.webmd.com
My advice to all the parents out there, just because you have children that doesn't mean that your life has stopped - make sure you set aside 30min a day for some "me" time! The kids will thank you for that, and you will be a happier version of yourself!
Some of the activities I love doing in the "me" time are going for a long run, enjoying a good workout, reading a book, and TM meditating. What are your favourite "me" time activities?
Photo source: © Cécile Gall / cecile-gall-photography.com