Why Your ‘Me Time’ Helps Your Kids
Moms always hear about the importance of “me time” and why time away from the kids can really rejuvenate a tired mom. It’s true. Sometimes you just need a little space to relax and take a break from the constant shuffling, worrying, mediating, and everything else that happens almost every hour on the hour.
But it can be hard to find the time, and sometimes that pesky mom guilt creeps in. Is it really ok to be relaxing in the nail salon when one of my kids might need me for something right this very minute?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Not only is me time essential to the emotional health of tired moms everywhere, but it also benefits children.
Here are three reasons why your “me time” helps your kids:
Does it ever feel like your little ones run to you with every single tiny problem before they’ve even thought about it? They probably do. You’re there. They know you can fix it. Why not cut out a step and run right to the supreme fixer of all things kid?
When you’re not there for a little while, they have to stop and think. They can ask the adult left in charge, they can ask a sibling, or they can try to problem-solve a little bit first. There’s a reason experts say to take a breath and reply, “I will be there in just two minutes” when a child asks for help with every little thing. What we’re really saying is this: Teaching your child to give it try first increases mastery, problem-solving skills, and independence.
Sometimes a little time away from mommy provides opportunities to break out of the comfort zone.
They need you present:
When you are frazzled and running from place to place, it’s hard to be truly present with your children. It’s easy to go into autopilot mode and answer questions without even hearing the actual question.
Our kids know when we aren’t there emotionally. It’s not the amount of time that you spend playing dolls, talking trucks, or doing other 1:1 stuff that really counts, it’s the quality of the time spent together.
When you get a chance to check out and relax a little, you come back ready to play, listen, and engage with your child. No guilt there, mamas.
Stress trickles down:
There’s no way around it, kids pick up on environmental stress. We try to hide it. We think we’re smiling through it. But they feel it.
When you are under stress and in need of a break, your child needs that break too. It’s very difficult to remain calm and present when you feel like you’re drowning in stress and worry.
Bottom line: When you take care of you, you also take care of your kids. In addition, you teach them the importance of self-care and working through difficult emotions. Your kids learn a lot simply by observing you. Teach them that everyone needs alone time once in a while.
How do you make time for you?