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Me Time

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

Why it's important for parents to be able to carve out some time for themselves, alone.

Me Time. Sometimes it's the best time. Time to be alone and think about life. Time to relax. Time to re-charge. No friends, no kids, no spouse, nobody else that can influence how that time is spent. The best thing about 'me time' is that we all have our own unique way of using that time. It might be watching sports, reading, writing, playing video games, kayaking, fishing, hiking or biking. That time can be spent doing hundreds of different things. My me time is spent playing video games, mowing the lawn, yard work or DIY projects etc.

My 'me time' has varied at different stages in my life. Those stages were before I got married, after I was married (but before we had kids), and after we had kids. I have enjoyed each stage for what it was. Let's take a look at each one.

Before Marriage

Prior to when a I got married, I had a lot of freedom. I could go where I wanted and do what I wanted. There wasn't a whole lot of responsibilities except got to work, hang out with friends or go on dates. Going someplace after work wasn't a problem. You just went. Meeting up with the guys for a beer, no problem. Going to a movie on a random night during the week, no problem. I just did whatever. Me time was there, but for me it wasn't as critical as it is now. The stressors prior to kids were less and thus keeping my mental sanity at bay was easy.

After Marriage

After you get married, me time changes a little bit. You now have another person that you will likely consult before going somewhere or doing something. You likely share a bank account and commitments for one party is usually a commitment for both parties. Me time blends into us time, but you still have quite a bit of freedom. It's pretty easy to go out to eat spur of the moment, or jump in the car and go to a movie. Maybe you bought a house and now have some DIY projects to work on there. Me time is still pretty easy to schedule in.

After Kids

This is when things change A LOT. If you have kids and are able to have the same hobbies, interests, etc. in the same capacity that you had before you had kids then you should consider yourself EXTREMELY lucky. I can't think of a single person I know that is able to keep that same pace or same level of commitment. Your new hobbies will become changing diapers, feeding babies and/or toddlers, cleaning up toys, cleaning spit up, or cleaning toys that got spit up on. You get the point. As the kids get a bit older, hobbies morph into planning for birthday parties, going to other kids' birthday parties and trying to find reasons not to go to other kids' birthday parties.

In all honesty there is some time for yourself. But you have to work harder to get it. You need to plan better, consult with your spouse and put more more effort into just being able to do something for you. For me it's a few things. I enjoy mowing the yard. Call me crazy, but this is RELIABLE me time. I put on my headphones, head out to the yard for an hour or so and zone out. It's FANTASTIC. Every week from May until sometime in Late October/Early November I know I get this time, usually about an hour. If I'm lucky I may also have some other outdoor projects that need to be completed, but even then, it is likely not true me time. My kids always like to help, and I try to find a job for them to do.

Gentlemen, you need this time! You may need to barter to get it, and thats fine. I'd recommend that you do so. Trade a chore or project for the time. Trade time for time. Your sanity will thank you. Whether you have one kid, three kids or five or six , you need this time.

Ladies, you also need this time! Me time is just as important for you as it is for the guys. Go get your manicures, pedicures and massages. Go shopping if thats your thing. I've never met a lady that didn't like shopping, so there is a good chance you might like it. Do whatever it is you do to keep the mental sanity. Having kids is exhausting. Having spouses can be exhausting too.

Bottom line is that this time is important for us to recharge. Don't deprive your other half from this time. It can be very difficult to schedule in that time, but the stresses of not scheduling it far outweigh the stress it takes to get it on the calendar.

Cheers to me time!

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