The Pitfalls of “Me Time”

I recently read an article on how just 5 minutes of intentional mommy “me time” can rejuvenate and refresh your day. Most of the time, I fervently agree. “Yes! I just need some time to myself! Please, can somebody give it to me?” And the break is wonderful when it comes.

We all get a little nutty sometimes after a full day with the kids. Nap time is my sanity. When my kids skip it for whatever reason, I think that I will certainly pull my hair out and rock in the corner a bit by 6 P.M. (If I even make it that far.) I look forward to my regular breaks, but I particularly enjoy some silence and a good cup of tea in the afternoon.

In fact, I tend to go to desperate measures to find that time to myself. For example, my new pastime is hiding in the bathroom for 15 minutes when my hubby gets home to eat chocolate and read. (Where else can you lock the door behind you without coming up with an excuse?)


The Pitfalls of Me Time

But I’m going to say something unpopular: I’m not sure that craving for and clinging to mommy “me time” with white knuckles is really all that healthy or helpful.

Why in the world would I say a thing like that? (Stick with me here.)

Well, sometimes it seems that the more “me time” I have, the less I want to be around my kids. The more I have time to myself, the more I want it, and the more I resent the constant duties that come with being a mother.

It seems that the necessity of “me time” can breed selfishness. I’m not saying it does for everyone- but it does for me. I become irritable when I don’t have that time. Sometimes I get so frustrated when nap is skipped that I feel my entire day has gone to waste. I become terribly grumpy and snappy on days when i feel like I’m just running in circles with the kids all day long. No, it’s not a pretty thing when I miss my quiet time.

Why can’t I just sit and relax? Why can’t I lounge over tea with friends in the evening while somebody else puts my kids to bed? I can’t even sleep a solid eight hours without someone needing me!

And before I know it, resentment takes root in my heart, bearing bitter fruit that is poison to the soul.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that having time to yourself is wrong at all, and I don’t think it’s wrong to enjoy it. Moms DO need breaks, and alone time can bring much needed restoration for the weary parent. My point is not to give up the breaks just so you can be a martyr.

My point is that it can be less than helpful to get caught up in wishing for the time off. When “me time” becomes the end-all of our contentment and happiness, or when we run from parenting in order to get a break, something is amiss.

I once read a book called Loving the Little Years*, in which the author makes a novel suggestion: Rachel Jonkovic urges her readers to stop allowing themselves to indulge in complaints. (This book is an amazing attitude-booster for any mother with young children in tow, by the way.) When you frequently bemoan the fact that you are always busy and always exhausted, you make it more difficult to deal with those challenges in a positive manner.

I would add this to Jonkovic’s suggestion: Stop look for that “me time” for which we all so frantically pine.

It seems counter intuitive, but I am truly coming to believe that the less I look for time to myself, the more I enjoy being with and caring for my children. We mustn’t allow “me time” to rob us of the joys of motherhood.

The less we yearn for an easier way, the easier it becomes to do the hard thing.

Do The Hard Thing

This is hard for me- I have to preach this idea to myself. I’m often terrified of the demands of motherhood, and heaven knows I treasure those quiet moments. But in those hopeful moments, when by the grace of God I am able to (reluctantly) pry my grasping hands from my “me time,” I become less fearful of mothering. Less selfish.

More at peace with “together time.”

Together Time*This post contains an affiliate link. If you make any purchase through the link, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for supporting my efforts with this little blog!

 

10 thoughts on “The Pitfalls of “Me Time”

  1. Mom Z

    I totally agree, mommy me time is over rated. The time spent with children can be the best time of your life, it is all in your attitude. You can have restful time, me time and still be with your children. Take it from a mother of five, me time comes on too quickly once the “little ones” are all grown up, in the blink of an eye, you will be an empty nester. Enjoy the time you have with little ones, it will never return. Love the time you can share and giggle and have fun with them. Making your me time something you yearn for makes the time with your children a chore. God grants us time with our children for a short, very short time and then we get the privilege of watching them as adults with their children, and oh what a privilege that is. Love and be loved, make that your motto, enjoy and life becomes enjoyable.

    Reply
    1. Abi Post author

      Thank you so much for your response, Mom. I need to remind myself of this frequently- the time DOES go so fast. I may regret looking for time away from the kids- but I will never regret spending it WITH them. Thank you for your love and wisdom!

      Reply
  2. Alyssa Faith

    Thanks for taking the time to share these wise words. Scripture says, “She who lives for pleasure is dead while she lives”. That constant need to sacrifice is so good for my soul, and keeps me from living a wasted life, but I need reminders like this because I am often tempted to live for naptime and audiobooks and an illusion of a tidied house. That’s not what life is about!

    Reply
  3. Mandi

    I totally agree! I have also noticed that the less time I spend around my kids, the less I WANT to be around them. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Meka

    Your post makes me smile. You and Michelle both seem to be learning things faster than I did. The sooner you accept that you all just live and play and work together, the more smoothly the woke thing runs – especially if you homeschool. You’re just together All The Time. And it feels natural. And your kids are better-behaved for it. And, well, so are you. I’ve never spent as much time with anyone as my Abigail. I will miss her very much.

    Reply
    1. Abi Post author

      Thank you Meka. I so appreciate you and your perspective. That’s want I so much want to do- just accept us all living life together, instead of expecting my time by myself. It’s hard sometimes!!! But you’re right, it seems that everyone is better off for it. Love you!

      Reply
  5. Kelly

    awww, I agree. My kids are a bit older now, so I have more than enough me time. It’s amazing how fast they grow up and don’t need you as much (which a lot of moms with little ones don’t realize). I miss that stage, but I’m happy that they’re a little more independent too. πŸ™‚
    Thanks for linking up on the Wednesday Homestead Blog Hop. I hope we see you there again today. Also, I’m opening up my Homestead Blog Hop Pinterest Board as a group board if you’d like to contribute. It has almost 2000 followers right now. Just let me know.

    Reply
    1. Abi Post author

      Thank you so much Kelly! I appreciate you stopping by! I would love to contribute to the board and join up. I’ve been enjoying reading a lot of your posts recently too!

      Reply

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