As a mom, there are a few things we should be unapologetic about—alone time being one of those things at the very top of the list. If you read that and said to yourself, “What’s alone time?”—then this is especially for you. The moment we find out we have conceived, our whole world changes, and for most of us, those motherly instincts know just what to do. I was fortunate not to have experienced postpartum depression, but when I look back at the first few months, I may have had a touch of the baby blues.
Alone time seemed impossible with a nursing baby, and as the months progressed, even an hour of solitude was a distant thought. It wasn’t until those moments when I found myself apologizing to my husband for losing my cool—over seemingly small issues—that I had to ask myself, “Sheesh, what was that about?” Each time, I came to the conclusion of pent up frustration from the lack of feeding into myself.
As an only child, I spent a lot of time alone—I even lived alone during the years following undergrad and grad school. I was never lonely, and I learned to appreciate my solitude. In my older years, I have realized that my alone time—no matter how it is spent—is a necessity to be an effective wife, mother and business woman. The truth is, I crave it, and I deserve it—but I had to convince myself of both. At some point, I allowed myself to believe that it was OK to forfeit an integral part of who I am—a loner.
Here’s are 4 tips on what I’ve learned from depriving myself of alone time:
#1: I took time selfishly.
When I did decide to take alone time, I would, in a sense, abuse the time. My expected 30 minutes away turned into 2 ½ hours. Had ‘me time’ been consistent, I wouldn’t have the feeling of not having enough time.
#2: It was no one else’s responsibility but my own.
It’s always easier to try to place the blame on others for our shortcomings, but in my frustrations of feeling overwhelmed and smothered, I couldn’t blame my husband or my son—it was all on me.
#3: I prioritized other responsibilities poorly.
My husband and I share a lot responsibilities since we both work from home, but I began letting household chores fall on him because caring for the baby—a responsibility that could not be ignored—and creating income consumed the greater part of my day.
#4: I used lack of ‘me time’ as an excuse.
“Because I don’t have enough time for myself, I’m not able to…” became my mantra. It was then that I realized there was a lack of accountability for not being able to carry out my goals.
The ultimate revelation throughout my first two years of motherhood + entrepreneurship has been this: you cannot pour from an empty glass, and I was that empty glass—refusing to refill myself so that I could adequately pour into the other areas of my life. We’re all granted the same 24 hours each day, but what we choose to do with those 24 hours—well, that’s what we’re all trying to figure out.
By: Amber Aaron
Founding Partners of Mogul Mommies