You’re going to get interrupted, you’re going to be followed into the bathroom, you’re going to have to hide if you want any amount of me time as a mother. Unless, of course, you take some advice from a mom of 10 (ohhh, that’s me! Eeekk!), who pretty much has me time on speed dial. Oh geez, I just dated myself. ??♀️Anyway, if you want some me time, Mama, then keep reading because I get it when I want and however I want, that unicorn life of me time.
You need to keep your ?together and live the ?life you choose to live. Children are a blessing not a burden (yes, it feels like it, but hang with me here) and YOU have to make some decisions and be in control of your own mini-you humans who refuse to cooperate 99.9876% of the time.
It’s simple, I talk to my kids and tell them my needs and how it’s important to respect those needs. I don’t need empty threats for them to comply, I need to simply communicate with my kids.Coach Andi – Mom of 10 – Avid lover of me time
The Power of Respect
Talk. To. Your. Kids.
Many times, by the 1st hour of the day your mental capacity to reason with anyone under the age of 25 has pretty much gone on vacation…indefinitely. Sooo, it’s best to establish some sort of “family meeting” routine (even just for 15 minutes) to talk TO each other…not AT one another. I used to talk AT my kids (Baahahaha…who am I kidding, I still do – it’s a work in progress) but now I’ve discovered that it’s actually a really, really great thing to listen to what comes out of their little face holes.
I genuinely laugh more listening to my kids. They want to be heard and every morning… yes, nearly every morning, 7 days a week, we are together, talking.~Mom of 10
RESPECT begins with listening.
You listen to them first (because they are impatient little dung-patties, you know it), then allow them the opportunity to reciprocate and listen to you. This is a learned skill so be patient and keep the back and forth ‘turns’ going. Some easy convo starters for the morning meeting could be, who had some crazy dreams they wanna share?
Give everyone about 90 seconds-ish to mumble and rattle off their dreams (you really don’t have to listen that intently…just nod your head and have a big goofy smile on your face). Then it’s your turn – tell them about respect and listening to one another since they have twice as many ears as they do a mouth. Say it’s your turn now. Build up their listening and sharing skillz through repetition.
Explain what you need and what will happen that day. Playtime with them, alone time to recharge like a battery, and then more playtime, etc. Children simply don’t intuitively know what you need and WHY you need that me time all to yourself. Tell them and make sure they are listening…ask them what you need after explaining it (and be stupid-simple about it…some kids just aren’t that bright).
Repeat yourself over and over and over and over and over again! I cannot stress this enough. You are GOING to repeat yourself… stop thinking there’s a point in your life that you won’t… wait, yes, yes, there is… you’d be dead. Then and only then will you stop repeating yo’self!
Set the Standard Rules of Your Home
If you NEED me time as a mother of 1 or 15, YOU decide if it happens or not. My eyeballs are freaking balls of muscle, dude, because of the amount of eye-rolling I do when I hear moms say, my kids won’t ever leave me alone! ? Since when do those troll-like beings ever have any power over a grown adult? I’m not talking about boobie-lovin’ babes, ’cause I still have mine and he’s stuck on those nipples like a child at Disney Land…It’s the place to be, I get it. However, any child over the age of 2-ish, can begin to learn that me time for mommy is non-negotiable.
Maybe this is tough love for some moms, I think it’s a necessity. I mean, if you are reading this… YOU NEED me time and you know what, you cannot be a ball-sack about setting the rules with your children. Think about it… balls are sensitive, weak, and feeble.. you blow on those things wrong and your man is wincing in pain like a little biotch.
Hold your own, set the standards, and refuse to give in to your kids.Coach Andi
Remember: You are already meeting your kids’ basic needs and then some, so you are NOT hurting your kids – you’re helping to shape them and to help them learn how to respect boundaries now and as adults. Do them a favor will ya?
So, what will your standards be? Here’s a list of mine, but remember, I started this when my oldest two were like 6 and 7 years old. Everyone else followed suit. There are consequences, good and bad, to violating mom and dad’s household rules and guidelines, period… we’ll get into that laters though.
- Do NOT ask questions or disturb mom in any way while she’s eating – any question is an automatic NO, answer.
- Mom has set ‘work times’, no non-emergency disturbances during those times.
- The “NO” sign on my door is a non-negotiable (even the 3 yr old knows this).
- Mom will tell you exactly what time she is free – all distractions are a go!
- Mom respects the children’s “play/gaming” time and will not ask you to do chores or any tasks.
- Kids have a set allowance because God allowed you to be born to us. **You are paid extra for any non-essential chores/tasks
PRACTICE with your kids, because, Girl, this me time stuff is NOT going to happen overnight. But it will happen with consistency and diligence for all of you. If you feel like this is too hard, then you really DON’T want me time and you are content, just the way your life is until your kiddos leave the house.
Be honest with yourself, but please… for the love of my bulging eye-balls, stop saying you cannot get me time or time away from your kids because “they” won’t let you. No, momma, no. The reality is…you are not training your kids to respect your boundaries.
Noooo, I’m not talking about special needs kids…like disabled kids – that’s a whole other article.
Follow Through with Your Me Time
Now that you know what to do… you actually have to TAKE your me time moments! Like I said, you really do have to put in the work. Motherhood takes work. Training your kids to do anything meaningful in life takes work.
- Potty training…work.
- Learning to read… work.
- Sharing toys… work.
You get the idea. This is simply another mutually beneficial training you get to do with your kids. You don’t have to start every day, but you better start. Kids learn fast – take advantage of that. Practice with NO LESS than 10 minutes of scheduled me time for yourself.
Me Time: Simple To Get, Easy To Ignore
Step 1: Tell your kids what time your me time is set for and ask them what they will be doing during that time. Set them up for success by keeping them productively busy during your me time!
Step 2: Reiterate your me time – ask the kids what time it is scheduled for and have them repeat. Ask them if they are allowed to disrupt you for ANY reason. BTW... have A CODE of 3-5 things that justify an interruption – Ie. mine are: choking, smoke/fire, arterial bleeding, and a baby explosion of ? CODE: 4Things
Step 3: Give a 5-minute’ warning’ prior to your scheduled me time for your kids to ask any ‘final questions’. No exceptions – they will have to wait until your me time is complete to ask any further questions.
Step 4: Remind your kids of the good/bad consequences of successfully keeping your me time sacred or what will happen if it’s not honored. A loss of a game privilege is all it takes on my end. Don’t be a ball-sack – follow-through if those sweet little minions violate your me time or successfully keep it. It’s either a non-negotiable for you as a mom or it’s not.
If you’re an honest person, mean what you say, say what you mean. Not following through with losses of privileges or earned rewards, makes you a bonafide lair. #truthalertCoach Andi
Step 5: Rinse and repeat and increase the time as you need until you get your well-earned me time and the kids are more than thrilled to give it to you (cuz you’re nicer now). #KeepingItReal
Most moms won’t actually take my advice and instead want a simple one-sentence solution to have the freedom to mom and feel like you are still your own person who can have alone time without stepping on a single lego piece. It’s just not going to happen. I started my motherhood journey with 4 littles and I told them “Don’t stress mommy out…it causes wrinkles.” That’s right…I wanna look good. Anyway, that’s how it started… I told my kids that I was going through a rough patch and I need them to do their very best to not stress me out – aka please do what I ask and when I ask, without complaining.
And you know what happened?? It f*kn’ worked!
Okay…for realz, who’s gonna get their well-earned me time as a mom??