You've worked your butt off. School. Job/career. Marriage. Pregnancy. Labor. Kids. Day and night, literally. Before kids you had a lot of time. LOADS of time. You just didn't know it, right? You even had angst over Time in your single days. Remember?
Take yourself back. Sleeping in. Brunch with friends. Matinee (hell, any movie in a theater). Shopping. Eating out. Drinks. Or pajamas all day on a rainy or snowy day. Binge-watching the Sopranos on DVD before binge-watching was even a thing. You may have had a hobby. Painting? Working out? Wood-working? Photography? Exercising? Maybe even something exotic like glass-blowing. Who knows.
The point is, you had something. It was yours and yours alone. Where is that thing now in your life? Have you made time for it in between work(job and/or kids), all-things-home, cooking, helping/reminding kids to do whatever they're supposed to be doing, and then shuttling them for hours wherever they're supposed to be.
Where are you in all this?
I was lost in the chaos for a few years. Absolutely could not squeeze an hour out to work out let alone do my writing. But one day I forced myself out of my toy-cluttered condo to escape my beautiful but clinging and endlessly needy children.
And there I was. In a cafe, sipping a fabulous latte and staring at a blank word document on my laptop. It was heaven (realizing "heaven" means something different for everyone!). And I didn't stop going. In fact, I went more often until now, a few years later, I go three times a week. It helps that my husband is on board and supportive - but I give it back to him. Encourage him to do his thing. We're both happier, more at ease and more patient with our kids when we get Me Time. It is priceless.
So take it. Take your time - find it, make it, carve it out. It's so important and you'll never get it back. Stop looking at your list of things To Do - or put YOURSELF on your list. Make Me Time something you absolutely have to do, put it at the top of your list. I guarantee you won't be sorry.
And it doesn't matter what you do. Exercise. Pick up a hobby (long-lost or newly discovered). Get a massage or a pedicure. Listen to a podcast with your eyes closed and no interruptions. Watch guilty pleasure TV or read People magazine. The point is it's what you want to do, period. And it will help you be more sane and less stressed.
So - tell me what Your Thing is. Share how you make time for yourself. Any tips?