Me Time…

I love my kids. They are my favorite people in the whole wide world. However, on multiple occasions I find myself needing a break to go and do something for myself. I am sometimes fortunate enough to take these types of breaks on a weekly (potentially daily) basis. Taking some “me time” means I become a better mom, wife, and overall human being. Restaurant pic
The three extra-curricular activities that I claim for myself are the Three R’s, which include: reading, running, and restaurants. Each one may offer me a brief escape for twenty minutes or allow for a nice get-away in the evening.
Reading is so enjoyable to me. It is also important as a writer to read a lot, so I can be inspired and learn from authors who are actually making some real money by getting their words published. I am a book junkie and an equal opportunity reader. I love chick lit, thrillers, mysteries, non-fiction, science fiction, youth literature, People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, NPR news reports, and the local paper.
I devour words and have the outstanding ability to turn everything around me into white noise while I am reading something good. This is irritating to my kids and husband, because when I go into a book coma, chaos can erupt. I am constantly apologizing whenever Rainbow Rowell or John Sandford comes out with a new novel. (If you are needing something to read, I highly recommend:  Dark of the Moon-A Virgil Flowers Novel– and Eleanor & Park.)
My reading time is typically restricted to the later evening hours before I enter REM or during the brief snatches of time when my kids take a longer than expected nap or get engrossed in a coloring project.
I resisted the Harry Potter books for a long time. I did not pick up the first one until all seven novels had been published. By some unforeseen grace, I also did not have any spoilers ruining how the series ended. My oldest was a toddler when I got addicted to J.K. Rowling, and I am not really sure what she did for the weeks it took me to consume the world of Hogwarts. I do know we visited the mall’s play area frequently so she could roam on the indoor recreation equipment, and I could read with her being carefully enclosed in a safe environment.
While that all sounds a bit crazy, I always remember how nice the reading escape was for those weeks. I was pregnant with my second child and had first trimester nerves and nausea. Between working part-time for an insurance company and also being a full-time mom, I was worn out and reading an awesome book series gave me some relief. My daughter still felt loved that entire time period, and I got to take some moments for myself. No one should ever feel baRunning 2d about doing that, however dissecting mom guilt is definitely deserving of its own future blog post.
Now my second, listed extra-curricular activity is running. To say I love running would be a huge exaggeration, but I have come to rely on it. I had an epiphany as I was exiting my twenties that it would be great to actually call myself a runner. My family is good about group walks, hiking, biking, and staying active. But I was never a runner. I looked on-line and started following a program to build a runner’s base. I found the perfect website for me because it laid out a plan that started out super slow, and since I was a super slow jogger the whole thing felt like a win-win situation with no judgment. I started my internal running challenge at the end of winter, so I only had to spend a few weeks putting time in on the treadmill.
Running outside is amazing, and my biggest trigger for wanting to permanently move to Hawaii or San Antonio. It clears my mind, I see the neighborhood sights, and it also allows me to actually get out and away from the household mayhem. I typically only run for about thirty minutes at a time. I dread the sweaty work-out part, but I relish the clearing of my head.
I listen to music or podcasts while enjoying the singular freedom of running by myself and just being alone with my thoughts. Kudos to my husband for being encouraging and indulgent of this type of running habit. A lot of days I meet him at the doorstep ready to jog, just as he is getting home from the office. The kids dislodge from my legs and quickly wrap around his.
Winter puts a damper on my running, so I try to supplement with gym time. The gym is great for getting me to work out in different ways. I have starting doing weights, yoga, pilates, etc. However nothing feels like you hit the refresh button better than a quick loop around the neighborhood. (Seriously, it is awesome!) Although, thankfully my gym does have a child watch area. Being able to take a shower after exercising, with no kids beating on the bathroom door for your attention, is strong encouragement to do some physical activity.
It is a little Restaurant 2sad that my main motivation to run or work out comes pretty much solely from a need to escape my children. Like I have said before, I love them, but we all need a break from the terrible two’s of a toddler and the sibling burp contests that can erupt during snack time.
Finally my last go-to extra-curricular activity involves restaurants. Paying someone else to cook for me and clean up the mess afterwards, um yes please. I have some outstanding mom friends that luckily also see the need for this type of activity. We typically meet once or twice a week for lunch with our kiddos. All of the children entertain each other, and we manage to get in about twenty minutes (sometimes more) of meaningful, mom chatter.
Obviously there are a lot of interruptions and lunch dates almost always take place at an establishment that is fast and serves kids’ meals with toys. However, I will take it in exchange for some adult conversation. Restaurants also supply a perfect evening destination for a girl’s night or a date with the spouse. For me, eating out sans children should involve sitting in the bar area at a high-top table or going to an eatery that doesn’t have a single booster seat. Those nights are when we order sushi or some fine Indian cuisine. The terms chicken strips and chocolate milk should never be uttered! Reading with girls
I am so fortunate to have a great husband, awesome kids, and a job I actually enjoy. But even on her best days, Super Woman needed a break. I am definitely no Super Woman, but give me a good book, a sunny jogging path, or some chicken tikka masala and I will be happy. (Not to mention refreshed and ready to conquer the Lego swamp strewn out across my living room floor.)

11 thoughts on “Me Time…

  • February 29, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Does locking the door when I go to the bathroom count as me time?! Seriously though, I struggle with taking time for myself. You inspired me to do better!! Great read Kelly.

    • February 29, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Jen- I think any and all alone time counts 🙂 However, it is great for us all to be able to do something away from the chaos and get a good re-charge. Thanks for reading!

  • February 29, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Reading time is one of my great outlets, glad to see you enjoying that alone time with a good book. John Sanford, as my best friend Brad Black says….”when picking up one of the Sanford books, it is like visiting an old friend.” Great read, one my favorite authors. Randy/dad

    • February 29, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks—parents that read have a much higher chance of having kids that enjoy reading. It is such a wonderful “me time” activity.

  • February 29, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Great post Kelly! Very relatable. I am love that you provided a book recommendation. I will have to check that out. 🙂

    • March 1, 2016 at 2:08 am

      Nadia-The books I recommended are really good reads. Dark of the Moon by John Sandford is the first book in a series about the character Virgil Flowers. The series just gets better with each novel.

    • April 28, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you for reading!


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