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5 Reasons Moms Should Never Feel Guilty About Taking Some “Me Time”

Being a working mom can often feel like you are rarely off the clock. (When we’re not running around the office trying to be a girl boss, we’re back at home making sure our kids are fed, bathed, and entertained.) And even though most moms don’t need an official confirmation of just how busy they are on a daily basis, a study conducted in 2017 year has proven that indeed moms have a very, very long work week.

According to a survey of 2,000 working moms with kids aged 5- to 12-years-old, a typical work week for moms with a full-time job takes up around 98 hours a week: the average day begins around 6:23 a.m. and doesn’t end until 8:31 p.m. Aside from that, the study also shed light on a particularly shocking statistic: moms only get about an hour and seven minutes to themselves each day. You read that right: 1 hour and 7 minutes.

While moms are certainly capable of squeezing in something important into that very limited window, the truth is, everyone needs more than an hour and seven minutes of “me time” in order to stay sane. Yet sadly, moms rarely put themselves ahead of their family. Taking time off from the kids often comes with feelings of guilt; while others have a hard time fully disconnecting from their parental responsibilities. But scheduling in some me time is actually just as important as tucking in your kids at night. Here, five reasons why every mom should factor in some solid personal time at least once a week.

To remind yourself of who you were pre-baby.

Once you become a mom, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve lost your sense of identity. Before you used to be known as an individual, now you’re mostly referred to as your child’s mom. It’s not anyone’s fault, really. It’s just that these days you’re most often seen pushing around a stroller or taking the kids out for ice cream.

For those reasons, it can feel revitalizing to be out on your own for a bit. For just one moment, people won’t be asking about your child’s age, or whether you bottle or breastfeed; the conversation will mainly be about you — and who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?

To help your children bond with your partner or secondary caregiver.

Since moms tend to be the primary caregivers in a family, they sometimes naturally become the preferred parent of their kids. Help your children strengthen their relationship with your partner or secondary caregiver (grandparent, aunt, etc) by allowing them to have some time alone together without you in the mix. Not only will an afternoon without you help them create stronger bonds, it will also free you up to do all those things on your personal to-do list.

To strengthen your relationship even more.

Couples therapist Esther Perel once told me the healthiest way to tackle the arrival of a child in a relationship was to distribute the roles of each partner: One takes care of the family, while the other takes care of the relationship. No one can be expected to do both; that’s just a recipe for exhaustion and resentment.

So next time you’re taking the day off, remember to thank your partner (and vice-versa) for thinking of your and your relationship’s well-being. Also, you know what they say: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

To reconnect with friends who might be feeling left out.

After you become a parent, friends take a back seat to other, more pressing matters like sleep training and feeding schedules. And even though you still love them as much as you did pre-baby, it’s easy for friends to feel a little neglected.

Going out for a long lunch or even scheduling an intensive FaceTime session without the constant interruptions of a kid is more valuable than you think. You’ll catch up on all the gossip you’ve missed and they’ll feel like they’re still important in your life. It’s a win win for everybody.

Because sometimes you just have to treat yourself.

You brought a life into this world! And you keep it alive every day—that is no small feat! You deserve a good pampering session. So go ahead and get that mani pedi while reading Us Weekly. Or schedule that much needed hair cut and blowout. Or even block out a few hours to catch up on that show everyone has been raving about in the office.

The point is, there’s nothing wrong with doing something totally self-indulgent once in a while. You’ve earned it.

by Patricia Garcia