At first glance, “me time” may sound like something Popeye would say to wife Olive Oyl. The old sailor could gripe: “I need me time to get to me boat!” Actually, it simply means each of us, especially busy parents, needs moments to be alone to relax or do whatever else we want without interruption or obligation.
How can the busy parents find some therapeutic me time? With some planning, it can be done!
Escape to private room in the house for at least several hours of the day or evening. Other members of the family must respect the parent’s right of privacy for that length of time. It can be for TV, internet, a hobby, correspondence, business work or or just for uninterrupted rest.
Join a club, professional association, church group or other away-from-home destination. It can be just for an hour or so on one night a week, one weekend a month or other me time for the parent to get away from the house.
Either alone or together, parents may subscribe to a theater and/or concert season. It will give them opportunities for cultural events and other distractions where they can forget family duties for several pleasant hours.
Join a gym or set up a schedule for regular exercising. Go with a friend for regular sessions.
Set up or join friends for card games and nights out for dinners, cocktails or other social mingling.
Enroll at the local night school or college for a credit courses, language studies or other education experiences.
Take a cruise. If childcare can be provided, the mom and dad can get away together from family duties for a weekend or a week on a relaxing cruise. Additionally, if just one parent is free, join several friends, family members or professional association on a group cruise.
Volunteer at a local charity. This may not be considered me time to some people, but helping others can be a satisfying and enlightening experience that balances well with family obligations.
For many parents with children still at home, finding me time can be difficult. However, with some planning and determination, it can be done. Then, whether it is a few hours or a week, you’ll get back refreshed and ready to take on family duties again.