People shy away from saying things like "I need some me time" for fear it sounds selfish or less sacrificial as a mother. I know this because I used to think that way.
Personally, I think everyone needs some "me time". Time to explore what God created you for. What makes you happy. Time to spend with Him in thought--walking with Him in dailiness to discover the inmost parts that He created in each one of us. The things that make us unique, the things that revive us and rejuvenate us.
I know many advocate walking with the Lord in dailiness by saying, "converse with Him while doing dishes or laundry"--and I get that--I do...with five children and a household to run I think I can say "I get that." But that doesn't always cut it for me. I mean, can you really ever complete a thought with five children around?
Some people are wired differently. You may not need as much quiet time to think as I do. That's fine. I just found that when I tried to fit the mold of someone else: "Hey, they don't need to get away from their children and home every once in awhile! I shouldn't either!" then I was miserable in a deep part of me and I didn't really realize it until I was deep in anxiety and depression and just general ill health. That's why I believe we need time to meditate on Psalm 139; how He made and knows us, knows all the hairs on our heads, knows what makes us tick....or not.
You might say, "Well, women in the older times never had "me time"." And to that, I say, well---yeah. But this isn't older times. And a lot is different now.
I think "me time" has been "Oprah-cized" to the point where we might now associate "me time" with mani/pedis (which I desperately LOVE to do) and champagne play-dates (which I most certainly do NOT do).
I'm just sayin'-let's be careful not to group it all under one roof. And exercise a little common sense and grace and mercy and love--to ourselves and others.
Karen Andreola was one of the first home school writers to actually talk about taking time for yourself as a mother. She even trademarked it Mother Culture and says :
During years of research Karen revived Mother Culture, an obscure term from the past, and has coined the phrase for today’s busy hardworking homeschooling mom. This is her favorite message to give, as the joys and advantages of Mother Culture overflow into the family circle.
Although she never used the term Mother Culture, Charlotte Mason noticed that "the old painters, however diverse their ideas in other matters, all fixed upon one quality as proper to the pattern of Mother. The Madonna, [mother with her children], no matter out of whose canvas she looks at you, is always serene. . . . we should do well to hang our walls with the Madonnas of all the early Masters [of art] if the lessons, taught through the eye, would reach with calming influence to the heart."
Charlotte believed that this countenance of contentment, of serenity, can come about even during stressful times when a mother learns to occasionally do for herself what she does for her children - go out to play. Charlotte tells us we would have happier households if we mothers "would only have courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or a half a day, out in the fields, or with a favorite book, or in a picture gallery. . ." For a mother to allow herself a bit of leisure to rest and refresh herself by exploring her own interests, to find a little time for herself, especially when so many others depend on her, is a what Karen calls, Mother Culture ®.
When a busy homeschooling mother takes part in Mother Culture she safeguards her enthusiasm, so she will be better able to cope with her responsibilities. To partake in Mother Culture is to feed herself with the Word of God, with ideas from books, nature, art, music, etc., thus taking care to keep growing spiritually and mentally. If there such is a thing as the joy of childhood, there is also such a thing as the joy of motherhood, and Karen admonishes mothers to recognize and live within such a blessing.
~Spend an afternoon in the park
~Piddle about your house--devoting the day to making your home a warmer, happier, place. (my favorite.)
~Go for a walk by yourself.
~Read a good book all day. Don't feel guilty. =)
Granted, we don't all have the luxury of making these things happen, but if we make them a priority, then they will be more likely to happen in some way. Mothers can be so creative with their time!
I know that I feel more like being a nurturer when I nurture myself and allow the Lord to nurture me with His words and His love. Some need more than others. The Lord knows this. Seek Him for your "me time"!
Skeleton self-care in challenging times
Taking time for you
Sabbath rest enforced
Take good care
Mother Culture and you