“I’m going to the gym,” he said.
I wanted to kill him.
“Okay, see you later,” I said unenthusiastically.
This routine continued for days. My husband would go to the gym while I took care of both kids. We had just brought our second baby home a few weeks prior. Our toddler had a pretty solid bedtime routine, but our new addition had me crying some days because she wouldn’t go to sleep.
One night, my husband found me crying on the floor. I looked him in the eye and said, “You can’t go to the gym.” He didn’t understand, but he stayed home and didn’t object. It turned things around for a few weeks to have him nearby to help. Then, he started going again. “How could he be so selfish?” I thought.
I was angry with him for making time for himself. I thought working full-time was enough time to himself. Why does he need time to unwind when he gets home? I need time to unwind! I was staying home, getting my son to and from school, and constantly caring for the baby. It wasn’t easy or glamorous, and I was building resentment toward my husband because of it.
Eventually, I realized that I needed to make time for myself. If he could go the gym, why couldn’t I do something for me? So one day when my husband said he wanted to go to the gym, I responded, “Sure, and then I’m going to go tomorrow night.” And just like that, it began. We alternated nights to go the gym. That sixty minutes away, of not being a cow, and focusing on myself became priceless. My gym had zumba classes, and I love dancing. Suddenly, I was enjoying this Me Time! All those days I spent angry at my husband should have been re-channeled to finding ways to make time for myself.
Motherhood, as we know, is a full-time job. There are no breaks and no paid holidays. It’s perfectly normal and acceptable for a parent to need alone time. Society may not act like it’s okay, but I’m telling you it is. IT’S OKAY TO NEED A BREAK.
Over time I started attending zumba, making friends and making time for myself. I TRANSFORMED from a tired, low-energy mom to a budding, happy parent. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of making time for yourself. But here’s the thing… nobody will help you get that time but you. I see moms all the time who say they need it but can’t get it. It must be demanded and preplanned. It’s difficult, and something will always come up. Find a way to make time and make it a priority!
So, the next time you feel a little resentment toward your partner for something he/she is doing, take a minute and find out what you’ll do for yourself. Coffee date with a friend. Heading to the gym or getting physical activity. A night out with friends or shopping alone for an hour.