In the rare event that I do have an hour to myself, it's still spent doing something house/toddler/baby-related. The closest I usually ever come to 'me time' is on Wednesdays when Jake goes to daycare. I lay all three babies down for their morning nap, make my second cup of coffee and head outside to my front porch. Before long, I hear at least one of them squealing on the monitor. After mumbling several "goddamnits" under my breath and delivering an eye roll to a non-existent recipient, I chug what's left of my coffee then reluctantly head inside. Back to babies, back to bottles, back to reality.
Even though 'me time' is short-lived around here, I can't help but take advantage of it when the opportunity arises. When bathroom breaks and trips to the gas station weren't enough anymore, I decided to join a gym. I needed a daily outlet away from my house for mental clarity, above all. I wasn't too thrilled about the idea of putting my BMI-challenged body in spandex, but it was within walking distance from my house so there was really no excuse not to. Despite being surrounded by girls that I could snap in half like a wishbone, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. That sanity-saving hour of the day belongs to me and only me.
The only other time as valuable as gym time is bar time. When I became a mom, I made a vow to myself to never lose my identity. While motherhood is a ridiculously huge and important part of my life, it does not define me. Truth is, I've only been a mom for a little over three years. The years leading up to that, I enjoyed going out, crushing beers and hanging out with my friends. My social life was important to me, and it still is.
Flash forward through an engagement, marriage and four kids, and I still make it a priority to go out one night a week. It's by no means in the same capacity as I once did, but rather, it gives me the opportunity to socialize with people who have all of their teeth, most of their hair and who don't require me to wipe their ass after they use the bathroom. It's a chance for me to take a shower, put on real clothes and talk about something other than babies. Above all, it makes me feel normal.
Finding balance in life isn't alway easy, especially when you have kids. It's something that generally doesn't come naturally, but rather, something you have to work at. I hate when I hear people say that they don't 'have time' to do something. If it were truly THAT important, you would find the time to do it.
We're all busy. Welcome to life.