How do you maintain “me” in motherhood?

You know that Redi-Whip commercial where the waitress at a diner, in preparing to give a woman some whip cream on her pie (or some dessert), asks, “Would you like oil or cream?”?

Yeah? Well, that’s kind of what finding “me time” is like when you have more than one child.

Kind of.

In order to do it, you have to choose between two things, one of which seems desirable and the other of which seems undesirable.

The desirable thing is sleep and the undesirable thing is not to sleep.

Yes, as I’ve learned, in order to have “me time,” you have to choose in many instances not to do the thing that you want and need to do, and that is sleep.

“Do you want to sleep or write?”


Do I really have to choose? I want them both! Right now!

In becoming a mom, however, you have to choose to stay up late at night or wake up, like me in writing this, at 4: 30 AM in the morning. 4:30 AM! No one, no one should have to wake up at 4:30 AM in the morning because they need to write (well, not need but feel like they need to feel as though their still holding onto the reins of their life).

No one.

But, here I am, up at 4:30 AM in the morning because this is my life. I likely will feel tired by 5 PM, but that’s okay. I think. I know that there are moms out there who do seem to do it all. And, I’ve been called one of those moms on some occasions. But, doing it all, or giving the appearance of doing it all, I’ll be the first to tell you, is not something that just comes naturally. To do it all or to give the appearance of doing it all, you must sacrifice things… mostly your sleep. But, it’s all worth it. Right????

I think so…today. But, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I think it would be easier for me to just fall into motherhood blindly, forget about my own ambitions, and just be a mom and sleep at regular hours and wake at 7:30 am when my children do. And, sometimes, I am that mom.

Then, I could sleep and not feel guilty for checking my email while my toddler watches Dora the Explorer. But, then, I know, I really wouldn’t be happy. I wouldn’t be a better mom either. There has to be a balance. And the key is finding that balance. Balance between BIG FAT MOTHERHOOD and little ol’ me.


How do you manage to fit “me time” in to your busy schedule. Am I the only tired mom around trying to squeeze writing, exercising, and breathing into my already packed life?

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2 Responses to How do you maintain “me” in motherhood?

  1. Ruby says:

    I feel the same about exercising. Especially in the beginning, it is hard to either leave A at home while I go for a 30 minute run, and it;s hard to use nap-time for exercising, coz I’d rather just *chill*. In the end, you constantly have to make a choice between long-term pay-off and instant gratification. Sometimes the instant thing will win, sometimes the long-term (or even semi-longterm – I feel so much saner after a short run). I do try and filter out the “other” vioices though, by asking myself if *I* want to run or if I feel like I SHOULD run.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, yes, yes, and yes! I am the same way with exercising. It’s tough finding the time, especially with two little ones who don’t always operate on predictable sleeping schedules. But, you’re right, it’s a choice.

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