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Real moms share: How I carve out "me" time

Jen is a work-at-home mom to four who loves to craft and sew so much, sometimes she gives up sleep to have the time to complete projects. Check her out at fabricbliss.blogspot.com.

Avoid mommy burnout

When you're a mom, taking care of your family is typically your number one priority. But forgetting to take care of yourself can lead to dire consequences. Follow these tips from real moms to avoid getting burned out and help to keep your personal life on track.

Mom taking bath

1Ask for it

"I get as much "me" time as my husband gets to golf, which is pretty often. Although I wish it could be a bit more spontaneous, I get plenty of "me" time when I want it or ask for it -- which takes some planning for most of those "me" outings. My best advice would be to aim for once a month of "me" time, and you'll be so happy and thrilled when it happens more than that." -- Allison Griesel, mom to Brinkley, 20 months

2Good works

"Volunteering is my adult time while I help in the community. I volunteer for such things as 5K runs, a parks and recreation advisory committee, PTO, etc. Exercise is a good stress reliever for me. Participating in group fitness classes, a half marathon or other race keeps my mind active, and I am working my way to being a leaner mom for both myself and my family." -- Andrea Snowden, mom to Eric and Jacob

3Do it at night

"Sometimes, it's easier to plan for "me" time once our kids are in bed for the night. Consider choosing a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening to do something you like to do, guilt-free." -- Caren Begun, mom to a three year old

4Indulge in guilty pleasures

"You just have to make it happen. I take advantage of one guilty pleasure -- a long hot bath every night! I have been doing that for over ten years, and it keeps me sane." -- Annie Perkins, mom to kids ranging in age from 13 to 30

5Avoid the burnout

"Burnout is sometimes tough to avoid until moms understand what energizes them naturally. With many life demands, I have learned that I need to make adjustments to my daily and weekly activities, which generate additional positive energy to keep me inspired. Through these steps, I found additional strength, courage and determination for my life journey." -- JJ DiGeronimo, mom to a three and five year old

6Decompress

"Me time is always a struggle for moms. The guilt about staying with your kids and being a good mom is pretty thick. I just have to make myself take some time for me. I know I'm a better mom when I'm relaxed and have had some time to decompress." -- Katy Linda, mom to a two and six year old

7Give and take

"My main tip for "me" time is that it's a give and take with your spouse -- everyone needs it. I give him his time to play golf or go out with his friends. In return, I get a little time each weekend or one night a week to go to the gym, get my nails done, see friends, etc." -- Elissa Ehrlich, mom to Haley, two years old

8Negotiate

"When my kids were younger I carved out "me" time by prioritizing "them" time. Whether they napped or not, they still had plenty of time in their own rooms every day. I also shared with other moms. We would take turns watching each other's kids one day a week. I also had to decide what time of day was best for my "me" time -- early mornings before the kids got up or later at night. Then I negotiated with my spouse." -- Debbie Wood, mom to a 27 and 24 year old

"You don't stop being a woman when you start being a mother. Motherhood doesn't define you. It is one of many roles that you assume. You have to bring all your own gifts, traits and characteristics to the role. Your actions must be consistent with what you think, hope, believe and value as a person. You cannot have peace in your mind and heart unless you are being authentic." — Dr. Phil

More on me-time

Reflections on selfcare
How to balance career, family and self
Mommy burnout

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