When you're a mom, it's all too easy to put the needs of your family before your own. But when you don't take care of yourself, how can you truly care for them? Here's a 7-step plan for carving out some much-needed me time.

7 Steps for making me time actually happen

As my husband gathers his keys and wallet and kisses us all goodbye each morning, a part of me wishes I could trade places with him. Well, for the next 40 minutes, that is.

"If I'm lucky, I get the first 15 seconds of my bathroom trips to myself."

He has, in my mind, 40 glorious minutes alone in the car on his way to work. Each way. That's nearly an hour and a half where he can listen to music or not. (I do realize that driving in rush hour is stressful, but I can't help but be a bit jealous.)

If I'm lucky, I get the first 15 seconds of my bathroom trips to myself, because that's how long it takes one of my children to realize that I'm missing.

Most of us recognize that we need some alone time, but "me" time doesn't happen by itself. We have to make it happen.

Here's my 7-step plan to help you get the me time that you deserve.

Step 1: Accept that you can't, and shouldn't, do it all

We all need time to recharge and you're no exception to that rule. The myth of the supermom is just that, a myth.

Step 2: Communicate your needs to your spouse

If we don't tell them that we're overwhelmed and how we're feeling, they can't possibly know. If you're honest and ask for support, you may find that your spouse is your biggest cheerleader.

Step 3: Assess just what it is that you need

Do you need 30 minutes of alone time to take a bath with a glass of wine? Or, would an afternoon at a coffee shop with a good book help you to recharge? Perhaps only a weekend away by yourself will do.

If you only need a few minutes alone, try these 5-minute mommy time outs >>

Step 4: Plan it

Once you've been honest with yourself and your spouse about how you're feeling and what you think will help you, grab your calendar and block off the time. In ink!

Step 5: Follow through

It's all too easy to let the little things derail our plans. Stay committed to your plans and remind yourself that the time you spend regrouping will benefit your entire family.

Step 6: Don't waste it

Enjoy your time away. If you spend your precious moments worrying about how your family is doing, you may as well stay home. Savor the moments of solitude and know that your family will be just fine for the short time that you're away.

Step 7: Remember it

Once you're back at home and you're making dinner while your children are tearing through the room, screaming, let your mind go back to your alone time and remind yourself how good it felt.

Then start again at step 1!

We could probably all use some tips on how to balance career, family and self >>

More on the importance of me time

Real moms share: How I carve out me time
Do moms get to have any alone time?
Moms: How to find me time

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Comments

Comments on "I'll take a little me time, please!"

TOnya February 27, 2012 | 1:18 PM

Great tips though all around, but #1, 4 and 6 are key!!! I believe all moms deserve more "me time".

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