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Mom time|6 Tips to make it work

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

Is having some mom time selfish?

In a tiny house, how would you do it?

You know you are a mother when all you want is some time alone, but you miss the kids as soon as you get it.

For some, saying mom time out loud is like swearing. Ever heard someone say;

"You wanted kids, so once they grow up and leave the nest, you'll have some me-time."

What makes Mom time different from Me time? It's all about understanding the other person's needs and setting boundaries.

Since our family lives in a tiny house and is minimalist, we get a lot of questions on that topic. Is it possible to get any alone time? It's challenging but not impossible. The following tips can be applied even if you don't live in a tiny house.

1. Define what Mom time means to you

Here we go again with our "we are all different, so not one size fits all" statement, but it is true. Many different things can be considered Mom time. Here's what some of our clients have said about it;

  • My Mom time is having a glass of wine and a long, warm bath at least once a week. It gives me the energy and peace I need to get through the week. Every time I do it, I feel refreshed." ~ Amber, ON

  • Having quality time with my children is what Mom time is all about. I am always doing chores, cooking, running errands, and taking care of my family's needs. In my Mom time, I like to play with my kids and do something special with them. It's important for me to plan those days because there is always something I have to do." ~ Trista, TX

  • "I enjoy reading. I forget all my worries when I read a good fiction book. Once a week, I get the kids ready for bed a little earlier. After they go to bed, I drink your amazing moon milk and read for at least an hour in my hammock chair. Sometimes I read until midnight, but the next morning I still feel rested. ~ Jacqueline, QC

  • "I followed your advice. To be honest with you, I didn't like you much during the first two weeks. Because of my busy schedule, you recommended I get up an hour earlier. So, I listened and started waking up an hour earlier during the week to work out. I've been doing it for close to 15 years now. Taking care of myself and getting energized for our other projects is all I need for Mom time. In case you didn't know, now I love you!" ~ Jen, ON

  • For me, Mom time means having a babysitter and taking an afternoon to myself. Yes, I have a "date night" with me. As an introvert, I need space to recharge and clear my head. I know this sounds harsh, but I love my children and want to be an excellent mom. I need my weekly Mom time to be a good Mom. They look forward to seeing their nanny that day, and I can plan whatever I like. Sometimes I go to an art museum, sometimes to a spa, sometimes I get a massage, sometimes I walk around at the farmers market, and sometimes I even go to the library to read magazines. I'm free to do as I please, but no one else is invited. At first, I felt guilty, and some of my family thought I was selfish, but after seeing how much this Mom time meant to me, they changed their minds. I am now being asked what I did that evening or what I plan to do for the next one. The need for mom time is not something to feel bad about." Alicia, ON

Mom time is very personal, and we have hundreds of examples. It is important to begin by questioning yourself if you wish to apply this in your life. What are your needs, and what would you like to do? Don't get discouraged if you have to try a few things before finding what works for you.

2- Being yourself is okay

The opinions of others can sometimes be discouraging, whether it be about their own Mom time or how to plan, what to plan, and when to plan. The most important thing is to focus on what you need and what feels suitable. As an example, I love hiking with my children. Taking a long hike with a purpose, a view, or a destination. Watching my kids' reactions to new discoveries while listening to the birds makes me feel good. It is strangely refreshing to feel my legs burn as I climb. I carry my youngest in a backpack, and they all enjoy the journey together. Some mothers might find reading this exhausting, but I find it refreshing. Get to know yourself and your interests. How can you be invigorated and refreshed? What relaxes and energizes you?

An empty tank will take you exactly nowhere... Take some Mom time Fuel

3- What resources do you have?

Although you may enjoy getting a massage every week, you might not have the money or a babysitter available to pay for it. You might say you love taking long, hot baths, but you only have access to a shower. You might love hiking but live in a city where the closest trail is an hour away. Those can be planned occasionally, but ensure you find something you can do consistently at least once a week.

Sitting in a comfortable chair and listening to your favorite songs for an hour could suffice. The possibilities are endless. You could garden while listening to a podcast, swing in your hammock while listening to the birds, read a book, sketch what you see, keep a nature journal, or do anything you enjoy.

Life might have taken over, and you stopped doing a hobby. In that case, what was it? Have you ever been a gymnast? You could find a gym nearby and work on that split. Have you ever danced? Get your groove on at a local dance class. Perhaps you played music, knitted, made pottery, or dived. Check around to see if there are any classes available.

Suppose you don't have easy access to a babysitter or don't feel comfortable leaving them with a stranger; no worries. It is still possible to work around that. Nowadays, you can still enjoy something like that at home as many options are available. Choose an online class that works around your children's nap times, bedtimes, or early morning before they get up. Look at your schedule, find some free hours, and choose the most convenient time.

I've reached motherhood. I wake up early on purpose so I can enjoy a moment of silence!
4- Make sure it’s not a chore

Anything considered an errand is NOT mom time, so doing groceries without your children doesn't count. Mom time should be quality time that allows you to recharge and alleviate stress. Make sure whatever you do isn't a chore, an errand, or on your to-do list. If you like shopping and want to spend one of your Mom time at the mall, go for it, but do it without a specific purpose that could become stressful.

5- Establish boundaries

Talk to your family about your needs and how you plan to meet them. Homeschool moms have their children around 24 hours a day. When I need a moment that doesn't belong to my Mom time, I ask for "quiet time." When I ask, my kids take a book and read or do some art independently. We talked about the guidelines before and adjusted them so that they now understand what I mean.

The kids and I stayed in a yurt for a few days and had many activities planned that week. One day after visiting a local farmers' market and farm, I was mentally exhausted from answering many questions, so I asked for quiet time. As they sat by the fire reading, I drank my tea and read as well. For me, that moment felt like a week's vacation. It wasn't much, but it was enough to recharge.

Be honest with your kids about what you need. Whatever their age, there's a way to explain that you love them a lot, but you want to recharge to spend more time with them. You could set boundaries for yourself if your children are still napping. The dishes and laundry won't go anywhere, so take that time for yourself or make it your scheduled Mom time.

6- Minimalist mom time

The minimalist lifestyle does not imply that we don't do anything or have no hobbies. It means we choose what we focus on and how we spend our time. We won't waste time on things we don't like and won't keep things we outgrow because even adults outgrow some things. We pass it on and move on. Take the time to find your passion.

I know from talking with a few of you that what you like isn't fully defined because you feel you have lost yourself. Now you love things because your partner or kids love them, and you enjoy spending time with them. If you want to find yourself again, think about what you used to enjoy. You might not like it anymore, but it is a great way to start your search and figure out who you are.

A client of mine used to be a classical ballet student before she had children. She thought she wasn't fit enough and too old to start her passion again, but she kept talking about how much she missed it. The woman said she wasn't thin and thought her ballet shoes were gone forever. I advised her to take a class and enjoy dancing without putting any expectations on it. Her only goal was to take a class and enjoy the time alone.

It was like falling in love all over again for her. Within a year, she has returned to her points. The accomplishment made her feel like she had found herself again. "I'm a ballerina," she said, feeling comfortable with the term like "old times." She even got cast in a few shows. She looks forward to her class alone every week and is very excited. She decided to take more classes with her daughters to share her passion with them. As she laughed about being a curvy ballerina, she noted how her mood had changed, how much energy she had, and how physically fit she had become.

It would be best if you took the time to discover what makes you happy.

Who are you, and what drives you?

Is there something you're excited about?

After doing a particular activity, how do you feel?

How's your mood?

Those questions will help you decide what works best for your Mom time.

As you can see, there is no golden pre-written way to do things. Discovering what you like is the first step. Perhaps you already know. It's great! Now take some time to talk to your family and put Mom time in your schedule. Your kids will get used to it if they know you take a long bath on Wednesday after supper and aren't available for one hour. During your Mom time, can everyone have Me time? It's how we made it work for us.

Making things work in a tiny house requires boundaries, communication, and adjustments. They usually enjoy reading books or sketching in their beds during their own Me time. Their Me time allows me to have some Mom time. When we skip that time for whatever reason, I regret and feel the impact. My children are aware of it, and they are okay with it. Having a newborn and lots to do makes me forget about myself, to the point of not showering because I am always with them and focused on my family. All of us were affected by it. They see the difference since we've applied Mom time and love the results that come from it.

Giving my family everything I had seemed like the right thing to do, but one day it hit me. My 8-year-old came into my room and said;

"Mom, I will take care of the baby, and you can go wash your hair and take some alone time in your bedroom. We will quietly play together. Please do this, you need it! You look tired, and it breaks my heart that you never take the time for yourself".

The fact that an 8-year-old could figure this out was shocking to me. I love being a mom and enjoy spending time with them, but she was right; I needed some Mom time. They were happy when I began the routine and told me they wanted Me time. I had so much more energy afterward, and they enjoyed it. We felt good and refreshed afterward. Several different types of Mom Time have been included in our schedule and Me time.

There are many ways to spend some Mom time; perhaps you have more ideas. Don't be afraid to try them and see if you feel refreshed afterward. You can try something else if one doesn't work for you. It will take you only a short time to figure out what you need and what is suitable. Please don't compare your family to others and their needs. What's important is to make sure you feel energized afterward and that you enjoy that time.

We'd love to hear what you do during your Mom time.

The very fact tat you worry about being a good mom means you are one ~
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