Ditch the “ME TIME” Myth to Live a More Delicious Life

Right now it’s time to bust the bubble of some self-help gurus who run about spouting off bullshit platitudes like this me time. Why is doing what we want to do sometimes such a big freakin’ deal for women? How often do we hear about men talking about taking some me time for golfing or detailing their cars?

Here’s the problem: Me time is nothing but another one of those pop culture (and you know how I HATE pop culture) stone massageconstructs that got pulled and stretched and morphed into something far beyond any rational concept, yet people continue to fly that flag, thanks to a plethora of trite morning show segments manufacturing solutions to imagined problems for women. After I gave birth to my daughter many, many moons ago I would give the side-eye to those women who claimed that “OMG! I’m sooooooooo busy I’m LUCKY to get a shower in every day!” Whaaaaa!? You mean you don’t have any safe place in your house to put that baby down for 10-15 minutes so you can wash your dirty ass? Really? Or the other extreme: the mom I know of the badass monsta kids who announced for the 4th or 5th time in a month all over Twitter how she’s spending an entire day doing MEEEEEEEE time. For real? If my kid was that troubled and busy calling out for help I’d never have another minute of me time until she grew up! I guess I’m just responsible that way. Now I know I’m gonna get some hate mail for that one but before you get to flaming, first hear me out. Both of these scenarios are examples of women following some extreme invented media expectations, rather than a realistic individualized routine.

I am not suggesting that we women don’t need time to ourselves. I am also not going to pretend that gender programming doesn’t tell us that we have to be superwomen and pleasers. But this whole me time thing has just been used and abused to sell everything from spa days to gym memberships to books and in the process, have just de-normalized women’s leisure time into something like selfish hedonism and caricaturized women’s roles into mommy martrdom , where having fun or relaxing is some sort of guilty pleasure.

That women are somehow not smart enough or worthy enough to create time to enjoy something is just as absurd as stereotypes of women having shopping addictions or being submissive. Me time is really nonsense because it’s used as a quick fix to living stressfully and unsustainably and not a normal part of a reasonable routine. So you’re all stressed out from doing everything for everybody else, with not a moment of free time? Forget begging, borrowing, and stealing for me time, make lifestyle changes that make your world permanently more manageable. Realize that if you’re living a balanced lifestyle, there is no need for such me time because time that you spend relaxing and doing things that you enjoy rather than time spent doing things for other people would be already built in.

Here’s the key: treat time doing what you want like just another thing. Not earthshatteringly important, but also not the first thing to sacrifice the minute somebody comes whining your way. Forget me time and go ahead and enjoy your life. Feet looking all dry and crusty? Schedule a pedicure then. Want to lie on the sofa? Go right ahead. But there’s no need to brag about it on social media, and stop apologizing for living.

 

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Comments

  1. Could not disagree with you more! I had multiples and while people like to assume it is easy for women after having children to resume life as usual, it is not. On top of being sore, then sick, then exhausted even with my husband by my side, it took months before my kids were on a schedule that included enough time for me to even get a decent amount of sleep. Oh and yes, I worked full time too…so there go those daytime hours to waste away.

    It is posts like this that do more harm to Moms than help. Sure, it is very easy for people to say go have fun and enjoy your life, but the reality is that life is not like that with a newborn (especially if you have older kids too). While Me Time may be a myth to you, it was a reality I desperately needed and just simply could not get for months.

    It is a sacrifice I gladly did to ensure my kids were properly nourished (I breastfed well over a year exclusively), cleaned, and overall well taken care of. I felt this was a sacrifice I made for the better good. Looking back, now that my kids are much older, I’d do it again in a heart beat.

    I never felt that my self-esteem was lacking. In fact, I take great pride in knowing I deserve my Me Time (to this day) and will continue to call it that as it is just for me. I would have loved to have scheduled a pedicure back when my kids were infants but the fact remains, we didn’t have that type of time and especially money to do that.

    This article assumes everyone is privileged enough to be able to afford (in both time and money) to ditch the kiddos and go for self. Gosh, I wonder what you’d tell single Moms who claim they need Me Time!

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