Making Time for Mommy

Okay, Okay, where was I? Oh yes, 3 tbs. butter, "Someone please answer the phone. Honnneeyy, Keith, could you get the phone?" Okay now, let's see, is the recipe calling for real butter or should I -- "Sorry, I can't come to the phone right now -- could you take a message?"

"Well, could you just make a decision about the final lawn application without me -- I'm trying to get this last batch of cookies together before I run to pick up the girls from ballet and then dash to the grocery store!" As I gasp for a breath and try to rub my face out of frustration, cookie dough is smeared onto my glasses -- great -- JUST GREAT!

Family life is wonderful but after it's all said and done -- is there any time left for me -- without my feeling guilty? Sure there is. But you have to grab it before it's gone. Believe me, honey, you'd better schedule time for yourself N O W -- or there won't be any time left at all! Here are tips from other moms on the run:

A mom from Red Hook, NY - I try to continue with my exercise program. My horseback riding is my lifesaver! Look at it this way, if I do something for myself, I feel like I can handle the stress of the holiday madness much more easily. In fact, I tell relatives to send money for more lessons for my Christmas presents. It's easy and they know I will love it!

A mom from Arlington, TX - I continue with my Bunko group. It's a great way to get out of the house and just be with the "girls." I need this relaxed atmosphere more than ever during this stressful time.

A mom from San Diego, CA - I try to take time to run at least 3 times a week. Just drop everything and head out the door. My family used to make me feel guilty -- but not anymore. They have seen just how much better I become when I am able to take a run. It makes me feel good to do something for myself -- especially during the holiday season.

From Jodie: Busy schedules can bring an unhealthy dosage of guilty feelings. If you feel guilty -- don't! Your family needs to understand that moms need to have a "time out" too. If this is new for you -- or if you've been doing it for a while -- here are a few tips:

1. Tell your family when you will be gone and for what reason. Be very clear.

2. Unless someone is sick and there's no one else to watch them -- don't listen to reasons why you shouldn't go.

3. If you don't go -- don't blame it on your family.

4. If you are sick, let them know you plan to make up your lost "alone time" at the next convenient opportunity.

5. Even though you love your family, try to get out by yourself (especially during the holidays).

6. Look around, is there more things in the house you could delegate to others? If so, do it. This will take a load off of you.

7. Try not to take a pager or phone. Everything will be there when you get back.

8. If you are exercising, listen to music while you're walking or running.

9. Don't go out and think about what needs to be done at work or home.

10. If you want to take along a friend, make sure they know ahead of time what you have planned and are in agreement.

Jodie Lynn is the internationally syndicated parenting/family columnist of Parent to Parent.  Her latest book is Mommy-CEO, revised edition.  (It's not just for moms.)  See for more details.