The Year of Me: Or, How to Take a Mommy Time Out

Picture it:  Atlanta.  December 31, 2015.  I am sitting on a couch with some friends, declaring to them that 2016 will be the Year of Me.  I pledge to them with passionate resolve that this year, I am going to take better care of myself, pursue my interests, and not let the turkeys get me down.  I will handle my teen-related stress with the grace and ease of a butterfly.

Fast forward to today:  Atlanta.  June 2016.  I am sitting in my office chair, declaring to you all that I have failed miserably.

happymomBut I’m not giving up.

One thing I have learned about the teenage years is that something major has either just happened or is about to happen.  Whether it be dealing with grades, friends, love, or future, the high school era carries a lot of weight because it holds the remaining scraps of time together, our last chance to squeeze in all the lessons, values and wisdom before we release our children into the wild.

So, I sat down and asked, “What is the best way to take care of my teenagers?”  And my first thought was, “To take care of myself.”  This led me to revisit my New Year’s Resolution and make a list of ways to achieve it.  I offer these to you as inspiration, with the caveat that there are two rules:  A) You must do something; and B) You must do it for you.

My Top Ten Mommy Time Out Ideas

  1. Color – There is a large market of coloring books for adults.  I personally have “Secret Garden” by Johanna Basford, and have managed shade in a few leaves on the first page.  It’s not so much for the love of colored pencils as it is for the exercise of quieting your mind and focusing on something calming.
  2. Play with Puppies – Who doesn’t melt at the sight of a cuddly pooch?  There are a variety of places in Atlanta to volunteer, such as Atlanta Pet Rescue, FurKids, PAWS Atlanta, and Angels Among Us.
  3. Take a class – I took an improv course once, and it led to several years of involvement with the vibrant Atlanta community theater scene.  Places like Atlanta Hot Glass (glass making), Dad’s Garage, (comedy), X3 Sports (boxing), or Atlanta Belly Dance, (self-explanatory), can offer you an adventure and a great story to tell your kids.
  4. Write something – Obviously, as a blogger, I highly recommend this option.  But sometimes, the first step is the hardest.  Some helpful subject lines might include: “My favorite curse word, and why” or “When I grow up, I want to be …” or “The best advice I never received.”
  5. Jump out of a plane – Never done it, never will.  But it might be the life-changing moment you are looking for!  Try SkyDive Atlanta if you’re just crazy enough.
  6. Be a foodie – Treat yourself to lunch on famous Buford Highway – and enjoy the culinary challenge!
  7. Go to the movies – But not just any movie; motor over to the Starlight Drive-in Theatre, and take someone special to share the popcorn.
  8. Shop ’til you Drop – Retail therapy is tried and true, especially if you check out one of Atlanta’s more unique places, such as Junkman’s Daughter, Ponce City Market, Richard’s Variety Store, or The Beehive.
  9. Walk it off – There are beautiful green spaces in Atlanta, and some unusual ones as well.  Doll’s Head Trail is a verified walk on the wild side, or feast your eyes on the Atlanta Folk Art Park. Better yet, grab some friends and take an Atlanta Wacky Walk!
  10. Do Nothing – Truly, my favorite way to decompress is to sit on my back deck with a glass of wine and my iPad.  A little brainless Candy Crush and watching the squirrels eat all the bird seed can be a lovely way to spend an hour and recharge.

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3 Responses to The Year of Me: Or, How to Take a Mommy Time Out

  1. Ashley July 28, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

    “One thing I have learned about the teenage years is that something major has either just happened or is about to happen.”

    As a former high school teacher, I absolutely agree with that statement!

    And, although my child is just a toddler, I am adding your list to my calendar (except #5, eeks! me neither!).

    Cheers!

  2. Annie
    Annie July 29, 2016 at 9:36 am #

    I love your perspective on “me time!” It is ESSENTIAL to keep our tanks filled so we can give to our families.

  3. Jennifer
    Jennifer August 4, 2016 at 9:11 am #

    I forgot about me-time for about two years and have recently rediscovered the importance of finding time for myself. I still struggle with it, but I’m getting better… I’m in “me-time recovery.” I love your list of places to see around Atlanta and I will NEVER, and I mean, NEVER jump out of an airplane. Like, ever. I’m definitely more of the coloring book type of girl.