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Go Ask Mom

Parenting Tips: Why moms need to take time for themselves

Posted July 9, 2013
Updated July 10, 2013

As a mom, it's taken me a long time to realize just how important it is to take time for myself. 

I've been a full-time working mom, a stay-at-home mom (briefly) and, now, a part-time work-from-home mom. There's a lot on my plate, juggling the lives and schedules of my girls, along with my own work and household responsibilities. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day requirements. And it's easy to think that that solo trip to the grocery store is actually "me time," which is about all that I made time for for a long time.

But about a year ago, I decided enough was enough. I couldn't remember the last book I read. I hadn't been to the doctor since my younger daughter was born. I was out of shape. It had been eight months since I even made time to get my hair cut. Gabriella Johr Parenting Tip: Why 'me time' is so important for moms

So I started running with a neighborhood group. I picked up a book. I made those doctor's appointments. I got my hair cut. In other words, I decided what I wanted to do for myself and did it. I can't tell you how much happier I am and how much more energy I have for my family.

There have been no lazy spa days or weekends away with girlfriends. But I've made some incremental changes. And that, says Gabriella Johr, a mom of two in Raleigh and licensed clinical psychologist with Orenstein Solutions, is what all moms need to do.

You're not being selfish when you take 20 minutes out of a day to read a book or make a healthy lunch for yourself instead of grabbing your kid's leftover peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Goldfish crackers, she says.

"In order to be a good parent, you have to take care of yourself too," Johr tells me.

Johr shares some tips to help make that "me time" actually happen in my video interview with her. Check the box above for more information from Johr. And stay tuned next Wednesday for another tip. 

4 Comments

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  • newssaavy72 Jul 11, 2:19 p.m.

    True Sarah.

  • hsiflee Jul 10, 6:38 p.m.

    how sad...

  • shall6 Jul 10, 10:26 a.m.

    My recommendation: Don't start with trying to take a day off ... start with taking 15 or 20 minutes for yourself to just read a book, take a walk or do something for yourself that you enjoy. It's made me a lot happier. And yes! Your 14-year-old needs to do more around the house (see the post after this one!) :)

    Sarah

  • newssaavy72 Jul 10, 10:10 a.m.

    I keep pushing myself to take the time for myself, but never seem to get around to it. I am a full-time working mom of 3 girls ages 14, 8, and 3. It is a task to keep so much going. I hate that have the guilty feeling even when I take a day off. I always feel as if I have to or need to do something around the house instead of letting it all go. I joke that I am going to go on mommy strike and my husband says that our 14 year old needs to start cooking and doing more. When you are so used to doing it, it seems weird to let it go. Any moms out there who go through it as well? Are there any me, myself and just mom groups out there?