As a working mom, I value the time I have with my kids in the evenings and on the weekends. When they were younger, I struggled to allow myself to go out in an evening - to the grocery, with friends, etc. - without them. After all, my time with them was more limited because I worked full-time.
I would take my kids everywhere (which is good for them becoming well mannered and flexible) with me. I took them to dinner, to the grocery, to meetings, to the mall, pretty much anywhere that I went. Over time, I began to recognize that while I was away from them when I was at work, it was not me time. Other than my lunch hour, I didn't have time to do things for myself, catch up with friends, or hang out with my husband.
I knew that I needed me time to be a good mom, I needed better balance. I started to carve out me time in the morning - mostly dedicating this time to exercise - before I got ready for work. I also started to leave the kids home with my husband occasionally, so that I could run out to the store and shop, hang out with friends and attend work functions. This gave me a chance to feel a little independent again. We started using a babysitter occasionally (frequently my parents, but also a couple of high school girls over the years) so that my husband and I could have some couple time - both alone and with other couples.
We still take our kids to dinner, out with friends and to the occasional meeting, but I feel better balanced by having created some me time. I also no longer feel guilty about occasionally leaving my kids behind so I can be a grown-up. I know that this me time makes me a better mom when I am with them. Plus, I remember being a child - I loved spending time with my grandparents and I reveled in the idea of a babysitter coming to the house (somehow the rules were never quite as strict with grandparents or babysitters) - I think they like their alone time too.
This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday.