Two minutes with Suzanne Acteson, mama to Spencer, aged 9 years, Olly, aged 6 years and Charlie, aged 2 years 

Two minutes with Suzanne Acteson, mama to Spencer, aged 9 years, Olly, aged 6 years and Charlie, aged 2 years 

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

Our family has made a huge leap and moved to France for 2 years, to deliberately slow things down. Having said that, since we are arrived 8 weeks ago, we’ve been travelling and on the go and as a result are all together as a family of 5, 24 hours a day! I love my me-time and when our 2 year old sleeps (2-3 hours), I take advantage of the Spanish way (where we are currently) and have a siesta. I also love to go out for an early morning walk on my own which sets my mind on the right track for the day. 

When we’re back in Melbourne I usually fit in a 30 minute massage at the South Melbourne market as we live across the street. My treat! 

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care?

Sleep is key, when you’re tired you can’t be your best self. Getting outside in nature is therapeutic and as I mentioned above, massage is my treat. 

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself?

If you’re home, nap when the baby does. Don’t worry about the laundry, dinner, emails – take 20-30 minutes and refresh. 

If you’re working full-time, as I was previously, take your lunch and find a quiet spot to relax, nap in the car!, and don’t spend you entire lunch on your phone. 

Two minutes with … Amie, mama to boys aged 4 years, 3 years and 2 years

Two minutes with … Amie, mama to boys aged 4 years, 3 years and 2 years

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

I have always had a hard time asking for time away. The mom guilt is STRONG! But after suffering some serious mommy meltdowns over the past year and a half especially, I have realized how detrimental not having time away is to me being the Mom that I want to be. And I don’t ASK my husband for the time away anymore, I schedule it and I tell him what’s happening (well in advance). The last REAL “me time” I had…I went to a music festival! Unthinkable, right?! It was incredible. Time with a girlfriend, eating without sticky fingers swiping the best parts of my meals, sleeping without little voices waking me up before the sun to ask for juice…and unlimited wine in coffee mugs. The mom guilt crept back into my mind throughout the weekend, but was put to rest with a simple phone call home…or a shot 😉 

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care? 

It is a recent revelation for me that self care and me-time doesn’t have to mean going away. I realized that I practice self care every day. It’s the time that I take for myself to do my makeup. It’s the time that I take for myself to mix up an espresso. I’ve been diligent in setting that time aside…all while having my children 10 feet away from me. I do my makeup every morning at the kitchen table while they watch cartoon and eat their breakfast. Sure, the routine is interrupted numerous times at the behest of requests for more toast, but it gets done, and it sets me up to feel even just a little bit more ready for my day. 

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself? 

Creating me-time is an adjustment for all Moms. Some incorporate it almost right away, some don’t figure it out for years. I think, though, that it’s becoming more and more apparent to all of us how overwhelmingly NECESSARY it is. 

I acknowledge the fact that not all Moms are equipped with the support that I have. Single Moms, Moms whose partners work away, Moms without family nearby. All of those situations make finding time for yourself that much harder. 

But it’s not impossible. 

WE MAKE TIME FOR WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO US!

Girls, it’s survival. It’s necessary. 

Like I mentioned above, time for yourself doesn’t need to mean a weekend away or a girls night at the bar. It can simply mean popping your kids in front of the TV and sneaking away to read a chapter of a book. It can mean saying NO to commitments that don’t align with what you need and taking that time, instead, to fill YOUR tank up. 

Creating boundaries in your life, both for your kids and “outside” influences. 

“This is Mommy’s yoga time, and I will help you put those googly eyes on your paper in 7 minutes when my yoga is over.”

Bonus? Kids seeing Mommy making time for herself is healthy for them too. They may resist at first but eventually…they get it. 

Two minutes with … Archie, mama to Ameya, aged 3.5 years and Arin, almost 16 months

Two minutes with … Archie, mama to Ameya, aged 3.5 years and Arin, almost 16 months

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time?

My most recent me-time came to be quite accidentally a few weeks ago. I was set to attend a ladies event for a bride to be at a bath house, in hope to relax with some familiar faces. However, my friends couldn’t make it and aside from the bride I knew no one. And even though I knew the bride, she was naturally occupied by all her guests and the time for us to converse was quite limited. So there I was, forced to slow down and be with myself in silence, only to experience such a strong connection with all that was around me and intensifying my senses in relaxation. It was the greatest accidental me-time moment. 

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care? 

I practice self care by always setting boundaries. I ask for me-time from my partner and kids, even if it’s one minute so I can regulate by reflecting and checking in on myself. I apply mindfulness in almost anything that’s related to self-care as I see it as a way to creatively create space when I’m continuously with my children. Also I love to take baths when I can and connecting with plants and other aspects of nature. I ground through incorporating oils, baking through tweaking old recipes, reading inspirational words, music or engaging in spirituality. I encourage my kids to play independently, while I engage in my own play in parallel as this is another way of creating space for myself while I am with my children all day.

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself? 

I really believe in asking for what you need. And perhaps you don’t know what you need. You still communicate to your partner, child support system, or even children that you need a certain amount of time for yourself. You can find something to do that will soothe you or something just for you. It may seem like an exhausting task to set aside your to-do list for later, but a mother’s daily well- being deserves to be healthy. It’s important to thrive over survive am I right?  

Some times, if I am not sure if I need me-time because this can happen when I am in the motion of things, I always give myself a minute three times a day to check in with myself. I connect in a way to see how my body is reacting, what my heart is feeling, and where my mind is wandering. This process helps me prioritize my self-care. 

Two minutes with … Tonya Parker, mama to 2 adult daughters 

Two minutes with … Tonya Parker, mama to 2 adult daughters 

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time? 

My blog and brand are really based on the idea of self-care for mommas. I truly believe we are better mothers, daughters, partners and friends when we extend a little of that love and attention we so freely give to others to ourselves as well. I take “me time” often because I have to practice what I preach. Sometimes we all need a reminder, including myself. I just got back from a me-time trip to San Diego, CA!

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care? 

I love a spa day, a hot yoga class or laying on a beach with my favorite book, but me-time can be as simple as an evening stroll through your neighborhood or a good magazine and glass of wine on your couch. 

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself? 

My advice would be to remember that your children are watching you. They are taking cues about how to care for themselves by watching what you do. Would you want your daughter to be a miserable martyr? Show her that it’s okay to spend a little me-time to make YOU happy too!

You have to put yourself on your own To Do list! Literally or figuratively make sure to pencil yourself in. It has to be intentional don’t wait for free-time, carve out just a little Me-time for yourself.

Two minutes with … Rebecca O’Brien , mama to Violet, aged 5 years and Penelope, aged 3 years 

Two minutes with … Rebecca O’Brien , mama to Violet, aged 5 years and Penelope, aged 3 years 

When was the last time you had “me-time” and how did you spend that time? 

Last night, when my girls went to bed I enjoyed a glass of red wine and watched one of my favorite shows. I do this almost every night and I must say I really look forward to it! Me-time during day-light hours is less frequent but I am working on adding more of it to my life, especially now that my girls are getting older. 

What are some of your favourite ways to practice self care? 

I love relaxing in a bubble bath, having a glass of wine, and searching my favorite home decorating and house design accounts….and doing all three at the same time is a major win in my books!

What advice would you give to mamas struggling to create “me-time”? How do you make time in your schedule for yourself? 

When we lived in Edmonton and didn’t have our family close-by, I signed up at my local YMCA which has an amazing childcare center. It does come with a little extra hourly cost but it was so worth it to have that hour or two of alone time at the gym – exercising, doing a class, going for a walk, or just enjoying a HOT coffee. I did this from when Violet was 2 months old until she was almost 3 and her sister 10 months old when we moved home to Victoria. Living in a place with 9 month long winters and no relatives really made signing up at the Y a necessity for my wellbeing. Also my husband was in the military at the time so the Military Family Resource Center (MFRC) was also there to help if I needed it.

 Once our girls were a little older we realized how important it was to us to live near family. Once my husband was released we decided to move home to Victoria. Now my mom takes the girls once a month for a sleep over on a weekend which allows me to have “me time” during daylight hours that I crave. She has offered to do this more often once she retires.  My Dad recently just moved into the neighborhood so he has the girls over every now and then to play. And the absolute best is having my sister live nextdoor. This has come in extremely handy if I need some last minute “me-time” which I feel so grateful for. It takes a village, right?! If you do have family near or good friends, I highly recommend asking for help. It’s much rarer for people to offer…a lot of times they don’t realize you need or want the help. Once you ask it opens the door for help and also you can always repay the favor. Work it out with a girlfriend that she watches your kids while you get your hair done and vice versa.