| February 15, 2013 | 1 Comment

I clearly recall a time just a few short years ago when I would overhear other women talk about their girls’ nights, getting together with their friends, shopping, having some wine, some dinner. It all sounded so decadent. And I was green with envy. How were these women able to do this when it seemed so impossible for me? How did they find the time? Didn’t they feel guilty leaving their little ones at home? How ridiculous was I? Sorry ladies, I am ashamed of my old ways.

I am here today to say loud and proud that I have finally accepted that “me-time” is vital for my personal sanity. As the cliché goes, we women are always busy taking care of everyone else and leave little time or feel too guilty to take care of ourselves. My transformation began with baby steps. Four years ago, when I was still nursing my youngest, I decided to join a beach volleyball team for the summer just to get out of the house for a while and take a break from motherhood. That first day, I left home all nervous, wondering whether the kids would be ok, whether I would be back in time for the next feeding and whether my husband would be able to ‘handle’ things. He did handle it. Husbands always handle it. We’re just the nutty ones who worry too much.

The main hurdle that I needed to overcome was not feeling guilty that I was leaving. Kids can be little manipulators and that look on their faces every so often when they tell you they don’t want you to go can crack your reserve of strength but I realized that taking that break from my family to do something that is just for me makes me a happier person. I play volleyball all year round now with a great bunch of ladies and even though I go to bed later than usual on those nights (“Did I hear someone say post-game beverage?”), I always wake up feeling energized.

I have also added fitness classes offered by the city of Ottawa into the mix. These are extremely convenient because they are offered at times that make sense for women with families. I couldn’t understand before how women had the energy to work out at night when all I wanted to do was pass out in front of the TV once I finally got the kids to sleep but that was just my body’s way of telling me that I needed to take care of it. We women have a hard time listening sometimes. The classes have completely transformed my energy level, how I feel about myself and introduced me to so many women who, like me, are trying to reclaim their bodies after years of babies, weight gain, weight loss, and breastfeeding. For me, being part of a team and participating in group fitness classes has been a great motivator because I enjoy chatting with all the ladies and it also keeps me on track to staying active since I don’t want to let them down by not showing up.

Now I don’t want to leave the impression that the only “me-time” required involves me being in sweats. I do like to dress up as well. So me and a bunch of friends decided to buy a 5-show pass to the National Arts Centre this year which means that every couple of months or so, we get dolled up, meet up early for a delicious meal and then head over to the theatre to watch a play. While I do appreciate the theatre, I’ll be honest here, it is merely the excuse we use to get out. Some of the plays are just a bit too ‘artsy’ for me but it doesn’t really matter what we’re watching, we’re still giggling like a bunch of school girls afterwards as we head over for some post-theatre coffee and dessert. And if that’s not a great ladies night then I don’t know what is!

What is your ideal ladies night? Any suggestions for other women out there?

Still can’t seem to make time for yourself? What’s holding you back? Share your thoughts and let’s talk about it.



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Category: Blogs, Family, Fitness, Moms, Wellness

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  1. K says:

    Like you said, time is what’s holding me back. The times I do go out it feels like everything is rushed and I don’t enjoy myself as much as I could. Sad.

    Good for you for getting out there. You’re an inspiration.

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