Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The "Me Time" Myth

A good friend wrote this encouraging article, which was recently published on the Ladies Against Feminism website. "Me Time" is a myth. It is an unattainable, always interruptible, never satisfactional piece of junk psychology. Me Time, by its very name, suggests that who we are during the daily grind is not WHO we truly are. It tells us that we are someone other than "WIFE" or "MOTHER." It begs us to search for fulfillment outside of those titles. It blames precious little ones and God-given spouses for suppressing us. It points out a perceived "hole" in your world that needs to be filled, a tank that must be fueled up, a monster that will swallow you lest you neglect to feed it precious Me Time. But, it will never be enough.

Read more here.

11 comments:

Jamie said...

So true! Me time will only breed discontentment. God time does just the opposite!

Idle Ida said...

I only get to read LAF articles during my ME time. Didn't get to it the other day so I'm glad you posted this.

Ginger said...

Amber (aka Idle Ida), I'm calling you out! You're so silly!

...but I did really enjoy that name. lol

The Herd said...

My favorite portion of this original article is:

What I am finding is that I am not clinging so tightly to the snipets of time I am given in which to do something alone because I no longer see those times as the only way to save my sanity. Instead, they are fun little stops along the blessed path I walk called motherhood.


Thanks for posting...I posted part of it on my blog too!

Mark & Jody Robinson said...

Okay,so I did follow the link and read the whole article. I totally agree the concept as prescribed by Dr. Phil and others of Me Time is driven by selfishness. I totally agree seeking God breeds contentment. But practically, I think the argument begins to breakdown.

Are naps considered Me Time? Is blogging considered Me Time? Are we just calling Me Time something else? Are we equally as frustrated about the interuptions in our lives that happen during the mundane as we are when they happen during our scheduled Me Time?

Just some thoughts. . . I think Ginger's site is a great place for challenging the status quo. ..

Still thinking about it -Jody

Ginger said...

I'm glad you brought it up, Jody. I guess the author should have defined "me time" first, huh? Me Time is the expectation that you have to have time to yourself for your sanity. It's based on the pervasive thinking that our kids are a burden and an interruption to what we'd really rather be doing instead of parenting.

Based on the article, and other books I've read with similar sentiments, I think Me Time is anytime you're doing your own thing when your family needs you. If I take a nap while my littles run around the house, then yes, that's Me Time. If I'm blogging when I should be feeding my kids lunch, then yes, that's Me Time.
Here's a quote I loved from Passionate Housewives Desperate for God:
"If I strive for a me-centered life while I am surrounded by a family who needs me, then I will find myself frustrated and desperate indeed."

Angela said...

I like Ginger's definition. :).....I do think the issue is more complicated then that. (Ok....I do have a tendency to over think things) I think that there are a LOT of factors involved.

A good friend of mine has 2 littles that are less then 18 months apart. They are both high energy children....always on the go. Her husband travels for his job in sales quite often. She suffered from PPD after the youngest.

Now, they are trying to figure out if:

a) She should be on birth control

b) if they should have no more children

c) if she can handle homeschooling

She is a WONDERFUL mother! She is lacking confidence though due to her struggles in keeping her patience with her children as a single mom over 50% of the time.

For her, I believe "me time" is crucial. She has to gather her thoughts and regain her strength. That may change as she gains confidence in her parenting and rebuilds from the PPD, but for now....I believe that her taking time away is healthy. I offer to take her children for her so that she can regroup. She rarely takes me up on it, but she KNOWS that the offer ALWAYS stands. She has offered the same for me as well. :)

I believe that part of being a mother is being able to be honest with yourself RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. I have worked ALOT on my attitude about being a mom, a wife, and a Christian. For me, I do not pursue individual activities outside of the home. I try to always have my children and/or husband involved as well.

However.....I have ran to the store alone, done a solo library run, sat at Barnes and Noble and drank a cup of coffee while reading......and I am ok with that.....as long as I am not putting that above the needs of my husband and children.

Ok...I am rambling. But I do think we need to be careful how we talk about this issue. I think the line can be fine between overindulgence and bad attitudes vs mental health and recharging.

I don't know......I am on the fence.

God bless...Angela

Ginger said...

Angela,

I totally understand your friend's story. My first two are 18 mos apart and while my dh didn't travel, I had PPD for 14 mos after the birth of my second. I went to work so that I could put my kids in Mothers Day Out (not the other way around). I found that the more time I spent away, the more I resented time spent with them. I didn't view them as blessings. I viewed them as burdens. They got in the way of what I'd rather be doing. We almost had a vas. because we were so sure we couldn't handle more than 2.
That would have been the biggest mistake! The more time I purposefully spent with my kids, the more I understood them and enjoyed them.
The Lord is trustworthy. He knows better than we do what we can handle. He calls children a blessing and reward.
Re: running errand alone or having a coffee alone, that does not fall under the definition of Me Time in my opinion. Me Time is when you say: "Ya'll go outside and play, I'm trying to read this book." Saying that we don't *have to* have Me Time doesn't mean we can't ever be away from our kids. It means we shouldn't seek it *when* they are needing us. Our children are blessings. Self-centered thinking will never allow us to experience that truth.

TeamBettendorf said...

Angela,

You would be of more help to your frien by helping her figure out what hormonal/nutritional imbalance is causing her PPD than relieving of her burdensome children. She may also need ideas on how to train her children so they aren't so "active" and overwhelming.

My dh was military and I know what it is to be a single parent. Time spent with other families, as a family, is still better and more refreshing than taking a break from troublesome children and then having to go right back to the ho-hum life with little kids. Then you find yourself living for the next "break" and not enjoying the times in between.

Amber said...

True Katie. I was just trying to figure out how to encourage a friend this morning. Last night she sounded so down about her only choices being "laundry or dishes". She didn't seem to be fulfilled in her mama/wife job. After talking to her more this morning I realized that there's more going on than just needing to be more thankful (which would go a long way BTW). She's dealing with hormonal issues and nutritional needs and sleep deprivation because of a discipline issue with a dd... "ME time" might offer her a break from her problems, but ME time won't fix them. I told her about how thyroid supplements have been helping Ginger and me. I gave her a copy of CTBHHM, encouraged her to focus on thankfulness, etc. But I certainly didn't mention ME time. Ha!

Angela said...

Thank you for the input regarding my friend. She is currently on medication and we have discussed discipline. I will make greater effort though. Thank you for the wisdom. I think today I will gather some training info for her.

I am not really familiar with natural alternatives for PPD.

God bless...Angela