This week’s post on “Me Time” is from our good friend Natalie Diaz founder of Twiniversity -the world’s leading support network for multiple birth families.

I consider myself a lucky person. I’m surrounded by my twinnies, hubby, extended family, and a bunch of wild friends that help me make good (and sometimes bad) choices.

One thing that everyone in my circle can agree on: I’m HORRIBLE at taking time for myself. You should know that things are bad when your mother-in-law says, “Nat, you need to do more for yourself. Why don’t you take a break and go to a movie?”

Don’t get me wrong, I try. I try to take breaks and have a cup of coffee, but it seems like there is always something to be done. A load of laundry, dishes in the sink, bills to pay, school projects to buy supplies for, errands to run, etc. AND when I do find time for myself? The guilt! The guilt gets me. I know I’m not the only one. “Me Time” should not just mean going to the bathroom with the door closed. We should be leading by example and teaching our kids how to balance their own lives instead of showing them how to run around like a chicken without a head.

I can’t be the only one whose temper is a little shorter because I’ve felt like I’ve had a child at my feet all day, or I feel like I’m being pulled in 12 directions on a regular basis. Let’s face it, that’s parenthood. BUT, we need to put on our own oxygen mask first like the flight attendants tell us during a flight safety briefing. We honestly can’t help others unless we help ourselves first.

Today I’m going back to basics. I’ve taken a pledge that for the next 30 days, I will take 10 minutes for myself each and every day. Maybe it will be in the morning after the kids are off to school. Maybe it will be in the afternoon and I’ll actually stop for a real lunch instead of eating at the kitchen counter to just get some extra energy from whatever nutrients I can scrounge up. Maybe it will be in the night, when the eye of the storm arrives and the kids are frustrated with each other over an unfair distribution of chores, or when my husband walks in and dog is running in circles, and the phone is ringing, and the TV is three levels too loud, and the dishwasher is clanging again….AHHHHH!!! Yeah, you see where this is going.

So for the next 30 days (yes, through the holidays), I’m going to find 10 minutes a day to do the following things. This is just my top 5 by the way. I honestly think that I can do it. That’s 70 minutes a week! That’s a heck of a lot of time. I’m so excited.

1. Sit and do nothing. Pop some earplugs in, sit in my bedroom and try to focus on nothing but the sound of my beating heart.

2. Pet my dog more. My beast Betty is one giant mutt. 109lbs of loveable jerk that I need to just pet more and maybe smooch on her tiny black nose.

3. Read a book. Remember those? I remember when I was younger and my mom took me to a bookstore to buy the latest edition of “The Babysitters Club”. Those were such great days. I bought THREE books (yup, over ambitions Nat talking here). An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy and Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. Will I finish them? No idea. Will I get past page 3 of each? That’s more likely.

4. While I’d like to spend my 10 minutes totally disconnected from technology, I also like to listen to podcasts. I found a new one that I’m going to jump into. Dr. Death! It sounds so dark, and it so is! I’ve been enjoying podcasts as a secondary activity. They are on as I’m driving or walking to the subway or whatnot, but I do love ‘em. I want to take some time for me and just enjoy them.

5. About a year ago I started crocheting. I’d like to learn a new stitch a week with my 10 minutes a day. I wish I had more time to dedicate to crocheting, but it seems like most days get away from me. Maybe my extra 10 minutes of me time will light a fire under me to try something new.

Now it’s your turn. What are your top 5 things you’d like to do if you found some spare time? Forget “spare time”, take it! Take 10 minutes for yourself daily for the next 30 days. Will you feel better? Will you yell less? Will you be calmer? LIVE BY EXAMPLE! Leave the guilt at the door and find a minute for you. I’m not suggesting you run off on a weekend to Mexico with your girlfriends. But 10 minutes a day? you can do it.

Natalie Diaz is the Pied Piper of twin families around the globe. Founding Twiniversity — the world’s leading support network for multiple birth families — in 2009, she’s become the global influencer for this small niche community. Reaching over a million families a week through Twiniversity’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube channels, moms and dads of twins flock to Twiniversity to find resources, ask questions, explore new products, and find community and support from other twin parents. Natalie is a true connector, bringing parents from all walks of life together, breaking past cultural differences, to share in the highs and lows of parenting twins. Natalie’s book, “What To Do When You’re Having Two” is a global bestseller in Twins & Multiples Parenting.

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