Sarah's Note: The other me time

As a parent, and as a mom especially, so much of the advice you receive is about doing things for yourself. Taking time to take care of yourself: to exercise, to relax, to see friends, to do the work you choose and want to do. This taking time is never easy and I don't know a mother who doesn't feel conflicted when she does.
Recently I've had a bit of a revelation. I think part of this conflict is because spending time with our kids is also something for ourselves. Not the multi-tasking together time when we're trying to be with our kids while we wash dishes, take conference calls, manage bickering, send emails, and run errands. But the focused time: the playing games, reading books, sharing meals, bathing, working on projects together. These times are part of our natural drive, they are restorative and growing, episodes of self-awareness and giving and deep satisfaction.
So lately when I take time for myself, I try to make some of what I give myself quality time with the kids. Because that's me time, too.