Sometimes Mama Just Needs Some ‘Me Time’

“I need personal space. I need to not be someone's mom or wife. I need to be me and only me, if just for a moment.”
save article
profile picture of Natalie Thomas
By Natalie Thomas, Contributing Writer
Published September 20, 2018
mom having alone time reading a book and drinking a glass of wine.
Image: Getty Images

“Please don’t touch me!”

My hardworking husband has just arrived home, after taking two trains and walking in 90 degree heat from the station to our suburban home. He’s tired, sweaty and simply trying to hug his wife hello.

He feels rejected and I feel terrible—but as a work-from-home mom and the primary caretaker of our two children, I spend most of my days serving as a human jungle gym. And sometimes I just need my own space.

When I’m not playing doctor or hair salon with my daughter Lilly, she wants to sit on my lap and read books. My 15-month-old son Oliver, who is going through some serious separation anxiety, is attached to me at all times. When one is with me, the other is jealous. I try to squeeze in work when I can, often answering an email while my baby bangs on my laptop and my kindergartener complains for more crackers. My shirt is typically covered in Oliver’s lunch; my hair, which goes for days without getting brushed, often has some not-quite-identifiable substance in it; and I’m exhausted and on the verge of tears, at all times.

While plenty of women probably argue that they don’t get enough affection from their husband (don’t get me wrong, the same can sometimes be said here too), the last thing I want at the end of a day—while I’m knee-deep in making dinner, refereeing over playtime, refilling water bottles and cleaning up spills, all while listening to a constant chorus of cries—is one more person wanting something from me, even if it’s a platonic peace offering.

What I need is a timeout. A long, hot shower. A glass of wine. Some time to scroll social media. To pick up one of the three books on my nightstand that continue to taunt me but are never cracked open. To watch a show that doesn’t involve Disney characters. Preferably all of the above. In bed. Alone.

Related Video

I need personal space. I need to not be someone’s mama or wife. I need to be me and only me, if just for a moment. I want to pee in private. To be able to hear my own thoughts. To stay still. I don’t want to drop off or pick up, sign any papers, grab any groceries, do any dishes, wipe anyone’s nose, solve anyone’s argument or listen to anyone’s day. I just want to escape mine.

And then, once I’ve had my (brief and fleeting but extremely critical) me time, I want to return to my family, who I love madly and passionately, and have that dance party, read all the books, do the bedtime routine and hug and kiss them like crazy before I wake up to do it all over again.

Published September 2018

Natalie Thomas is a lifestyle blogger at Nat’s Next Adventure and creator of the new moms platform @momecdotes. She’s also an Emmy-nominated TV producer, contributor to Huffington Post, Today Show, Mother Mag, Hey Mama and Well Rounded, and former editor and spokesperson of Us Weekly. She’s addicted to Instagram and seltzer water, lives in New York with her tolerant husband, Zach, her daughter Lilly and her son, Oliver. She’s always in search of her sanity and, more importantly, the next adventure.

save article

Next on Your Reading List

Keshia Knight Pulliam and her two children at home
Keshia Knight Pulliam on Life, Facing Bias and Raising Babies
By Lauren Barth
affirmations for black moms to be
Black Moms Empowering Black Moms With Words of Wisdom
By Ashley Simpo
9 Empowering Products for Brand-New Parents
By Korin Miller
baby with a smash cake
10 Smash Cake Ideas to Help You Celebrate Baby’s First Birthday
By Wyndi Kappes
family with baby standing outside of home
These Are 2024’s Best States to Raise a Family, Report Says
By Wyndi Kappes
toddler playing in his room with toys and teepee
Tips for Purging Your Kids’ Overstuffed Toy Bins
By Lauren Kay
baby playing with mom and dad in nursery room
What to Do if Your Child Has a Preferred Parent
By Blair Sharp
child smiling at thanksgiving dinner
Activities to Help Teach Your Kids to Be Thankful
By Christin Perry
mother kissing her toddler son at home
Coping in Crisis: How to Be a Present Parent During Difficult Times
By The Bump Editors
Cool Gifts for Moms That Deserve a Treat
By Martina Garvey
Khloé Kardashian, Penelope Disick, Kim Kardashian, North West and Kris Jenner attend the "RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR" at SoFi Stadium on September 04, 2023 in Inglewood, California.
These Are 2023’s Most Influential Celebrity Parents
By Wyndi Kappes
Twin Halloween Costumes-hero
Twinning for the Win: 28 Best Twin Costumes for Halloween
By Korin Miller
Amazon Prime Benefits Hero
Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits Parents Didn't Even Know Existed
By Martina Garvey
mom congress in front of capitol building
The 2023 Mom's Agenda: a Path to More Parent-Friendly Legislation
By Wyndi Kappes
Kristin and Deena from big little feelings
Behind-the-Scenes Parenting With the Pros Behind Big Little Feelings
By Lauren Barth
black family holding hands while walking on sidewalk outside
How Generational Trauma Affects Black Families—and Ways to Work Toward Healing
By A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez
mother and toddler son smiling
What Raising a Child Without Family Has Taught Me About Parenthood
By Hannah Silverman
jesse tyler ferguson and family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson on Parenting, Potty Training and Pride
By Natalie Gontcharova
toddler tugging on pregnant mom while she's talking on the phone and holding baby; overstimulated mom
The Reasons Parents Feel Overstimulated—and Tips to Help You Cope
By Lauren Barth
anxious mother sitting with sleeping daughter
8 Habits That Are Exacerbating Your Anxiety as a Parent
By Lauren Barth
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List