"Ultimately, 'alone time' is necessary and it will make you a better mom, partner and human," Siri Daly advises in her latest blog for PEOPLE
Siri Daly is a busy working mama!
Siri is a mom to three kids with husband Carson Daly: daughters London Rose, 3½, and Etta Jones, 5½, plus son Jackson James, 9. She was a television writer and producer before becoming a stay-at-home parent.
The decision to write about food on her blog Siriously Delicious was a no-brainer; aside from parenting, food has always been Siri’s passion. In her debut cookbook, also titled Siriously Delicious (available now), she shares a collection of triumphs and mistakes, plus simple, delicious recipes for people who love food.
Siri, 37, regularly appears on the TODAY show alongside her husband, oftentimes for a segment called “Dining with the Dalys.”
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Hey moms, do you remember what it was like to go the bathroom by yourself? No? Me neither. Even if I do manage to sneak in and lock the door behind me, there’s almost always a little hand juggling at the knob, repeating, “Mama, Mama” until I emerge.
Leisurely showering? (Cue manic laughter.) I almost always have a silent creeper knocking at the glass while I’m washing soap off my face, triggering a Psycho-style scream that the neighbors must hear. Nowadays I just shower with my girls because it’s more efficient and less terrifying.
These invasions of privacy are not exclusive to the bathroom, oh no. It seems like anytime I manage to sit by myself – whether it’s to eat a meal, read a book or tackle my inbox – one of my kids uses that opportunity to snuggle up real close. I’m talking koala-bear-style: arms wrapped all around my body, licking my face and clawing at my skin in what seems to be an effort to climb back inside the womb. (Exaggeration? Maybe. Not really, though.)
I know what you may be thinking: How can you complain about sweet, loving children, needing and wanting to be close to their mother? I think this, too. I think, What’s wrong with me? Why do I want to pry myself free and escape to the nearest kid-free establishment?
It took me a while to realize the answer is simple: If I lack alone time, I’m worse off. As long as I carve out a few moments for myself, I will happily welcome all of the togetherness.
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Why did it take me so long to figure this out? Because, Mom Guilt.
Mom Guilt rears its ugly head in so many ways, and in this instance I felt shame for needing time away from my family. What did that mean? Did it mean that I loved them less, that I was having some sort of breakdown, that I wasn’t cut out for parenting?
No! All it meant was that I needed to pause and check in with my body and mind. As a mom, you’re constantly tending to others. Without self care, you can lose yourself entirely.
So what does alone time look like? It can be anything — a break at a coffee shop, a solo trip to the movies, wandering the aisles of Target aimlessly, a workout class, a nap. Whatever it is that you are craving, you should do it.
Recently I was traveling for work in an unfamiliar city. In theory, I should have explored the town, but ended up watching back-to-back movies in bed wearing a hotel-room robe. Me time. Then, I forced myself out of my comfort zone and ordered a drink at the bar, left alone with my thoughts (and my phone, to prove it actually happened).
Ultimately, “alone time” is necessary and it will make you a better mom, partner and human … and it will definitely make it easier to pee with a toddler on your lap.