If You Give a Mom a Martini Authors Give Tips on Getting Me Time

12/16/2010 at 10:00 AM ET
Courtesy Random House

So often, moms can’t find a minute for themselves.

And even more often, they feel guilty about taking that free minute for a manicure, a phone call, or a nap.

Pals (and working mamas) Julie Klappas and Lyss Stern were those kinds of moms.

“We both have two kids under 8 years old, and we were laughing while telling each other, ‘I haven’t had a second to go to the bathroom today,’ or, ‘I haven’t even had a cup of coffee,’ ” Stern tells PEOPLE Moms & Babies.

“But it wasn’t funny! We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have just 10 minutes of free time?’ We knew if we felt this way, other moms probably did, too.”

So in their minimal free time, Klappas and Stern joined forces and penned the book If You Give a Mom a Martini … 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself ($17).

“You need to tell moms out there that it’s OK to take that time,” Stern says. “If we don’t take care of ourselves, nobody else will.”

Based on the theory that everybody has 10 minutes a day to do something for themselves, the authors complied a list of ideas that run the gamut from free (“Shop your closet!”) to extravagant (“Go into a jewelry store, look at that beautiful diamond ring and just try it on for 10 minutes”).

Courtesy Michael Jurick Photography

There’s also a forward from Christie Brinkley, and advice from Kelly Ripa (she watches Judge Judy in her 10 minutes) and Jill Hennessy (she sits under a tree while strumming her guitar).

Other ideas include playing Wii Sports when your kids aren’t home, throwing out your “granny panties” and only keeping the sexy lingerie, and escaping to the grocery store for a few minutes to enjoy some free samples.

“It’s completely overwhelming how little free time you have once you become a mom,” Stern says. “You’re juggling so many balls at once and trying not to let one drop. But try to remember who you were before you had kids — you should still love being that fabulous person you were, and still are.”

Kate Hogan


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hillary on

amen to the have time for yourself idea! it is so overwheming to have a 1 1/2 and 3 year old and stay at home, i NEVER get any me time so curious to see what ideas they have! so far i’ll i’ve got is stay in the bathroom longer when daddy is home….!!

Mrs. R. on

Hillary, I’m in exactly the same boat as you. Added to my list is that my husband travels for work and is gone from Sun night to Friday night almost every week.

I actually am going to check this book out. I need some help in the ‘be nice to myself’ department. I can get burned out sometimes, but don’t really know how to prevent it… Maybe the book will give me a few tips, or at least make me feel less alone in my feelings.

Shannon on

I am in the same boat too ladies! My “me” time is nap time! I try to get both kids napping at the same time and I watch soaps. Its my guilty pleasure, but once those two hours are over we all are much happier!

Auntie P on

Ladies, no kids of my own, but my sister has five. I could always be counted on to come over and stay with the kids so she could get out of the house for an hour or two!!!

Or pick a couple of them up and take them for the weekend. It’s important for your kids to have someone else in their lives. My sister loved the fact that her kids had someone who would take them to the museum or the zoo, or just to my house and let them read or decide what was for dinner or just cruise around Target with.

If you have a sibling with no kids, let them bond with yours. It’s good for all of you!!!!