Have I mentioned lately how much I love having my own time?
Being surrounded by family, friends, and excitement is fun and energizing — until it’s not. Then it’s time to retreat within myself, away from others, for as long as I can.
With three kids hanging around and calling me “mom,” though, it’s not surprising my isolation is pretty short-lived.
Even Chores Can be Liberating
So I revel in the solitude of doing random chores or activities on my own (even if the kids are just down the hall). It’s incredible how revitalizing shopping, reading, folding laundry, or driving ALONE can be!
Shoot, even cleaning toilets is liberating if it means I’m skipping out on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood or, heaven help me, yet another Star Wars sequel!
You just don’t realize how much chaos a vacuum drowns out until a little hand unplugs it while screaming about some sibling injustice. I’ve seriously grown to love that deafening, vacuum-induced trance because I value it for what it is: a mini-vacation.
Some of you are rolling your eyes at how pathetic this sounds. And you’re right, it’s pretty sad. But when I birthed three squirmy, howling, perfect cherubims into this world, I agreed to care for them — knowing it’d mean giving up much of my life as I’d previously known it.
[Glorious] Time Alone
I love my kids; I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I will, however, trade some moments with them for time alone.
I know there are plenty of bedraggled moms who are still wearing yesterday’s makeup (and clothes) who totally get what I’m saying. You lovely ladies with slightly greasy hair and a vaguely noticeable eye twitch are my tribe!
I just didn’t realize how much I needed bouts of solitude until they were sucked away — along with my girlish figure and restful nights.
Yet here we are, three kids and three pants sizes later.
After a long day of herding children and confusion and noise and all that other lovely stuff that comes with kids, you’ll find me hiding somewhere — anywhere — ALONE. Probably double-fisting mounds of chocolate, to say the least.
My preferred home-bound escape is to soak in a hot bath — with two locked doors blissfully separating me from anyone else.
Sometimes I’ll hear my youngest pounding on the farther door, calling my name, followed by cries growing fainter as my husband pulls her away to “give mommy her time.”
Yes, please give me MY TIME.
During those horrid periods when I go too long without my own time, that subtle eye twitch I mentioned goes full throttle into blinking hysterics. My body convulses and my breath gets ragged. No, I’m not having an anxiety attack; just revving up to attack whoever or whatever gets close to me, or — wait for it — asks for a snack.
The point? MAMAS, JUST GO.
Go to Target or the gym or the library … or the bathroom even (and ignore those fingers reaching under the door)!
Save yourselves (and your families) by designating time for YOU, preferably before you lose your cool — and mind. Try to get at least one longer block of alone time every week, and definitely some rejuvenating breaks throughout each day.
Please don’t wait until the kids are in bed to take care of yourself. That precious time is vital too, but it shouldn’t be the only YOU TIME you get during the day.
Girl, you need this. WE need this.
After all, if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!