3 Reasons Alone Time is Important for Mom — and How to Get It
Raising children is not easy, and anyone who says it is or makes it look as so, is lying or has a lot of help. At the end of the week, I am beyond exhausted from the days prior of no sleep at night, homeschool with my three older kids, life's chaos of four children, a husband, and a cat. It's amazing — it has so many benefits and has bettered my life in ways I can't express, but it can take a toll on me.
It's easy, when I look at all the hats I put on during the week, to see why I am so spent at the end of the week, exhausted and no patience left. I haven't done a great job at finding a balance that makes all the things work perfectly, but one thing I have not done well at all is making time for myself.
It's easy to look at my never ending list of things I need to do and feel like taking time to do whatever I want to do, versus things I need to do, is selfish. I have a hard time making me a priority, but after ten years of marriage, eight years of parenthood, and four kids later, I am finally getting a real grasp of making sure I am taken care of too.
Taking time for yourself is important and not impossible.
It keeps you sane
Have you ever tried to function with an air of politeness while running on only a few hours of sleep a night, cold meals, and always worried about other peoples' needs? It's not easy, and if you're anything like me, after a few weeks of functioning like that … you go a little crazy. You start to have a shorter fuse with everything, your patience is a lot more fragile than usual, and you just find yourself approaching everything with a negative attitude. Taking some time for you helps you refocus your energy for a little bit, and it's amazing how much it can affect your state of mind and mood.
It helps you recharge your energy
As I mentioned, parenthood is hard; and when you're throwing all your energy into it, it's easy for that energy to get depleted — and fast. Taking time for you and doing something you want to do, versus something you have to do, can really help you recharge your energy and set you in the right space for the hard parenting days ahead.
You get time to connect with yourself
In the past, I was not great at making myself a priority by any means and what happened over time was I lost my identity and lost touch with who I was. I saw myself as only my kids' mother or my husband's wife instead of Devan — a woman who on her own is a good definition. I didn't take the time to be with myself — doing things that fostered my happiness — and I quickly lost touch with the things I love to do. Making myself a priority and taking time for myself put in the great space of being in touch with who I was again.
How to get alone time
I have not been very good in the past with making sure I am on the priority list and that's left me frazzled and drained at times — not exactly what will help me be the best person and mother, so it was important for me to reflect and redirect things so I can have time for me. Here's how I started – and continue to do it:
- Talk with my husband: He and I had a long conversation, more than one actually, about how we can rearrange things to find a better balance for me. I was honest in how I was feeling overwhelmed and we talked it out.
- Re-organize priorities: After that talk with my husband, we looked at our to-do lists and reorganized our priorities and schedule so that I could have some time for me. We worked out a better plan for catching some sleep, and for some time on my own.
- Make it easy to get away: I have a space in the house now that is my recharge space. It's new this year, after needing somewhere that was kid-stuff free and relaxing. I love to sit in that space because it's amazing what even five minutes there will do for me.
- Schedule it! You schedule play-dates for your kids, necessary events and appointments, and your work schedule, so it's important to make sure you schedule in time for you as well. Even if it's just one day out of the month, it will benefit you greatly. Take that time to do whatever you want, all on your own.
How do you make sure you get some time to yourself? Do you make it a priority? Share in the comments!Read More