Homeschoolers don’t always see eye to eye, but there is one thing we all agree on — spending time with our kids. If you’re the mom of a newborn, you’ve experienced those same feelings. You wouldn’t part with those precious moments for anything, right?
So, while so other parents cannot wait for kids to go back to school, there are many of us who love having our kids around. At home, everywhere we go, all the time.
I include myself in that categorization. I wouldn’t trade a second of these priceless years with my kiddos for anything life has to offer. Actually, I wish those years hadn’t ended quite so soon.
But, what I’m here to tell you, is that all that “togetherness” doesn’t come without a price tag. Which we gladly pay, by the way — no hesitation, truly. But, when surrounded by kids all day, the house can feel pretty crowded.
I’m not saying we don’t get out. And this isn’t about uncooperative, misbehaving children. What it is, is about real life. And, in real life, unless you’re super human (or possibly on TV), there’s only so much time you can handle being with so many people all the time.
I’m the first to admit it. And, believe me, I love my kids to pieces. But, there are definitely some days I just can’t take all the questions, the constant talking, the never-ending noise, the movement, the bickering, the activity, the messes, and all the people up in my face all the time.
Does this make me a bad parent? Of course not. And though I understand our lifestyle is one of learning together and creating a life of teamwork, cooperation, yada, yada, really, there are days when we get on each other’s nerves.
Few people admit this, by the way. Some friends talked about it during a recent podcast, which I felt was fairly ground-breaking, since it’s usually a hush-hush kind of thing. Who doesn’t want the world to think they have it “all together”? Imagine how horrifying to be found out?
So, today, I want to tell you about a little discovery I made some 20 years ago called “Me Time”, in which I give myself permission to grab a break from the overwhelming togetherness of my family. I highly recommend the concept to anyone currently doing a little too much. Which probably includes most of those reading.
‘Me time’ begins by coining a phrase you happen to like (time out, nap time, whatever), explaining the terms to your family. Beyond that, it’s simply the art of putting your miraculous little plan into action.
There are no rules specifically, except to consider whether the time out is just about you (as in, you take a break while everybody else carries on), or whether it’s a general family thing (where everyone retreats to wherever-you-tell-them while you all take a break from each other).
Personally, when I drop the two magic words, I expect everyone to scatter to their rooms, play outside, read a book, or just basically get away from me. And, barring anything serious (blood or fire), I expect them to stay away for a good long time (5-60 minutes, depending on the day I’m having).
But, by all means, get creative, using the concept however you’d like.
I don’t use a timer or a stopwatch, but you can.
I don’t tell my kids where to go (they’re much older) but you can.
Is it harder with babies and toddlers around? You betcha. However, at the very least, you should be able to put them somewhere safe for a few minutes while you go off and collect the pieces of yourself. When mine were younger, that would have been a crib, play pen, or a swinging or bouncing device. Or, occasionally, in a moving car (with me, of course) as the absolute last resort.
It’s worth noting that “me time” is not a selfish practice. Truthfully, every member of the family can benefit from time apart. Younger children benefit from playing alone and/or decompressing a little while, while teens may welcome a break from the rest of the family anyhow.
For me, the benefit is returning back to the family a nicer person. A more patient mommy. And an wife who isn’t grumpy or irritable over never having time to herself.
Are you giving yourself permission for “me time” now and then? Let me know in the comments! I know my readers would enjoy knowing how this works for you.
To your success without overwhelm,
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!