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Time alone for mommy
I have to be still?
Recently I was recovering from back surgery. The good news was the doctor thought I was going to make a great recovery. The bad news was for the next six weeks I would be unable to excessively bend, twist, or lift anything ten pounds or more. I have two small children, one still nursing so this proved to be quite a set of restrictions! I knew this information when we decided to proceed, but I never thought about how many times each day I bend, twist, or lift over ten pounds. I had not realized how much it was each day, or how much this would impact our lives. Not only did was I unable to do any of the things around the house, or for our children. I also, at least for the first few weeks, was unable to do some things for myself.
I found myself moving slowly as I now needed to think before I made any move. Any incorrect move could undo the work my surgeon did, and I did not want all the money and post surgery pain to be for nothing. It is amazing how moving slower changes everything I do. I am lucky to have a huge support system, and I would find myself alone more often than I had been alone in my entire life. I was alone in the sense that my husband, parents, or in-laws would take my kids so I could rest. I am one of those people who is never quiet, or in quietness. I either have something on in the background, or am making the noise myself. Anyone with small children can recognize the worry in a room that is quiet. It feels wrong, and I think, “What is wrong, why is it quiet?”
Amazing quiet time
It was in this quiet that I have surprisingly found more comfort and peace than ever expected. I was reading books, and writing, and spending time in the quiet. Why is it as a wife and mother we are scared to ask for this time? I always thought it was greedy, or being a bad mom to want to be away from your kids. In fact, I had told myself that it was horrible that my family still needed my income as opposed to me being a stay at home mom. Why did I put these unrealistic goals and expectations on myself? I don’t know why, but I do know that in the quiet I was finding out things about myself I never knew.
Why was I killing myself at a job I found unfulfilling and mundane? I had bought into the whole rat race and was working for “the man”. I found myself knowing that God had a different purpose for me, but I had no idea how to discover what it was. I am still searching, and every day I continue to have that time to myself I am able to discover more and feel more myself than ever. In one week of an hour hear or there I have less mobility, but feel more alive. It is so freeing to know there is something out there for me. Now, I just have to go out and get it! It is for this reason I will no longer feel the guilt of admitting I do not need to serve my family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no time for myself. No wonder we are tired all the time. Having time away from everyone, and being able to just be in the quiet was how I was becoming a better wife, mother, and Christian woman.
Take back your time
Some ways to make sure you get the much needed alone time as a hardworking mother:
1. Make meals ahead of time and freeze them. This could help you gain 20-40 minutes in one night.
2. Ask for help. There are many places to find help. I find mine in my husband, parents, in-laws, friends, and church. When I truly needed help and asked for it, I have never been turned down.
3. Get up an extra 20 minutes early, or stay up a bit later. I know sleep is precious, but so is getting recharged with just a small amount of time just for you.
4. Cut back on an activity. I know we are all out there trying to prove we can do it all, but maybe this time you tell someone you will not head up the classroom party, or bake sale. I think as a society we tend to be too busy.
As a result of this hectic schedule, I start to feel resentful that I don’t have time for myself. This ends up hurting all of my relationships and making me less productive overall. When I don’t feel appreciated and feel overworked I tend to get less done. This is why all moms need to take that precious time to get back the focus and energy back in our day!