April 1, 2015

Going to the Extreme for Alone Time

mamastellall

Parenting is a kind of balancing act relying on a fulcrum that intricately weighs living between extremes. You want to love your children but you don't want them to feel entitled. You want to show them how to work hard but that life isn't all about work. You want to show them to be strong in their convictions but be open-minded to the ideas and cultures of others. 

You also want to show them what it's like to be a loving, committed parent without continuous, recurring meltdowns and unnatural mental instability. What I mean by that, is that all parents need to take time for themselves. They need to step away and "detox" even if just for a few minutes so that they have more of themselves to offer their children. Really, so that they have more of themselves to offer the world.

A relaxing bath, a long jog, time out with friends for a little vino and adult conversation, a chick flick and Ben & Jerry's all seem like simple solutions that would allow you to unwind, regroup and just generally get your life together. But finding time for yourself comes much easier when you don't have littles watching your every move, anticipating your next step and in the middle of a deep breathe, needing you more than ever.

I can't speak to mamas of older children but when it comes to a toddler your attention is their #1 priority. Even sneaking to the bathroom becomes a game of hide and seek. Your personal time dwindles to almost nothing so capitalizing on the quiet moments is imperative.

I've tried waking up early to savor three sips of coffee in complete peace and quiet. I've utilized nap time like I'm some kind of kamikaze warrior who needs to fix dinner, do household chores and catch up on decades of reality TV. I've embraced rush hour traffic to phone a friend and decompress. I've stretched shaving my legs into some type of marathon sport just for four extra minutes to myself.

I'm my experience finding "me time" is a team effort. It's important to have a strong support system both in and outside the home to give you time to be an adult and contribute to society in a way that doesn't involve your children. My husband is incredible in more ways than I'll ever be able to describe but his capability to read my mood and just know when I need an extra five minutes is one of the things I admire the most about him. For example, he takes charge of bath time to give me a moment for myself. He insists that my son go to daycare one day a week so that I can run errands, take naps, get my hair done and fulfill necessary appointments without touting my little guy with me everywhere.

By embracing these small moments and recognizing that they're needed and happening, no matter what my escape looks like - if it's five minutes or five hours - at the end of it I'm always hungry for time with my little guy.

Do you ever go to extremes for alone time? How do you find time to escape?

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Here is the schedule for upcoming Mamas Tell All topics:

April 8: To Spank or Not to Spank – a discussion on discipline: when to start, how to implement, and how does it change as kids get older
April 15: Kids Say the Darndest Things – the crazy things that come out of our kids’ mouths
April 22: Saying Goodbye to Diapers – tips and tricks or just stories about the potty-training process April 29: The Man Behind the Mama – talking about husbands, boyfriends, etc.
May 6: Fighting the Green-Eyed Monster - talking about how all mamas sometimes get jealous of others
May 13: Dating my Daughter/Son – spending special time on “dates” with our kids
May 20: Last Year We Bought a Zoo (or Not) – a discussion on pets in the family - do you have any? why or why not?

2 comments:

  1. so much truth to this. zander is 5 and doesn't care when I go into the bathroom but Ainsley is always at my heels. lol!! but I wouldn't trade any of it for the world

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  2. Finding "me" time is DEFINITELY a team effort! I completely agree!

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