Finding Time By Yourself
Sometimes it feels impossible for a mom to get a minute of solitude. There's always someone who wants a piece of you, and even thinking an uninterrupted thought seems like a luxury. A mom told me last week, "I feel like I have a chipmunk on my shoulder chattering in my ear all day long! I can't even think straight!" Another client said, "I have been in a crappy mood for 2 days straight and I know it's because I haven't had any time alone. My husband even offered to take the kids for a while, but I was so grouchy, I just snapped at him and didn't even take him up the offer! I knew making time for myself would change my attitude, but what did I do about it? Nothing!"
This is a really common place moms find themselves in: convinced what you need is impossible to have, not worth the effort to create, or selfish to want in the first place. But, after 10 years supporting moms, I can also tell you that all three of these thoughts are false, and here's a trick you can use to prove it to yourself (I use this sometimes when a mom feels powerless to change something for herself):
Imagine something non-negotiable that you needed to get your child to do, like brushing their teeth or taking important medicine, for example. It would never happen that you'd toss up your hands in surrender when your child resisted doing it. You'd never say, "They just won't brush your teeth!" - shrug - "I guess they'll just never learn dental care, oh well."
If it were important for your child, you would step up and make it happen. You'd set and enforce boundaries, and pretty soon your child would learn this new skill or behavior. Now imagine that getting alone time was just as important a part of your child's upbringing.
Somehow, with alone time we think kids are just supposed to decide to leave us alone, to CHOOSE not to be attached to us like koala bears, or we're supposed to find something so entertaining that it makes them forget about us. But kids don't learn that kind of new skill by accident or misdirection. We have to enforce the lesson until it sticks. It's just as possible to teach a child to respect your alone time, as it is to teach them not to fight brushing their teeth; you just need to decide it's important.
But kids don't learn that kind of new skill by accident or misdirection. We have to enforce the lesson until it sticks.
Bottom line - Why can't we ever have alone time? Because we're not making anyone give us alone time! What it comes down to is that we either don't think it's as important as other things, don't think our kids can learn it, or don't think we really deserve it (aka it's selfish to make such a big deal of it).
Spending time alone and giving others time alone are two extremely important life skills that even very young children can learn (I promise!). Enforcing a family routine that includes these elements is a double gift to our kids: first in that it teaches incredible skills, and second in that they get to be raised by a rested and nourished mother.
If you're struggling to find this kind of time for yourself, I can help! Set up a discovery call and we'll talk about the emotional and logistical reasons you haven't been successful so far, and what you can do to create a big difference for yourself very quickly. Even if we decide not to work together beyond your call, you will get a wealth of knowledge and perspective that you can immediately put into action for you and your family.
Wishing you some peace and moments of tranquility this week, mama. You deserve it!