On Thursday I was a cranky, stressed-out grumpy pants, feeling frustrated with our lack of routine and our inability to make a schedule, even though we’d moved only less than a week ago. Sometimes I’m pretty unreasonable. I was short, weepy, and so wound up that I had to check the calendar to see if PMS was the cause. It was not.
In a moment where I perched on the edge of losing my temper, I suddenly changed direction and sent myself upstairs for a nap with the Noodle. That blissful hour of quiet, free from childcare responsibility and the chaos of setting up a home was heavenly, and I realized how essential it is to take time out.
These last couple of months I’ve been spoiled. My mom has been making the drive to Toronto once a week to spend the day with the Noodle while I get some work done and she would often sleep over and give me another half day of support. First my focus was on tax preparation, then on moving, but it was wonderful to just be able to switch off and know that baby was in good hands. I’d like to continue this awesome tradition and focus now on my writing, and homeschool prep because there just isn’t time in this busy house unless I carve it out. We now live much closer to mom, but I’m housebound, so I wonder how best to make this work? Maybe I could have a very early start with Mama S once a week where she drops me off in Hamilton for the day? Perhaps there is transit available to Hamilton? Maybe Daddy can zip me there? Man, I need a driver’s license, now more than ever!
My point is, everyone needs time alone to pursue their own interests or their burn out factor will be high. I need to know that there is space for me during each busy week to do whatever I like, and I don’t mean laundry, cooking, meal planning or chores. This isn’t selfish, or indulgent. It’s practical self-care and it makes me better in all of my roles.
When is the last time you took even an hour for yourself to just do something entirely for your own pleasure? Make it happen, even once a week, and tell your partners you need their support. Alone time is essential for recharging your batteries, and you’ll feel so much more capable. What are your favorite ways to spend your time alone?