I hear from people:
“You need to take time for yourself ”
And then I hear:
“Cherish every minute with the kids, they grow up so fast.”
Well, I can’t figure out the balance yet. Where do I find time for myself without missing a minute of my “don’t-blink” aged kids?
Before kids, I had many hobbies. I liked to ski, run, sew, bake, and cook. Now, I’m lucky if I can get food on the table, laundry done and manage 4-6 hours of sleep. I’ve been told by seasoned mom’s that I just need to MAKE time for myself. I just don’t know how to make that happen. The only time I can think of is either cutting into my sleep, or cutting into my time playing with the girls.
At night we do story time. I spent a few weeks laying with S in her bed while my husband read (before A was born). Now, at night if I try to leave the room while my husband is reading, S will say “sit down, mommy! lay right here!” I do. I lay down where I’m told, but I do so with this cloud over my head. The entire time I’m sitting there I’m thinking “I need to clean the kitchen up from dinner, put the toys away, pay some bills, look at the mail, finish charting for work…etc etc.” I know that the days of her wanting me to lay with her are dwindling down, so I try to ignore the list in my head and enjoy my cuddling time.
So back to the question- where do I find the time for myself?
I honestly have no idea.
These girls are growing up at lightening speed. I don’t want to miss any opportunity to cherish the moment. I just don’t feel right saying to them, “it’s mommy’s turn to take care of herself” and walk away while they want to put a puzzle together or want me to lay in their beds with them.
I also don’t have the ability to decrease work. Anyone who is self-employed will tell you it is amazing to work for yourself. But, the double edged sword is that if you become unavailable, or decrease your work, you have a chance of failing your business.
My husband has offered numerous times to take the girls out for a few hours on the weekend and I always say “yes!” I appreciate the help he is offering… but… each time they get half way out the door I yell for them to “wait for me!” I hear “don’t blink, they are growing up so fast. You don’t want to miss out” playing over in my head.
I truly struggle with managing my time and my life. I want to be there for my girls – and manage a career- and stay sane. I am not accomplishing the sanity portion.
I am beginning to think hobbies are for retired people. Maybe in 16 years I’ll run another marathon, or bake for fun. In that time, hopefully I can finish the girls quilts of their baby clothes which have been sitting in my basement for 6 months- untouched.
So, the next question is- what’s better, quantity or quality? Would the girls be happier if they saw me as much as possible, or is it better to be around a little less but be more fulfilled and happy during each interaction?
I recently was asked how I would feel if, when my girls are grown and have families, they told me they never did anything for themselves. I would be appalled. I would tell them that THEY matter and they need to take care of themselves in order to take care of others. Unfortunately, I am not teaching them that by my actions. And worse off, I don’t even know how to change my lifestyle to teach them to make themselves a priority.
I want to take time for myself- during waking hours and not take away from the girls or work. I want to teach my girls that it’s okay to care for yourself. I just don’t know how to accomplish this. Every time I think of something I could do for myself, my mind wanders into how I could include the girls in my “me-time.”
I’m going to work on it, for my girls’ sake. I am going to try to find a balance between taking care of myself and not missing out on any moments with my quickly growing girls.
I’ll keep you updated… and hopefully the update will include photos of 2 adorable baby-clothes quilts ❤