This year, I took March Break off. But my kids did not. My elder child protested that he had been looking forward to a March Break martial arts camp, so his week was settled, and my little guy’s daycare was running a relaxed-fun type of March Break camp.
I think there’s an expectation that working parents will want to spend all possible family time with their kids, and I have to say in many ways that’s actually true for me. One of the biggest benefits for me of having my kids in daycare has been the genuine, joyful moment that I see them again after work and my eyes light up. I am not at all implying that parents at home or on different schedules don’t experience the same joy. But for me getting that evening joy back was a big deal, because when I was at home full-time, that was about when I was feeling burnt out and giving off “go to bed and get out of my hair” vibes.
At the same time, March Break is a rough week for me and I had been feeling a bit like my well of energy and enthusiasm was running a little dry. I’m learning that having two kids with different interests and schedules combined with all the adult stuff means a lot of coordination, and what’s taken the largest hit at our house is time for adult peace and quiet. I can have lots of fun with my kids as we go from the park to martial arts, but then after bedtime there’s often a stack of chores to do.
So I decided to take the time at home to…be me, without kids. I even had time to walk a trail:
My plan was pretty much as follows:
- Work out every day
- Have lunch with friends
- Watch season one of House of Cards
- Do some of the things around the house that are hard to do with kids underfoot
All of that happened, although in typical fashion our family also weathered a stomach flu and a few other bumps in the road.
It’s now the Thursday after that vacation, and I feel like I have my mojo back. As moms I think we often are the keepers of family time priorities: What needs to get done? Who needs help? How can we be efficient?
Taking a few days to be inefficient and just enjoy my space and the time really filled my well. Now I’m motivated to try to find a little bit of that time every week.
How do you get time for yourself, or do you?