It’s no secret! There is no true work-life balance. You either spend all of your time working or all or your time with your family. There is always something that must be done. And I’m perfectly okay with that. It’s a beautiful thing and I tend to thrive in the functioning chaos of it all. But as I’ve stated before on this blog, I definitely need some me time from time to time.
I don’t even need hours of it. I just need a few minutes of uninterrupted time to myself. All to myself. But how do I get it?
1. Take advantage of the changes in plans. There are quite a few activities that the family, as a whole, is involved in. In addition to the activities for the children, both S. and I have separate activities in which we participate. Those activities including teaching Bible Study (S.) and Music Ministry for myself. On certain evenings of the week, I attend rehearsal for 1-1.5 hours. My husband keeps the children while I’m gone and when I return they are sleeping. Now, this isn’t “me time” per say because I’m still actively engaged in something. But every once in a while there is a conflict in rehearsal scheduling and practice is cancelled. When that happens and I am at neck’s end of needing mental health time for myself, I drive to the church with my tablet and I read a few chapters of the latest book I’ve saved. If that doesn’t work, I will take a solo walk in the local Target and enjoy a couple of home improvement ideas. I come back refreshed and no harm is done because the schedule as originally planned wasn’t interrupted.
|Forgive the obvious need of a detailing and mess.|
This smoothie is SO yummy!
2. Take advantage of early dismissal. Every once in a while I’m able to leave work early or have an abbreviated day. I take advantage of the extra time and spend some time by myself. For example: Today, I was able to leave about forty-five minutes earlier than usual. I drove to the local gas station (that just so happens to have some of the best to-order meals) and ordered a Roasted Veggie Quesadilla and a strawberry smoothie. I hadn’t had a chance to do so in quite a while and I sat in the gas station parking lot sipping my smoothie and nibbling my quesadilla. I read exactly six digital pages from Jurassic Park (which I am still trying to finish). I was there for the space of twelve minutes. Those minutes were spectacular. I had a full belly, a few pages down in the story, and some needed time to myself.
3. Take advantage of the quiet times. We are getting the hang of nighttime routines around here. Most nights I have the girls settled by 8PM and 8:30PM respectively. Their brother is usually in bed shortly thereafter. My husband is usually down no later than 10PM (and even that’s late). That just leaves me. I do a bit of tidying up and I usually take 15 to 30 minutes to blog, catch up on a television show episode, journal, or read. It’s not the quantity of minutes, but the quality. Sometimes, after twenty minute of silence, I feel like I’ve rested for hours. It helps me so much and I feel I am able to give more of myself to my family.
4. Know that it’s okay to say “no, thank you”. I love spending time with my family. The memories we make are memories I hope will last our children long after God calls me home. At the same time, if I develop an sense of being overwhelmed, I’m not of much use to the family. So, on occasion, if I feel the need to spend some time by myself while the family is preparing to do something, I’ve no problem letting S. know. Here’s a recent example. My husband took the our son to the basketball game of a family friend’s daughter. Our eldest was napping. Our youngest was on her way. S. asked if I would be joining and I decided that I would stay home with the girls to avoid getting them up and into the cold. In essence, I said “no thank you”. The youngest went down for the evening and I allowed the middle child to sit up and watch a movie with me. It was quiet and peaceful time. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
So, there you have it. My secret to “Me Time”. Hope it helped a little bit. Talk to you soon!