Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Finding Daily Time for Me :: Mom2Mom


Today I'm beginning a new feature called Mom2Mom.  Several of you responded to my survey back in January saying you'd like to hear about some of my struggles as a mom.  Well, that's what Mom2Mom is about.  Just a conversation from one mom to another about some of the hard points of this motherhood journey.

Today's Mom2Mom conversation is:  Finding daily time for me.  

From the moment my precious firstborn arrived home from the hospital he has demanded all of my time and attention.  Those first months were spent grabbing showers and catnaps when Will chose to sleep.  In other words - they were pure torture.  My pediatrician gave me some great advice back then.  Dr. S. said, "It won't hurt him to cry while you take a shower.  No child ever had to go to the hospital for crying too much."  I took his words to heart!

Fast forward 7 years and 3 more children and finding a few minutes for me each day has become even more challenging. 

I know some moms who get up at the crack of dawn before their children to fit in an hour or so of peace and quiet.  I am NOT a morning person and two of my children definitely are.  That means as soon as they hear feet hit the floor they are up and raring to go.

I know other moms who enjoy time for themselves while their children are at school.  I home school.  That means my children are with my 24/7.  Not only do I not get school hours to myself, I'm spending them teaching my children.

So, how do I make time for myself each day?

I have made our daily schedule so that ALL four of my children go down for rest/nap time after lunch.  All of them.  It's not negotiable.  The 2 big boys (6 & 7 years) must stay relatively quiet in their room for at least an hour.  The 2 littles (2 and 4 years) must sleep for at least 2 hours.  This way I get at least 1 whole hour every afternoon to myself.

Unless it's a day like today when the doorbell rang about 20 minutes after putting everyone in bed.  After that I kissed my quiet time good-bye.

The second way I make time for myself is at night after the kids are in bed.  I am a night owl.  The still quiet of my home at night is when I think best.  So that's when I write a lot of my blog posts. 

And stay up way too late.  Which then makes it hard to get up in the mornings and just perpetuates the cycle.

It's not a perfect system but most of the time it works.  And on the days it doesn't work (like today) I try not to get frustrated that I'm not accomplishing what I wanted to for the day.  I try to remember that in 20 years I won't regret not writing one more blog post but I will regret not reading one more book with my 2 year old son.

How do you make daily time for yourself?

4 comments:

Amy said...

For me this is a constant struggle. Although my children are in school, I still have a little at home (and I try to enjoy my 1:1 time with her). My little naps when we get home from school. So, there is never a portion of my day where I am "alone".

I have trained my little to play in her room while I shower and have a quiet time. Most days this works--but the slightest change in schedule (a morning playdate, dad gone so mom takes kids to school, errands, Bible Study, not to mention the "unplanned"). My favorite is when I do get up before everyone--the day is just better. But, sleep is precious, too!

Thanks for sharing! Always nice to hear from another mom!

Carrie said...

I make time for myself the same as you - nap time/quiet time - no matter the age. An older couple that we know advised us to maintain a bedtime/quiet time routine for all the kids, regardless of age, to make sure I had alone time and we, as a couple, had alone time in the evenings.

I always thought it would be nice to live in a schedule but I had no idea how to create one for the family. Thankfully it kind of fell into place naturally. Bookworm1 has also discovered that he likes his time alone (for which I am grateful.) If, for some RARE reason, he misses a quiet time because we've been busy, he will ask for some quiet time later on in the day in order to play by himself.

Bookworm1 has always been the one who likes to stick like glue to mommy and talk NON-STOP so I'm glad he is now used to spending a couple of hours of playtime alone in his room and from the sound of things, he has a pretty good time.

I get 2 hours to myself in the afternoon and then bedtime is strictly observed at 8 p.m. so we have a couple of hours of quiet in the evening as well.

Sanity makes the world go 'round!

Jenn said...

Thanks for sharing! I love your schedule. I am trying to figure out what ours is. I'm using the hour twice a week as my "me" time, when Addi is in speech. I can read a book or my bible- without interruption! :-) Being a working mom, makes scheduling difficult. I cherish every moment with both Addi & Stephen, since our time together is limited. Atleast I have a great boss, who lets me work from home some. I wish I could do that all the time! ;-) I have noticed though that evenings are much better- if the tv remains off until after dinner! It's kind of hard for your brother. ha I digress... I like this new topic you have started and I can't wait to see what you have to say each week.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Amy, I know we both see the value in training children with a schedule! I've forgotten what 1:1 time was like! :)

Carrie, we also have a rough bedtime routine, although ours is much later than I'd prefer. But, my husband doesn't get home until about 6:30 and he'd like time with the kids. Which means it's often nearly 9 pm before they are in bed. We can do that as home schoolers. They just sleep later the next morning. :)

Jenn, I'm glad you found a little pocket of time for yourself. I hear ya about the tv. We don't have a television but we do watch a lot of videos these days. That's something I plan to cut back on as temps. rise and the kids can spend more time outside.

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