Yesterday I remembered it was costume day at dance and today I remembered to send Halloween candy to school. Also, I don’t want to brag, but I signed the field trip form WITHOUT a reminder text from the teacher. So, you see, I remember things. I’m basically a parenting expert. Anyone need discipline tips?
Seriously though, I was feeling particularly proud of myself this morning. Remembering those things might sound easy to you, but to me it’s all “extra” and extra and I don’t get along. The fact that I remembered a parenting extra can only mean one thing: I’m getting better at moming. And, 7 years in, it’s about time a few things started clicking.
Wanna know what other parenting thing clicked? The Mom Non Negotiable. The one thing I need and you need and every woman needs. The one thing that, no matter what is going on in your life, you need to fight for. What am I talking about?
You need time to yourself. Time alone. Everyday.
Mothers need time to themselves every single day. We need this to remain sane. That’s just how it works. You cannot remain sane while spending every single moment of every single day surrounded by crying and snack begging. That’s not how sanity works. The CIA uses looping audio of a baby crying in their torture techniques. This should tell you everything you need to know.
What Does This Look Like
I’m a big advocate for waking up early (before anyone else in your house is awake). I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes because you’re tired. I get it. I’m tired, too. It’s sort of a job requirement. But, I promise you that sanity is more important than sleep.
I wake up each morning at 5 AM. Sometimes I get as little as 30 minutes alone before the kids wake up and other times I get as much as 2 hours. The baby usually joins me at some point during my alone time, but she is 4 months old (and doesn’t talk, obviously) so she doesn’t count.
You could use nap time for this alone time and I know many people who wait until after bedtime. Maybe you have to lock yourself in your room while your husband handles the kids. I think it’s important that the alone time happens no matter when you can fit it in, but I do think there’s something to be said about starting your day off on the right foot.
Nap time doesn’t always work out like we expect it to, right? And at night we are mentally and physically spent. Night time is when we defrost from the day. I truly think that your time alone will be more effective at keeping you sane if you begin the day at peace, but if that’s just not do able for you, then get it in where you can.
Time Alone Doing What?
My time is spent with coffee and the bible. I gather my thoughts. I wake up slowly. I think about the things I need to accomplish that day. I spend time in silence.
What you do during your alone time is almost as important as the alone time itself. If I try to sleep during my alone time, I am annoyed when the kids inevitably wake me up “too early.” If I watch TV, I end up wishing I could watch TV longer. If I mindlessly scroll on my phone, the time is sucked up into some magical vacuum and it passes by too quickly.
So, pick something that fills you up. Pick an alone time activity that will leave you feeling happier, healthier and more patient at the end of it. Like I said, for me, it’s prayer, coffee and silence. Maybe for you it’s reading, drawing, exercising, listening to music, finally getting to the dishes, taking a bath, painting your nails, etc.
If you’re feeling like “just” a mom these days or if you’ve found yourself snapping at your children or your spouse ask yourself: am I getting time alone each day? And, if so, am I spending that time wisely?
Want to read more?
- Here is a post I wrote on what fills me up during my alone time
- Here is another blogger’s post for stay at home moms with toddlers and babies. You need alone time and adult interaction—your job is harder than mine.