We all have dreams of being social, giving, and kind to those around us. To meet any of these goals, though, we need energy. So how can we best re-energize to face life’s challenges? People often speak of the value of taking time for oneself as a way to “reward” an overtired mommy and wife. However, taking time out of life to be alone is much more than a reward – it is a smart, proactive, healthy thing that every woman should do. I used to live at an orphanage in Kenya. Although I no longer live at the orphanage full-time, my work life consists of going back and forth to Africa working with orphaned children through my organization, Hope Runs . An orphanage, I believe, is an extreme example of the pressures existent in our own family lives: other people coming at you with constant, important needs for attention and help.
When I first started living in an apartment on the ground floor of the orphanage, I noticed a strange occurrence: on Saturdays, the orphanage manager completely disappeared. At first, I thought maybe she simply did her chores that day and so was out. With time, though, I learned that Saturdays were her secret to sanity. As the mother of 170 children (with only 3 full time staff), she had learned that unless she closed shop on Saturdays, she simply couldn’t provide well of herself during the rest of the week. She had to take that time to be a better person the rest of the week. So what did she do on Saturdays? Absolutely nothing. She sat in her apartment, relaxed, and recharged. ￼ Finding the time and space to be along in a regular basis is not merely a selfish way to “treat’ yourself, and thinking of it like this has surely encouraged many moms to put it off for a later date in sake of one more time with family kids friends or work. But if that time is not quality time – then aren’t you doing your friends and family a disservice? We live in a world of constant interruptions, and with kids, we lose even those activity-less times in waiting rooms or interrupted sleep we used to be able to count on. Once a month, there is nothing better than taking a day for yourself (yes, an afternoon or a morning will do). Making this a priority will restore your sanity and make you a better, productive, and more loving woman for everyone around you. If you are feeling health and happy – everyone’s lives will be better. HOW TO GET A DAY OFF Plan in Advance If you have little ones that need to be taken care of, wapping with a friend, or bargaining with a husband or relative are two good ways to get the time in the first place. Plan well in advance to make sure that the day works for all involved, and then stick to your plan. Surely things that seem “more important” will come up as your seemingly-indulgent day off approaches, but try as hard as you can to adhere to your resolution to give this time for yourself – no matter what else is going on. Remember, taking time off will make you better able to deal with whatever life is going to throw at you. Be in a Private Space (borrowed, rented, or even your own home) Although some of you may not agree with this point, I do believe that being in private maximizes this time that much more, and so for this reason I would highly recommend you not using your alone time to go shopping for yourself, to see a movie, or to eat out. Instead, be alone – be really alone – in your own home or in another’s. What to do In Your Day Off That’s yours to decide – but some portion of it absolutely must be relaxing and renewing. If you take an afternoon off to schedule all your children’s dental appointments for the next two years, you’re missing the point. This is a time for you to do nothing, because if you don’t take this time you will burn out. Renew yourself before you get to that point.
Today, I hope you take a moment to at least consider the idea of taking a day out for yourself this month. Mom after mom can tell you that the smart way to be a modern mom is to take a day off from the multi-tasking treadmill. Guest post by Claire Adams Williams. Claire writes about saving money at ChoysterCash.comfree couponing class or to take part in the $100 April giveaway. Read more great posts by VIP Guest Bloggers. Want to be a Guest Blogger?
Jyl Johnson Pattee (Mom It Forward)
If it were legal, I would copy and paste this into both of my blogs! ;) I think this is such an important message for all of us. So often as moms we run ourselves ragged caring for others, but take little to no time for ourselves, which in turn makes us less able to care for our children in a positive, productive, nurturing way let alone make a difference or give back in our own communities.
I think giving ourselves permission to breathe and take time for ourselves equips us to be better moms as well as perform better in every role we play in our lives. Also, I don’t think this only applies to when we feel that we have the “luxury” to do it. In the midst of challenges, struggles, etc., it is almost more important that we do this.
I love this post!!!