Moms, we need a breather.
I walked out of the door and sat in my car. I took a deep breath. It is time for just me. I listened to silence as I drove to the store. I casually looked over my list, slowly crossing off my items as I placed them in my cart. Grocery shopping alone is amazing. I never liked going to the store, but if I get to be alone and go – I am in heaven. It is almost as relaxing as taking a nap….ok, nothing is as restful as a nap. Grocery shopping alone – almost heaven.
Alone time is rare, but so needed.
Moms need time alone. We know we need this. We are told to take this time. We have hep available to us. We still don’t do it. Why? Hundreds of reasons can be given as to why – let’s just talk about two.
We feel guilty for it.
We feel bad leaving our children with someone else, even if that person is our husband or trusted friend and family. For stay-at-home moms sometimes that guilt steams from the fact that we are the primary caretakers of our children. We see them all.the.time. We are around them their entire waking moments. It is hard to just give that job to someone else. I am very much a perfectionist. I do a lot by myself because I am also prideful in thinking I am the only one who can take care of them. *right.*
For working moms, maybe we feel as if we are already spending time away from them, so we do not want to add to that time away. We value our children and we want to show them that they mean more to us than our job. So, we give up time alone to not miss anything. When we leave them with someone else, we give that person responsibility for caring for our children. Whether that is for a few hours or an entire weekend, we have to place my trust in that other person. We also feel guilty asking our family or husband to take care of our children – even when they offer! We know the stress and responsibilities our family and friends are facing, and we know having small children can add to that. We try at all cost to avoid placing a burden on everyone, which only leaves us with the burden to handle on our own.
We do not have time for it.
We may believe we do not have the resources or time to take a breather and be alone. Many moms are single parents with no support system. Some stay-at-home moms are home all the time with little contact with other moms. Or, we may feel as if we do have the support system, but our schedule is just so tight we cannot fit time in for us. We have sports, church, and school functions that take every evening during the week. Sometimes our husband’s schedule is so strenuous we do not have the time. If we do come to the end of the week and have an evening free, we are so exhausted from the constant running around that we end up just sitting on the couch in a comatose.
What do we do to combat feelings of guilt or the lack of time?
To combat these two reasons for not taking alone time, we can remember these truths:
1. Time spent alone refreshes us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
I love a certain women’s conference that comes every year to our area. It is usually a Friday evening and Saturday daytime. I have arranged to go each year and have been so refreshed spiritually from doing so. Recently, my husband and I took some time to go to a mission’s conference for a few days. We left our little ones and had a great time being renewed. I love to go and have lunch by myself sometime at Panera on the week my husband is off work. Or, often times I go to the grocery story by myself in the evenings. Those little pockets of times aways refresh me spiritual, mentally, and emotionally.
2. Time spent alone helps my children.
Any mom who has taken time away can attest to this. When we are refreshed, we are more patient, kind, and gentle. When we are stressed or anxious, it comes out in harsh words and quick tempers. Our children need us to take time away. We can gain better perspectives and refocus our attitudes toward the bigger picture.
3. Time spent alone helps my other relationships.
Those that watch our children while we spend time alone get to interact and care for these little ones. Whether that is a young babysitter who is learning mothering skills for the first time, or the grandma who misses when her children were little, or the husband who has worked all day away from his children – these people get the privilege of loving and caring for your little ones. Remember, children are a blessing. I have to keep reminding myself of this on a day-by-day (sometimes minute-by-minute) basis, especially during a potty standoff! *If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you will understand!*
We are building our children’s relationships with others when we leave them in the care of others. I also benefit and develop stronger bonds when I let others watch my children. I was able to develop a great relationship with a young lady in our church when she was 14. She watched our kids for four years and is now in college. It has been such a blessing to see her grow and mature in her faith, coming along side her to encourage her! All because I used her as a babysitter.