Three-and-a-half might be a trying age, but at least it’s now an age that kids are able to spend more and more time away from their parents. And let me tell you, it’s not just a good thing; it’s fantastic – fantastic for parents and for the kids, too. Yay for everyone, I say!
Many probably would be aghast at the statement I’m about to make, but here it is… I didn’t choose to have a kid so I could spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with them. But before you judge that one, think about and answer this, please: Is there anyone on this planet you could remotely think of spending every minute of time with as long as you were alive? Yeah, big fat no here from me, too. First, sounds boring and second, sounds way annoying.
The phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” had to have been coined by a mom who has mastered the art of non-mom time. Who’s that, you ask? She’s a mom who, while she loves her children dearly, always manages to set aside time just for herself when she does not have to be a mom. This might mean she’s able to get out one night a week and do whatever on her own (even grocery shopping alone can be an exhilarating experience), but it’s the gal who can get away regularly and do absolutely nothing whatsoever related to family or mom life… yeah, that’s the Zen master of the non-mom time domain.
Until recently (and when I say recently I mean just before I began this blog/ once school was out for summertime), I realized I was failing myself in this area tremendously. I was not very good at insisting on some regular non-mom time unless it had something to do with groceries or chores for the household. I am getting my once-a-month mom night out with my mom group, but once a month?! Not enough anymore, no way. And when I’d get precious moments to myself, I was just wasting them on either a computer game here or a bad television show there. Not that there’s anything wrong with that because I love guilty pleasures such as those just as much as the next gal, but I knew I also had other, more creative and productive interests and skills that I had let fall by the wayside, such as writing.
I then and there decided to make a date with myself to get back to writing and started this blog, which has been an outlet for me to keep up my writing skills in a fun and creative manner. It also affords me that non-mom time I was yearning for desperately, just time to myself to think, create, and revel in my particular skill set (writing and editing). It’s awesome. Sure, it’s been a challenge at times to keep those dates with myself and meet certain goals, but seven weeks in I’d have to say so far I’ve not let me down too badly just yet, and I’ve gotten a lot of me-time in the process. OK, so a lot of this particular non-mom time is me in the house writing about kids and family and with the boy and the Dad running around in another room (or around me) to boot, but for me this noise can be semi-inspirational given the topics that I choose to write about, so it all works (for now anyway). And I can still steal away some quieter moments while T is taking a nap (naps are not what they used to be though, sadly, but that’s a whole other post to come, oy) or late at night (but late-night definitely is not the best time in my day; I’m tired and cranky, so who knows what I’ll be guilty of saying here, yawn and I’m sorry in advance).
Some other recent examples of me in the non-mom time zone include making an appointment for an evening pedicure, going to a concert with a girlfriend (I’d not been to a live music show in almost two years, oops), and heading to the gym on the weekend, so I’m doing better at chunking out some spots of time here and there. The result is that I seem to feel better and more recharged afterwards, and additionally in the case of the gym I’m getting healthy and fit, too. So again, big yay for me, but also yay for those around me who get to reap a few of the trickle-down benefits as well.
So mamas, please, when the going gets rough, get out of there and go get some non-mom time. Whether it’s a few minutes in the day keeping a journal, knitting, or reading, or making an actual appointment for yourself one night a week or month to go out with friends, see a movie, or walk down a favorite street and window shop in peace, it’ll do you – and the kids and your spouse – some good.