Can you hear that? Listen very carefully…nothing right? That’s right! Ha! That’s because my house is quiet in blessed preparation for a return to school and work tomorrow. It’s been two weeks since Thing 1 had her tonsillectomy followed by a bout of stomach flu that she caught from Thing 2. Sure, there’s a bit of coughing and sneezing going on here and there but, they are going to have to suck it up and deal with it! Tomorrow, Momma get’s her house back! Ha! Don’t act like you have never felt this way before. You know exactly where I’m coming from. When the kids are home sick (and don’t even get me started on the husband), they are in your territory and you feel infringed upon. Sure, you nurse them and put up with their whining but, secretly (or not so secretly) you want this to pass quickly so that they can get out of your domain. It’s your space and your time.
Every mom needs time to herself and I’m no exception. It has taken me a long time to realize that, like many moms, I have my priorities a little out of whack. As evidenced by the societal shift in how we refer to women or men who stay at home to take care of their children, the focus has become more on child rearing and less about the parent or the parental unit. The old school terms “house wife/husband” have been replaced with “stay at home mom/dad”. As if the need for parents to not only work on strengthening their relationships but, also to nourish their individual persons is not as important when, in fact, both of these are vital to the good health and happiness of our children.
Now, let me be clear, I am in no way advocating selfishness or that parents should in any way emotionally or physically neglect their children. We need to support our children in their endeavors. If they are musicians, we should be at their concerts. If they are athletes, we need to be at their games. We need to listen to their problems and their silly talk even when it’s about what boy likes what girl at recess. I have to admit that I tend to zone out during these discussions because after all, they are five and six, how serious could these relationships be? However, we do need to help them understand that mommy and daddy need to have time together to enjoy each others company and that their relationship is vitally important to the happiness and security of the family. We must help them understand that individual wholeness is necessary to sustaining any healthy relationship and individual success. Remember in the movie Jerry McGuire when Tom Cruise says to Rene Zellweger, “You complete me” ? It was sweet, and I swooned along with every other woman in America but, it’s totally unreasonable. Can you imagine the pressure that you’d be under to actually be held responsible for completing another person? And with so many homes being headed by single parents, those parents need to find healthy ways to nourish themselves so that they can be a solid emotional, spiritual and physical foundation for their families, as well.
How do we nourish ourselves? Well, it’s different for different people. For me, it’s through Bible Study and fellowship, writing, blogging and baking. I have a friend who is an amazing artist and can not imagine her life without being able to express herself through her paintings. It can be your job or a hobby but, it is something that you are passionate about that has nothing to do with anyone else besides yourself and leaves you feeling fulfilled. I have to say that with these things in place in my life, I know that I am a better wife and a better mother because I feel a sense of personal accomplishment and validation.
So, yes, tomorrow (or by the time you read this, today) I will get my “Me Time” back. It will probably be spent doing laundry, wiping up spots where popsicle juice dripped on the floor, changing bed sheets and other mundane house work. But, it’s my time with my thoughts, when I can laugh out loud at some private joke without a little voice saying “What? What’s so funny?” or I can sit on the sofa with a cup of coffee for a few minutes without someone busting me for drinking in the living room (a definite no-no in our house). Yep, it’s all my time and I plan to enjoy every minute of it.