Once in a blue moon, I manage to have an evening and/or most of a weekend day with no kids around. This is one of those glorious rare times. The whole house is quiet right now – my husband is even gone for most of the day.
The Treasure Of Kid-Free Time
When I got up this morning, I had a swirling list in my mind of all the things I could and wanted or needed to do. Should I clean the whole house top to bottom? Should I write like a mad woman and get some work done ahead of time? Should I start a new craft project? Maybe rent a chick flick that’s at least PG13.
I’ve appreciated the need for personally flexible “me” time over the years. Not that I can always oblige my need, but I’ve understood what happens to me when I don’t get it. At times, even a trip to the grocery store by myself can count as “me” time. Gotta recharge the batteries or I’ll stop in mid-motion like that bunny with the drum.
I know for a fact that this is a direct contributor to my postpartum depression. I may have been headed that way for other reasons, but I know that my choice to give every bit of energy to my daughter and not really ask for help is what sunk me. I didn’t set my own personal boundaries or set my own needs as a priority so I could recharge myself and keep on giving. I gave from an empty tank, which clearly didn’t work.
Don’t Take Me Time For Granted
Take it from my hindsight; whether you’ve been a parent for 24 hours or 20 years, be sure to take care of yourself. Keep a running list of things that charge you up or let you feel in more control, not more worn out. Tell others your needs and enlist their help so you can do them. This is perhaps more difficult when your kids are little, but it can be equally challenging when you spend a lot of time ferrying them around to sports and meeting activities every night.
Parents – what do you do when you have the opportunity for no-kid time? Do you enjoy your quiet house, or do you go out? Do you get stuff accomplished or have more fun?
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Last reviewed: 8 May 2010