At the end of my work day yesterday, I picked my kids up from their grandmother’s house where they stay after school. I dropped my son off at baseball practice, and my daughter off at the bookstore to kill some time while he practiced. While she read, I took a half hour out for a run, something I’ve recently taken up in my efforts to be more fit. I then picked my daughter back up, then my son, then off to home where I folded laundry in between coordinating my son setting the table while Mr. W made dinner. Afterwards, dishes were washed, more laundry was gathered, and finally a sit on the couch where I checked my email and Facebook while Dancing with the Stars was on (seriously, does anyone watch this anymore? It seems like no one can dance, and it was only worsened by the cheesy America theme). Then it was off to put the kids to bed where I discovered that my son’s room had exploded on itself, and his bed was rat’s nest. I taught him for the 300th time how to properly make a bed so that it was more comfy to sleep in and then kissed the kids goodnight. And without starting any new projects or sitting for a time or doing anything that didn’t require thinking, I went to bed so that I could do it all again the next day.
Kate Winslet was recently quoted in the UK’s Hello Magazine as saying “Any mother knows the last person you think about is yourself. I’ve been a mother for 10 years and I’m still trying to figure out how to give time to myself without feeling guilty about it. Sometimes I’ll sit down and I’ll go, ‘Oh it’s just nice to sit down,’ because truly, I’ve forgotten how to do that.”
I wouldn’t say that I don’t know how to sit, or even that I’m overburdened with all this busyness. I’m known for packing my day full of activities to take me from one moment to the next. And there are definitely times when I feel stressed out from too many obligations being scheduled too tightly together. But generally, it’s just the way I roll. Going from work, to baseball, to exercising, to shopping, to dinner, to laundry, to dishes, to clean up, to school projects, to….. And much of this busyness is on purpose. It’s like I’m afraid to have a day when nothing is scheduled, when I might actually let the dishes sit for a time, or the laundry to remain unclean, or to not have to leave the house or do kids’ projects or check my phone or all the other things put in place to keep me from relaxing for a bit. And when I do, my mind races to all the things that still need to be done, or that I should be doing. Or worse, I’m just plain bored. And I’ve realized that it’s true – I’ve forgotten the fine art of sitting down. And not sitting down and then opening my laptop, or checking my phone, or flipping channels on the TV. But sitting down in a quiet room with no obligation but to do NOTHING. And it makes me wonder, how scary will life be when the kids are gone and the house stays clean, and there’s more than enough time to just sit and be still?
What does your day look like? Are your days filled with activities and obligations? Have you forgotten how to just sit and be still? Do you feel guilty when you do take time out for yourself?
The mom of my neighbors had a rule — she had an hour a day that was HER time and no one was aloud to bother her barring REAL emergency. During this time she would go to her room and read or nap or whatever SHE felt like doing for an hour, and everyone respected that. She (as moms do) worked her butt off the other 99.9% of the time, but that hour of ‘me time’ she had kept her sane, balanced and awesome.