Taking time to know yourself better.
I don't think we have a hard time understanding the fact that a relationship will thrive when there is consistent effort being put towards it.
- You're marriage grows stronger because you spend time together.
- You're more in touch with your children when you spend time with them.
- Any friendship worth its salt includes a time investment of some sort.
- And, we know God more intimately when we spend time communing with Him.
It shouldn't take a stretch of our imagination to believe that in order to know ourselves well, we have to spend some time with ourselves.
"...unsuccessful people don't understand themselves very well; they live at the whim of their moods, and they may have difficulty motivating themselves and relating well to others." ~Dr. Randy Carlson, The Power of One Thing
You might be saying, or possibly screaming, to me, "Well Deanna, I'd love to spend some time with myself, but these four kids aren't actually raising themselves!"
"Spending time with myself sounds awesome, but between homeschooling, parenting, marriage-ing, and working, this feels nearly impossible. I have no time and I'm never alone!"
HOW TO SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF
Believe me, I get it. I remember the days when I couldn't go to the bathroom without seeing four little hands reaching under the door as if they were trying to grab me while I was on the toilet.
You quite possibly may not have a ton of quiet time available to spend alone, but I.m willing to bet you have more availability than you think. Here are a few tips to figure out what time you may have to steal away:
1. What time are you going to bed at night? If you are going to bed past 10pm, I challenge you to see if you can set a bedtime for yourself, getting yourself to bed between 9pm and 10pm.
2. Getting up earlier. If you can set a regular bedtime, you really only need about 7-8 hours of sleep. Going to bed earlier will have you up by 5am or 6am. That may open up some time in the early hours of the day to be alone.
3. Can your husband help out? If you ask your husband to go solo with the children for a bit, you can use that time to find a quiet room in the house, go outside on the patio or in the yard, go for a walk around the block, or even leave the house all together. Go to a park or grab a quick cup of coffee and sit a spell!
4. Can your friends help? I have a friend who has children the same age as mine and loves having my kids over (and I completely get that this is such a gift and not everyone has this). On the days they are with her, my house is completely quiet... and I love it! Do you have a friend that will take your kids for a couple of hours? If so, drop those kiddos off! Just be willing to return the favor when your friend needs help as well.
5. Do your children have nap or quiet time during the day? Can they play alone in a room for 30 minutes? Is there any part of your day where you don't have to be engaged with your children? If so, instead of grabbing a load of laundry to fold, why not spend a few minutes alone investing back into yourself?
The point is, comb through your day and find pockets of self-care opportunities. If you absolutely think you have NO opportunity to get by yourself, then talk with your family to let them know what you need from them, and together come up with a plan to get you the time you need. This is not selfish, this is necessary. So don't talk yourself out of this!
Here is a tip from Christy Thomas of play4moms.com:
"Self-care does not have to mean spending money or being 100% alone. There will be times for that but, as homeschooling moms we are often in the weeds of motherhood. The physical demands of our children, their education, and running a business may limit that. As a military spouse, I had to reframe what counted as self-care in order to see joy and hope in my days.
"Self-care is best framed in the idea of 'what can I do right now to mother myself?' What do I need to be my best self and what's the smallest action that I can do that will lead me in that direction?"
Here are some great downloads you can use to insert some simple self-care into your days, and questions that you can ask yourself during your quiet time. Journal your answers in order to start the journey of becoming even more self-aware of who you are and what you need in order to take good care of yourself.