October 29, 2009

Going all "Oprah" on you.

Ahhh…alone at last. It’s been at least two weeks since my last mom’s night out ALONE and I need it badly. Since my last freedom night, I’ve weathered two sick kids (and husband), everyday life with small people, a trip to Disneyland and a concert in which I had a major solo and a major sinus infection at once. WHEW.

The result of too much time serving and not enough time in solitude is me - sitting here with a blank mind – and not the kind that comes from the careful practice of a spiritual discipline. I am experiencing the kind of mind numbing blankness that comes from spending all my time wiping runny noses, changing diapers, surviving tantrums and day-long drives with a ten month old. I parent from the time I wake each morning to the time I wake the next day!

A few days ago, I reached my capacity for “giving” without a break. I actually got up in the middle of the night (for me, that’s around 11 PM) to catch some time alone. After laughing through my favorite TV shows (thank God for the internet!), I finally went to bed around 3:30 AM feeling refreshed. It’s a good thing my husband was home the next day to let me sleep in!

Even though I know I need time alone, I keep finding myself challenged to actually take it. Without time alone, I can’t hear myself think. I can’t be the mom I want to be to my girls. I get so stressed I can’t enjoy my life right now – crazy schedule and house and all – and it is flying by so quickly.  I know I can’t be the only mom with small kids who has this problem so I’m going to keep sharing my experience as a reminder to me and friends with the same challenge. To be the best mom I can be, I have to take time to just be ME.

This week -

I WILL remember to take time to be alone. Even if it means I go when the baby's crying (she's with someone who loves her!) and the house is less than perfect, I'll LEAVE it all behind for a few hours.  I'll trade babysitting with a friend or let dad watch the kids alone for a while. It will be good for them!

I WILL NOT wait till life gets less stressful or busy. Chances are, it won't. I want to enjoy every minute I'm given with my family and friends. I'll take a break and come back feeling more equipped to handle it. I only get one pass at this life and I won't let it pass me by because there are dirty dishes in the sink.

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