I overwhelmed myself today, thinking about what I wanted to say. The possibilities were endless and it was hard for me to focus on one topic long enough to wrap my head around a central idea, that’s when it hit me….. I was just complaining to a friend of mine about my lack of focus about life in general. I came home yesterday after retrieving kids from school and was just lost in a state of melancholy. It was so noticeable that my oldest son even asked what was wrong, but I had no true answer for him. I wasn’t sad, nor grumpy, I just was and couldn’t shake it. As the night continued with the regular daily motherly chores of checking homework, laundry, and dinner; I did my best to not share my mood. However, as I served myself last of a painstakingly long and in-depth dinner, I took my first bite to find it delicious but already cold. I warmed up my plate but it was too late. I just couldn’t eat. I realized why I was so out of sorts and knew that it was no ones fault but my own. Mommy needed a Time Out!
Yes, as parents one of the first and most common pieces of advice that you here is “Take time for yourself.” “Don’t feel guilty about needing a break from your kids.” “Me Time will essentially make you a better parent to your child.” All True! I had just let life get so busy and complicated that I had not scheduled that all important Time Out. I had the wine, the longer shower, even the piece of chocolate while watching a new Prime TV series, all things that help me decompress and re-energize, but not this time. I still felt off.
It was not until the conversation with a friend that we realized together what was missing…… I needed GROWN UP time. For me this equates to No Children present and actual adult conversation. This means that I had to actually go out and socialize with other adults. Being a single mom to 4 and making my living as a writer, I don’t tend to interact in the real world as often as I should and I was seriously lacking in the Fun department.
I am betting that we are all guilty of this far too often and I am here to say “Stop whatever you are doing and make a plan to make a date with your significant other or a group of friends.” Don’t let yourself become so busy that you miss out on your life too. One day these little people that control our whole world will be grown and gone. So busy with their friends that they will forget to call home and you will have lost contact with your own friends. We need adult interaction, we need to connect with those people in our lives that keep us sane and give us joy. It doesn’t need to be long or expensive, just a cup of coffee or walk will do. Time to talk, engage with no social media or distractions, time to focus on all or nothing. And, if like me, you took that time to feel better about yourself then repay the favor by finding another parent that may need help with child care so they too can take their Parent Time Out! We are all in this together and we need to support each other in this most important mission of our life…. Parenting!