To say that my daughter was challenging would be an absolute understatement. It doesn’t help that our household has been plagued with some sort of freak virus this week and we haven’t been able to go out for playdates or stick to the routine that we’ve established over the last few months. I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked by C’s behavior, a mix of cabin fever, not feeling well, and perhaps the “terrible twos” created the perfect storm.
At one point, she threw herself on the ground and was kicking and screaming and crying so much that I wasn’t even sure what was going on anymore. Was this really over blueberries, or wanting a different cup at the table, or getting upset because I had to use the bathroom, or because she didn’t want to take a nap, or because the dog came too close to her, or any of the other things that set her off yesterday? I get that, because toddlers don’t have the vocabulary to verbalize their wants and needs to adults, they’re going to vocalize their frustration through temper tantrums but even with that knowledge, it doesn’t make dealing with that behavior any easier.
For that reason, it’s so important for parents (those who stay at home full-time in particular) to take some time for themselves. I’m not talking about that five minutes once a month that we get to use the restroom by ourselves…I mean some actual “me time” or, what I like to call, a Me Date. You have date nights with your spouse so that you can keep that fire alive so why should taking time for you be any different? Last night I decided to do something I’ve never done before…
After the husband came home from work, I got ready and decided to head out for my “Me Date”. Part of me felt guilty (welcome to the world of being a mom, right?!) for leaving the house because I felt like I was escaping the day but I knew it was something I had to do. I drove over to Target to pick up a few things that we needed around the house and then took myself out to dinner. I have never, in my life, eaten at a restaurant by myself. It was a strange feeling and I’ll admit that it was uncomfortable at first but armed with my Sudoku book and a pen, I took on the challenge and discovered that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was actually really nice.
For an hour and a half last night I didn’t have to worry about anyone but myself and even though it was something so simple as running an errand and grabbing a bite to eat, I felt that it was exactly what I needed and so I wanted to encourage you to do the same. I know it isn’t easy to set aside time for just you (because there’s always someone else you could be spending time with) but it really is important and, at the end of the day, it sets a great example for your children. I’m not sure when my next “me date” will be or what I’ll do (maybe I’ll try watching a movie) but I know that it’s something that will happen again and I’ll try not to wait until we have a bad day at home to do it.
How do you set time aside for yourself?