It’s confession time. I don’t spend much time away from my kids. At all. For 18 years, I have always had one or more kids with me. I get haircuts, go to rare doctor’s appointments and a once a month meeting for parents of kids with DS. I take the occasional late-night trip to Target. I don’t have a job I ‘need’ to leave for and have not made other commitments that would necessitate leaving. Being alone in my own house is nearly out of the question. I have dinner with a friend or Dennis – way too rarely.
But as far as having chunks of time on any consistent breaks, I just haven’t worked those in.
There are several factors involved and I’m taking some time to think about why I haven’t carved out more time for myself. They are varied in nature and my perception of the issues. I’m going to give it some serious consideration, because I’ve hit a wall. I don’t know why I am feeling it more acutely now than other times, maybe 18 years is my limit 😉
When a dear friend, who cares deeply for my family, mentioned that Ethan would be in school and Gavin gone for the week and that certainly I could find something for Mike and Sean to do for several hours during this week, I took up the challenge. Within hours, I found a trusted Vacation Bible School that the older boys had done for several years. We took the last two slots they had available – providence or what?
For about three hours each morning this week, I will be kid-free. My mom has also offered to take them for a trip to the movies and I have a sitter one night this week. If that’s not a big deal for you – I get it. Reread my first paragraph. It’s big for me.
I have made a commitment to spending that time doing things that that I enjoy. That will be half of the challenge (what do I like to do without my kids?) I will not do things I ‘have’ to do. I will not let myself clean, do laundry or run errands during my ‘time off’. I am going to get a little R&R. I will also be a ‘spectator’ to my own activities and try to remember why it’s good to disconnect and get a little ‘down’ time on a more consistent basis.
Here goes nothing.