Monday, February 18, 2013

"Me Time"

My husband and I don’t have children yet, but we’ve been watching my cousins (9 and 12) for the last couple of days. We also have a kitten--the neediest cat I’ve ever met in my life—and so I’m starting to get a very small glimpse of what it will be like to be a “Mommy Author.”

When the time comes for Josh and I to start welcoming kids of our own into our family, life is going to get even crazier, and I know it will be hard to find a moment alone (and time to focus on my writing). I want to turn to all the experts out there, so I can prepare myself before the storm, and ask, how do you find “me time” in the insane world of child-rearing?

The particular two cousins who have been staying with us are boys. Boys who both play football and wrestle. Even when they don’t require my immediate attention, they are yelling, slamming each other to the ground, and laughing. They aren’t doing any harm, but they are very distracting (besides the noise, I don’t want to tune out entirely, in case one of them gets hurt). So, how do you find “me time” when there is so much noise in your house?

Yesterday night, we were all driving home together, and the 12 year-old pulled out his tablet so we could listen to music. Now, my parents really liked the Monkees, and all other British invasion, 60’s kind of music, so that’s what I like. But, it got me thinking: What if my children like music that I don’t particularly care for? I’m going to let them listen to what they want (as long as it’s appropriate), because being selfless is part of parenting. But, how do you find “me time” to listen to the music you want to listen to (and watch the movies that you want to, and consume the other kinds of entertainment and media that you want to, etc)?

I’ve also found that over the last couple of days, I feel like I need to be alert and available at all times. Is there a way to be totally relaxed, not worrying about the kids, when you need to spend some time alone—or some time alone with your husband—but still have to be on call, in case something happens? How do you find “me time” and still be a full-time mother?

I can’t wait to have kids, and I know that being a mother is my true calling in life. I want to be an author too, but that will come second to my responsibilities as a parent. But, through the last couple of days, I’ve been pondering what it will be like to fill that role, and I'm also starting to understand the importance of “me time.” The two seem a little mutually exclusive.

So, I turn to you, the mothers and fathers (and aunts, and uncles, and grandparents…) of the internet world, and ask this question: How do you make the two (“me time” and total devotion to your children) co-exist? How do YOU find “me time?” 

1 comment:

  1. As far as the music goes, my kids like what I like. They can listen to other stuff they like on their own time, but when we're all together, I call the shots, and they're perfectly happy about that. I don't think it's selfish to pass on to them cultural riches that I value.

    When they're tiny, it's hard to get "me time," but it can be done. Trading babysitting with other mothers is key. Date Night, aka "us time," is also sacred.

    Then there's nap time and school time and Dad time! Those can all be times for "me time." Every family is different; every child's needs are different. You can do it.