Talking to another mom at school this week, we got onto the topic of putting your own oxygen mask on first, so we can show up in the world for others. She mentioned her sister just had a baby and we stood nodding about that challenging time of motherhood when it seems all personal time has been lost forever, never to return. I so remember those days, because I truly believed that those days would be the rest of my life. I sure did love my babies, but being sleep-deprived and exhausted wasn’t a state I wanted to enjoy for life!
I shared my story of a kind therapist firmly handing me a prescription. The mandate was that I take One Hour a Day for myself. This did not include laundry, grocery shopping or chores. It could be exercise, a class, or a simple outing. She even made me write my times on a calendar! My husband used to suggest on particularly challenging days “would I like to go hang out at Starbucks for awhile?” We called these my mommy time-outs.
Now that my kids are older, I’m not tied to their physical demands so closely, yet I find myself madly trying to cross things off my to-do list in the hours before they return from school. Sometimes I don’t make time for lunch. Or exercise. But I still need that One Hour a Day that is mine. Put away the yearning for a hit on Facebook and dive into a real book. Put away the to-do’s and put on the take-care’s. Be your own nurturer.
We all need space, solitude, creativity and also connectedness. Let’s remind each other.
Did you get your One Hour today?