"How do you find free time? Is it okay to take time for yourself? If so, how?" is the Blog Cruise question(s) this week.
And that got me thinking. Not always a good thing, LOL!
One frustration I've had with the homeschooling community is that I often feel the need to apologize when I take time by myself to do something for me. A couple of weekends ago, I was thrilled to spend most of a day alone. I hung out at Starbucks, got a lot of things done, and really, truly enjoyed not having anyone touch me.
This time, when I mentioned it online, I didn't have anyone go linking me up to articles about how wanting some "me-time" is totally unbiblical, or is really unnecessary, or just proves I'm selfish. But last spring when I was frustrated about the fact that I was supposed to get some time by myself and it fell through when Dale had to take a business trip, I did hear all of that. That I'm caught up in worldly values and I shouldn't want to be away from my family. I should be less focused on me and more focused on we. A whole guilt trip that I really did not need.
It seems like whenever I mention looking forward to some time away from my family, I have someone telling me how they can't imagine wanting to be away from their kids, and making me feel horrible for anticipating a couple hours of time alone.
So -- time for yourself -- is it okay? I say a resounding YES. If you are someone who doesn't need it, good for you. I'm jealous. But I will no longer be made to feel guilty for NEEDING some time where nobody is talking to me, and more importantly, nobody is TOUCHING me.
I've discovered that I really need to be able to reclaim my personal space. I never, ever would have thought this of me years ago... but having five touchy kids and a husband... if I don't get some time without all that sensory input, I overload. And I overreact. To everything. Someone brushes against my leg and I jerk back like I've touched hot coals. It's involuntary. I get so over-touched that I grit my teeth to endure hugs from my children. I hate that. I really hate that. Fortunately, I don't get to that point often.
But getting back to wanting hugs from my children isn't difficult. I just need some time to decompress. Usually that can be just me alone in the bedroom. But sometimes I really, really need a few hours of touch-free bliss.
I get the idea behind the "Me-Time Myth." That we need to be looking to God to fill that hole instead of thinking about "me time" being able to fulfill us. I guess my me-time isn't something I'm doing to feel fulfilled. It is something I'm doing to truly recharge.
I don't know that I've really expressed what I wanted to here (it's been a long couple days and I am exhausted... spending 18 of the last 24 hours in a car with five kids will do that to you!). I think my basic thought on time for yourself and whether it is okay does touch on the point of the "me-time myth" folks.
- Are you looking to me-time for fulfillment instead of looking to God?
- Do you find fulfillment in your role as a wife and mom?
- Do you come home from me-time feeling sorry for yourself because you still have dishes, laundry, and schoolwork, none of which got done while you were away?
And I refuse to continue to allow other homeschoolers who either have a higher touch threshold or less touchy children make me feel guilty for enjoying the occasional time I have away from my family.
The TOS Crew Blog is sponsoring a question of the week every Tuesday.