Do you have kids? Do you have time to yourself?
Ok I’ve gotta ask - do you ever sit up at night, doing a whole lot of stuff that makes you happy, like watching netflix, or reading a blog or a book, scrolling through pinterest and finding so many cool things you’d never thought of before, or crocheting, or baking, or scrolling through instagram, or facebook, or maybe even enjoying the lost art of talking on the phone with a friend?
I’m doing it right now.
I was all set to go to bed, I was just putting the finishing touches on my plan for the week, going over my diary….…..and I got an idea, inspiration struck.
This is a real problem for me, I try to go to bed by 10pm……and for the past 2 weeks it’s been midnight or 1am by the time my head hits the pillow.
You see, It feels like I’ve got endless hours at night to get all the things done that I just dont have time for during the day, the reason I don’t have time during the day? Because so many other people need me - it’s not even that they need me really, but all hell can break loose if I spend too long sitting around reading a book or a blog, or just not paying attention to the little people in my life.
And yes of course I’ve tried ignoring it - the chaos I mean.
But you know what happens then?
The 3 year old starts throwing the golf balls at the windows, the lights, and sometimes his sisters - the 9 year old starts swearing - and the 6 year old just falls apart and screams no-body even cares about me.
It’s just not worth it.
And don’t even get me started on using netflix as a baby-sitter……yes it works and I use it, but it’s not really helpful, because when it gets turned off, they go nuts, they’re more grumpy, short tempered and likely to fight each other after watching something - netflix generally creates more problems than it solves for me.
Does anyone else have this problem? Or have you done a better job training your kids to hang out and chill out, than I have? What’s your secret?
So at this point in my life, the evenings are GOLD.
I cherish the time I get to sit on the couch and do nothing.
I had made a deal with myself I’d fold washing while I watched mindless netflix……but the washing pile is growing by the day - honestly I should just dump it in their draws unfolded - because who am I kidding - they 1. don’t care, and 2. take out all their clothes at least twice a day, try on a million different outfits, dump said outfits on the floor, and then (if I’m lucky) stuff all their clothes back into the drawers again without even blinking…….usually the clothes just lie on the floor waiting for someone to pick them up.
I call out that it’s time to clean up, PLEASE STUFF YOU CLOTHES BACK IN THE DRAWERS, I DON’T CARE WHRE IT GOES JUST GET IT OFF THE FLOOR……it works about 30% of the time.
The thing is, I know that all this staying up late, as luxurious as it seems at the time - is not at all worth it. I wake up so tired. I’m not even drinking coffee this year (who’s idea was that??) so I’m pretty much screwed. I shower and try to use the water to pry my eyes open…..it’s not ideal. I get stuck in the warmth and comfort of the shower and find it hard to get out.......This is another time all hell can break loose - mums not here - lets have a big fight over the hairbrush / door / who’s turn it is to use the mug that everyone wants to use - I’m just gonna call you a poo bum poo bum poo bum until you get really upset and whack me, that’ll for sure be fun!
I notice the greys. I feel more dried up and wrinkly. I think it’s all the milky earl grey tea I drink - honestly I should know better - it dehydrates, it’s no wonder I’m drying up!
I gotta drink more water.
I have a list of things - I don’t know what you’d call them, not inspirational quotes, just ideas really - they’re sticky taped to my mirror in the bathroom. One of them says “what are you doing today that you’ll be thanking yourself for in 10 years?” It’s hard to say really. Will I be thanking myself for staying up late writing posts I feel inspired to write, building my business plans, and studying things that make my heart sing…….or will I be thanking myself for taking care of my body and going to bed nice and early??
I know I’ll thank myself for drinking more water.
AND I KNOW I’m not as awesome when I’m tired…..but I can’t get shit done if I don’t stay up. I can’t enjoy my life and hang out with my husband if I don’t stay up. I can’t feel like a normal person without this kid free time.
I love my kids, I love them more than the world.
But I do miss having my own time.
I was about to write about how much I miss what life was like before……it was all sleeping in, and drinking coffee and hanging out and going for walks…..it was fucking boring, life is waaaay better now. It pushes me in ways I never thought I would be pushed. I’ve found myself doing and saying things I never thought I would. I like myself better now I’m a mum. I wouldn’t want my old life back.
Being a mum is way more challenging, it’s a lot harder, but I do like it this way.
But I've gotta say, this isn’t what I thought being a parent would be like. In my mind I could imagine us doing all these gorgeous things together, my kids and I would laugh and giggle and have lots of banter - it would be like a party, a really fun, relaxed party. We'd pic-nick and go on long walks, we'd garden and bake .
Honestly, being a parent was going to be blissful.
Being a parent is nothing like that - at least not for me.
It’s demanding of us, emotionally, physically, mentally……..I often have to say “I don’t know, lets ask google”, And I still carry my 3 year old around a lot of the time because he demands it - and it seems like less work to carry him, than deal with the melt down if I don’t - oh and hes about 22kg! Emotionally, I feel like I learn about myself on a whole new level all the time. My kids push my buttons a lot - and I find myself faced with either loosing my temper and arguing them - or doing my work, so I don’t become the kind of controlling, dominating, angry and unreasonable parent I swore I’d never be.
Side bar - remember how we did that before kids…..”OMG if that was my kid I’d NEVER……./ let them have a dummy / let them get away with that / put them to sleep by lying down with them / let them eat sugar”
Having kids is exhausting.
Not having my own time is exhausting.
I do get time in the day to exercise, and talk with friends - but going for a walk seems like something that’s not a relaxing treat. It seems like a normal part of my day.
What I want is time to do NOTHING. Like pinterest, and sewing, (don't be fooled - I'm a terrible sewer, but I do like it) and journaling…….
I don’t know what the answer is. Stay up? Go to bed?
I always tell women - you gotta rest.
I think that’s the answer.
Women who are well rested function better, look better, are calmer, kinder - I teach this to women allllllllll the time - specifically around their periods, and how important it is to rest when they're bleeding - and I'm good at doing that…….. but maybe I need to focus on rest and relaxation in general, on a day to day basis. Maybe if I was well rested, I would be better at getting shit done in the day, and not feel the need to stay up late?
Women who take care of themselves rest.
What if I was devoted to resting well? Not only when I had my period…….but like all the time? Just for this week I’m devoted to going to bed, lights out, before 10pm.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
What about you?
Do you do this?
Do you need to join my club?
How do you get in “your time”?
What does that look like for you?