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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Forgive me. I am taking care of myself.

I am coming to terms with finding a place for myself in my life.

I know this sounds foolish.  Trust me, I was that twentysomething who used to judge people like me.  Why do moms give up their identity and become just moms.  I won't do that when I have kids. I will find time for myself, I vowed.  I will NOT be one of THOSE moms, I promised my future self.

Yeeeeeeeah, about that...

Those are easy promises to make in the absence of kids.

I remember having a conversation with my mom and my sister last year sometime.  I said something about checking with Sandi and she with me about our plans.  My mom, single now for 25 years, says: "I don't know.  I don't feel like in an equal partnership one partner should have to check with the other about things he or she does."

My sister looked at her like she had three heads and then said, definitively: "You do if you have kids."

Point made.  Case closed.

New this fall, I have 6 hour per week that belong only to me.  Tuesday and Thursday mornings have become a refuge to my soul, not just because I have a million kidless things to do, but because I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT. I check with no one.  I move as I wish.  Sometimes I work but I have found it hard to schedule that into my sacred time.  Sometimes it means a 25 mile bike ride and an uninterrupted hot shower.  Today it meant 3 hours at the gym attending some really fun, new classes just because I WANTED TO.  I had no one waiting on me, for me, no one to call and ask. 

And for the first time, I relished it.  I no longer felt like I should be using my kidless time in a better manner. I no longer feel like I need to make apologies for loving to spend my alone time exercising. 

See, if I'm not careful, I could spend ALL my time cleaning, doing laundry, making food, organizing closets, making phone calls, mopping floors.  I seriously could.  There is enough work to go around, plus some.  But that endless list of tasks has been choking the spirit, the ME, out of my life. 

And so, I am putting some of me back in the center of my life and allowing all the other pieces to find their way comfortably around it. I  feel like a willow who has bent just a tad too much by the steady force of the wind and is now developing some hearty roots to keep itself firm.  Unlike even a year ago when I hoped their would be time left over at the end of a day for me to take some for myself, I now make it part of my day, part of my routine. I run.  I do yoga.  I write.  I read.  I hike.  I run some more.  I don't run because I am good or super healthy or deserve a pat on the back.  I do it because it  feeds me in ways a clean house never could.  It is in those spaces where I AM me, separate from being mom, having meals to make, lunches to pack, shuffling to and from school to do, tantrums to unwind, pets to feed, doctors appointments to make, clothes to buy, clean, fold, put away, toys to pick up, fights to referee, baths to give, teeth to brush, shoes to put on and limits to set.

And you know the expression...when Momma's happy, everyone's happy. :)


Dan.Eliot said...

Take good care of yourself – There is so much more to this than one might think. Pay attention to your body and mind. You have to first take care of yourself in order to take care of your kids. Exercise daily. Eat right and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Get plenty of sleep. Watch your stress levels and try to avoid it at all costs. Smile, try it! It helps relieve stress.
single moms

Amy said...

Well said! I so totally agree and understand where you are coming from :) Enjoy your time off - you certainly deserve it!!

Christine said...

Such a great post, Suzanne! I identify so closely with it. Oh, the promises we make before meeting our children. I'm grateful for your "me time" because I get to spend some of it with you!

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