You might be so desperate for a minute to yourself that it feels like your pen might catch fire just waiting to start journaling if it means there is more time for you on the other end. Deep breaths, Mama. Finding, making, and valuing time to yourself doesn’t happen overnight. Being a mom means there is going to be other people involved on this journey, mainly your family. This first week is all about observation. Observing yourself: identifying pockets of time, what your individual needs/likes are, how you feel about Alone Time, etc. This will get you one week closer to finding the time you need to fill you up. Every person’s refresh button looks different. Taking a week to look at YOUR life is how we each can find the individual answers we need while walking the same path.
In case you missed the Facebook/Instagram share from a few days ago…Are you married or live with your partner? My husband Chris and I lovingly recommend bringing them in on this personal project BEFORE it starts. It doesn’t have to be a long or involved conversation, just a: “Hey, honey. I joined up with this group of moms online. We’re doing a monthly journal challenge together. This first month is about ‘Alone Time.’ We’ll see how this unfolds as the month goes on, see if it’s even relevant to our family. Just wanted to let you know. I’ll be journaling everyday. It’s not about you, it’s just answering questions about Alone Time and our interests. If you want to know more, I can share with you as it goes along…”
Alone Time can become a family value. My hope is to help you shift from not getting any time to yourself to the whole family getting some needed Alone Time exploring hobbies and interests they enjoy.
Write about what pops into your head when you think about Alone Time. Is it important to you? Do you feel like you need it? Do you feel like you’re getting it? What do you need? Do you wait until the breaking point and demand/scream for it? Are you supported when you ask for it?
Remember…mommy steps. Today is just about observing and getting our first thoughts down. At the end of the month, today’s journal entry will really highlight how small steps every day really add up.
When is your Alone Time? During your commute in the car? Does it only happen if you set an alarm and wake up before the rest of the house? Is it after the kids go to bed? When you’re on the toilet? In the shower?
Today’s journal entry is about identifying pockets of time. Just observing…mommy steps. There is a lot of growth that can happen from just looking and thinking before you act.
What do you do with your Alone Time? Listen to podcasts? Nap? Sip a cup of coffee? Go for a walk? Shower? Are you too frazzled in your thoughts to use it well? Do you feel consumed by the “shoulds,” thinking about what you “should” be doing? Is it filled with to do lists? Do you squeeze in a phone call? Are you afraid someone is going to be disappointed in you because of how you use your time?
In order for mamas to get some Alone Time, they need the help of someone else to watch the kids. A partner is not always a given (single parent, married, doesn’t matter—it’s not a given). Who do you need to help? Who could potentially help? Who would love to help? Who has offered to help? Your partner? An auntie? Your BFF? Could you imagine a friend swap where you take turns watching each other’s kids for a bit? A nanny service? Try to identify who could help.
Make a list! What are some of your favorite things to do? What are your interests? Is there anything you’ve ever wanted to try? List it all…songs you like, drinks, foods you love, a book you have been wanting to read, a podcast you’ve wanted to listen to, sewing, hunting, running, singing, being around animals…list what fills you up.
How/when/where do you think? Over coffee? In the shower? On a walk? When you pray? In the car?
How do you feel after thinking about Alone Time? Hopeful? Resentful? Inspired? Why? Whatever you feel, step outside and take a deep breath. Nice, full, deep breaths.
Try not to get ahead—remember to observe. Mommy steps!
Take a step toward Alone Time…something that will fill you up. Add that podcast (or figure out what a podcast is!). Buy that case of sparkling water or bottle of wine to have on deck for a “me” minute. Restock your coffee or teas. Get our your favorite mug. Que up a mommy playlist. Book that yoga class. Restock your shampoo. Schedule that sitter.