This afternoon, the mid-year school holidays will kick off here, which means ‘me’ time will be in short supply for a few weeks (more so than usual). While the holidays offer a break from the burden of packing school lunches and the pain of cracking the homework whip, they also mean the absence of peace, quiet and space, and limited options for self care and selfishness.
The kids are well used to being ignored – they’ve plenty of experience at amusing themselves while I work or get things done, as they should. I’m all for kids who know how to play by themselves and be somewhat independent. But it’s hard to meditate, do yoga, sit in silence or even think straight when the bluster of children is swirling around you.
Life with kids at home is wonderful. I much prefer them to be here, to be able to see them all the time and have cuddles whenever they are within grabbing distance. The downside is it is exhausting, mentally and physically, especially when there’s no break from them.
So the challenge will be to find a way to carve out some time or to incorporate what I need into the day instead of seeing to them first.
Knowing what you need to do for yourself is easy. Working out how to achieve it when you have kids to look after is another thing altogether. Adopting an attitude of selfish grace will help – acknowledge that you need to be as important to yourself as your kids are to you. Understand that creating space for yourself is not the same as neglecting your children, and will make you a better mother. Accept that you may not have hours to do everything you’d like to, but that even 10 minutes of quiet, exercise or nurturing still matters.
These holidays I’m challenging myself to adopt selfish grace. To approach each day with gentleness and calmness and without any pressure to achieve anything in particular. To try and stay present, to enjoy each day as it comes. And above all, to make time not just for the kids, but for me too.
Do you find it hard to make time for yourself? Or are you hopeless at it?