A Balancing Act

by sarah on July 17, 2008

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In talking to parents, especially mothers, in the 6 ½ years that I’ve been a mother, I’ve learned that the hardest thing many parents face is finding time to oneself. This is definitely the thing I struggle with the most. Everybody in the family has needs which must be met, and as attachment parents, we realize the vital importance of meeting our children’s needs. Unfortunately for me, a casualty is often my needs. API even lists Strive for Balance in your Personal and Family Life as a Principle, but that has continually been my hardest item to meet, especially in regards to my own need to rejuvenate.

I’ve tried many things to get a few hours to myself every week. I’ve read books in a local sandwich shop. I’ve gone to the mall. My husband would even take the kids to the zoo on the weekend so I could get a few hours to sit and veg. However, none of those hit the nail on the head for me. Nothing met my needs.

But then a few years ago I hit upon something that met my need for alone time out of the house as well as the added benefit of exercise. I started walking. As soon as my husband came home from work, I’d head out the door, sneakers on my feet and mp3 player in my pocket. It’s a routine that still continues today.

My walks last about 35 minutes, and I go seven days a week, weather permitting. I really look forward to this time every day, I love that I’m able to exercise, and as a very non-athletically-gifted person, walking is about the extent of my coordination skills! I love that I get time to wind down at the end of the day, and the fact that I get to listen to my very favorite podcasts uninterrupted is the icing on the cake.

My children are ages six and three, and it took me four years to discover this way to rejuvenate my soul. What do you all do? How much time do you need for yourself, and how do you find it?

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sarah (35 Posts)

Sarah has been involved with API since 2002. She is the mother of two school-aged kids.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Green Mamma July 17, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Sometimes it isn’t easy to rise with the sun, but I make an effort almost everyday to get outside and walk or run.

Another way that I am trying to find time for myself without making more demands on my husband’s, our family’s, or our couple time is to either swap childcare with another parent or to seek out the help of a mother’s helper.

In our culture and time, there are no villages to rely on to help with our babies (and children); asking others for help is important for our mental stability and survival, not to mention our abilities to be good mothers.

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Julie July 17, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I wish I got out to exercise more, but I find blogging to be a big escape and a way for me to reconnect with my former self, exercise my brain, and get a break.

I find I’m so much more ready and able to connect with my children and my husband if I feel like I have some me time too. Now if only there were 40 hours in a day, I’d have enough time to do it all!

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melissa July 21, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Ditto Julie, I do wish I exercised more but I escape into my blogs and other writing endeavors.

Good for you on getting that alone time to rejuvenate yourself *and* getting physical exercise in, all at the same time. Now if only I could blog while on a treadmill. ;)

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Jenn May 25, 2009 at 1:43 am

My daughter & I will go to ecstatic dance together. I dance with her and then put her down to color or play while I get some “me dance” time. It’s wonderful!

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